Pastor Kevin Sanders

"He must increase, but I must decrease." -John 3:30

Kuya [email protected] (Presidential Palace)

Love Joy (from DZAS) sent a text message to me last week.

LJ: “Kevin, have you ever been to Malacanang?”
Kevin: “You mean the President’s palace?”
LJ: “Yes.”
Kevin: “No, I’ve never been there.”
LJ: “They are having a Christmas party for members of the press, and we’re allowed to invite a few guests.  Want to join us?”
Kevin: “Sure!”

I accepted the invitation, which led to quite an interesting afternoon (Monday, December 8th).  I met LJ and the other DZAS folks at one of the gates.  We went through all of the security checkpoints (where my camera was confiscated) then proceeded to the ballroom.  Malacanang is a lovely place, and the food was delicious.  I met Mariz, a reporter from channel GMA-7.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo eventually made her entrance.  I couldn’t see her at first—she’s quite petite (under 5 feet tall), and was surrounded by people.  I could tell were she was by the cameras held high above the crowd.  We all waited for her to finish eating before taking pictures (I think I was the only one there without a camera phone, which was allowed—go figure).

I was hoping she would just stroll our way, where I could shake her hand, introduce myself, and snap a picture—the “dignified presidential guest” approach. That didn’t happen.  People swarmed around her once she finished eating.  We had to simply muscle our way in and steal a few shots, the “desperate picture-taking groupie” strategy.  But hey, it worked:

The President worked her way up to the stage, where she drew names for raffle prizes.  LJ won a refrigerator!  The raffled continued until all the prizes were allotted for.

We hoisted LJ’s refrigerator and headed out to the palace entrance (alongside several other prizewinners).  It looked like we were leaving SM mall instead of Malacanang palace.

There weren’t any taxis passing by outside, so I had to improvise a little to get back home.  I hopped on a jeep, got down near Ayala Bridge, then rode a tricycle (motorcycle with side car) the rest of the way home (just a block or so).

Where else can you eat free food, take your picture with the President, move a refrigerator, and ride a jeepney all in the same day?  Only in the Philippines!

Thanks, LJ for your invitation!  When are you going to start up your own blog?


  1. You’re welcome kuya! See, I know you can blog about it better than I can.

    Mmmm… maybe I’ll put up my own blog next year, when I finally get my ultra hi-tech laptop and I’ll finally have the time to sit down in front of my new Mac. 🙂

    Btw, you and Mariz look good together! I have her number if you ever need it. (wink, wink)

    Your muscles were put into good use yesterday. Thanks for helping the guys carry my ref.

    Lj 🙂

  2. your traveling spree reminds of Quentin Tarantino who took a pedicab when he was here-

    is that a barong anyway?

  3. Yes, it’s sort of a modern version of a barong.

    It’s actually not unusual for me to ride jeepneys, etc. I just thought it was kind of ironic to ride one from the presidential palace.

  4. LJ,

    I thought KK and GMA looks good together! 🙂

    You were meant to win the ref, you had Mr.Muscle to hoist up the barong at that.

    …peace KK

  5. you look so dignified in that barong..

  6. hi i’ve been to MP once too during FEM’s time when i was at university. very impressive place!

  7. malacanang security IS weird! in my case, we first had our cameras pass through the xrays, got them labeled with stickers, then when we started taking pictures in the garden, they confiscated our cameras! in your case, they allowed cellphone cameras even if they confiscated cameras at the gate? i think they just didn’t know how to deal with those 🙂 you surely had a typically weird day, that’s all (carrying a ref in your barong, taking the jeepney then tricycle fr malacanang, i mean). reality kicks in right away after having your picture taken with gma. awright!

  8. Dude, I agree! You do look good with GMA. I wonder how I can send GMA gifts? I got her stilts for Christmas so when ya’all hang out, she’d still look presidential.

  9. why no pic of Ms. LJ? 🙂

  10. She already has a picture with the President, so she didn’t bother taking one. She did take a picture with Mariz, but she didn’t send it to me.

  11. Kev,

    I actually went to school with Mariz Umali. Did you just meet her at that party?

    I remember we had several classes together. Very nice girl.


  12. John,
    That was my first time to meet her.

  13. is that lipstick on you? you look like one of those lead vocalists of a band, the name wc i can’t recall now.
    um…..talking of macs.. i do have a few questions.

  14. I don’t wear lipstick 🙂

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