Thursday, July 26, 2007


Dismayed by what she deemed veritable excesses by the Marcos regime, Corazon Aquino, upon assuming her presidency, set up residence in this grand mansion in the San Miguel district of Manila instead of in the nearby Malacanang Palace.

This noble yet quirky decision of hers certainly created nightmares for her presidential security guard unit, because u
nlike Malacanang Palace which is located within a complex equipped with formidable security measures, this grand mansion is on a busy street with rows of private houses, including a private school at the corner.

Nowadays, with the current president making good use of the Palace, this grand mansion has become the office of the Press Secretary. Hence, everything now appears relatively manageable for the Palace guards.

Speaking of residential security, you may already possess an effective security alarm system without even realizing it.

Carla of Palaboy-Lamonster sent me an email suggesting to place our car keys beside our bed at night; should we hear of any suspicious noises outside our homes or detect someone making an attempt to break in, all we have to do is simply press the alarm button for our car. Undoubtedly, the piercing noise will scare off any intruders. Furthermore, the car alarm will continue until either you turn it off or the car battery dies.

The neighborhood safety watchdog that created this home security tip also suggested that we carry our car keys while walking to our cars in a parking lot, because we can make the same use of their alarms for our added safety.

Thank you, Carla, for sharing this valuable information with us!


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:57 AM


Anonymous kyels said...

That's a good way to keep oneself safe. Never though car alarm can help so much.


July 26, 2007 1:07 PM  

Anonymous Major Tom said...

Such a grand place to be just an office for a not-so-important position. To be sure, this is just the sort of house that I imagine if I ever think of a castle-like shelter and a fairytale kind of life.

By the way, nice advice on the car alarm use. It would surely deter would-be intruders...

July 26, 2007 2:37 PM  

Anonymous rhodora said...

It could also be that Cory did not want to reside in the same 'house' where people who caused the death of her husband also once lived.

July 26, 2007 3:02 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Neither had I thought about it in that manner, Kyels -- as a personal safety measure and home security alarm system :)

July 26, 2007 5:51 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I've a feeling that they assigned it to just anyone who requested for it instead of leaving it empty and unused.

But personally, Major Tom, despite this mansion's grand stature, if I were a Palace official, I'd rather be inside the complex itself than in this area simply for security reasons.

Yes ... this car alarm system as home security is indeed a wonderful idea!

July 26, 2007 5:55 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

But from what I understand, Rhoda, her family also owns a mansion somewhere in the San Miguel vicinity way before she became president. This was an exclusive neighborhood for Manila's elite beginning in the early 1900s.

July 26, 2007 5:58 PM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

...Before Cory Aquino moved in to that beautiful but haunted house in the San Miguel district, she sent her daughter Kris Aquino to live there 2 weeks prior to Cory moving in. And good enough, Kris's white bleached skin outshined the pale multos in the house, plus her annoying "de vah?" sentence and paragraph ender during her exorcism gig in the old house drove the poor ghosts away! :-)

July 26, 2007 11:33 PM  

Blogger Photo Cache said...

car alarm---great tip, especially for a neurotic like me. will keep that in mind.

this is a great neighborhood. just dont remember this particular house. is it open for tours, though?

July 27, 2007 12:23 AM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

Our own version of the Blair House here in the US. Did not know about this.

Re car alarm, except that here in California with so many cars with so many car alarms, hearing one is not unlike being awakened by a dog barking, or a bird chirping.

And for added wrinkles, instead of screeching when activated the newer ones now have a human voice barking at you.

July 27, 2007 12:39 AM  

Anonymous ced solidon said...

pretty grand place there. i've got this thing for old houses, dilapidated buildings and neon lights. hehe.

great advice on the car alarm! too bad though our family car's an oldie so i doesn't have an alarm installed. hehe.

July 27, 2007 1:58 AM  

Anonymous sardonicnell said...

the place looks so grand! wish ko lang may house akong ganyan. but then again, i dont want to get kidnapped for ransom or hire security personnels. i guess, im happy living a semi-crappy house =)

car alarms does have lots of uses. i use mine to annoy my next door neighbour, who's so masungit. hehehe!

July 27, 2007 2:17 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hahaha! Too much, Pete! But I can just imagine the ghosts running away from her annoyed ... hahaha!

Incidentally, a reliable source told me that the faint figure of the headless ghost in Malacanang Palace appeared in a photograph. Ever heard of such?

July 27, 2007 7:27 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

This one, Photo Cache, no. The security guard was just nice enough to allow me to take a couple of shots of the mansion's facade.

Yes, a great idea for the car alarm.

July 27, 2007 7:29 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

But isn't the Blair House designated for the VP, Amadeo? Now, I wonder if our local VP has a house within the complex?

You just reminded me of those highly sensitive car alarms in NYC; that anything, even pedestrians walking by would trigger the alarms -- annoying residents to no end. There were incidents of some people firing shots at those cars with blaring alarms going off in the middle of the night.

Goodness, a recorded human voice berating a would be carnapper.

July 27, 2007 7:33 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Some of these sophisticated car alarm systems may be worth more than some of Manila's vintage but in excellent running condition cars, Ced.

You know how some local Pinoys can be super meticulous with their cars, right?

July 27, 2007 7:36 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I appreciate this house, Nell, but I can imagine the staggering costs of maintaing one. I'd be pretty satisfied with a small house but with a large yard :)

Oh, oh ... a masungit neighbor in the midst ... yuck! Hehehe.

July 27, 2007 7:39 AM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

"Incidentally, a reliable source told me that the faint figure of the headless ghost in Malacanang Palace appeared in a photograph. Ever heard of such?"

No, I've never heard of this headless ghost in Malacanang but I know it used to be occupied by a "heartless" ruler couple who spent a lot of the poor people's money for their own kapritsos!

July 27, 2007 8:22 AM  

Blogger Amadeo said...


As I recall, the VP did at some instances use the Blair House as residence. But with the tense security situation that probably won't happen in the foreseable future.

I believe during her most recent visit the Queen of England was billeted there because close to it is another huge structure where her huge entourage could also be housed.

I will have to dig deeper to find out what other structures can be found in that compound. After all, W jogs, and maybe bikes, around the place.

July 27, 2007 8:35 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

It's astounding how both the Americans and Filipinos can be so forgiving to their civil servants who had abused their office, Pete.

These days, the widow of the "heartless ruler" is running around in Manila as if nothing of grave consequence had happened. Amazing, indeed.

July 27, 2007 10:13 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

The couple of times I visited D.C., Amadeo, I spent mostly at the Smithsonian and Georgetown. Next time, I will make it a point to tour the city and take some photographs.

July 27, 2007 10:15 AM  

Anonymous Brian said...

wow! i didn't know that.. certainly, your blog's very informative and well researched! :) keep it up! :)

July 29, 2007 7:05 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Friends/fellow bloggers' contributions I've got to acknowledge also, Brian :)

Many thanks for dropping by!

July 30, 2007 6:22 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is now in the headlines. I thought this was a Legarda mansion.

October 12, 2007 10:19 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hey Anon, what does the headline say about this mansion?

October 12, 2007 12:00 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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