Former President and now Speaker of the House of Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo led the commemoration of the late President Diosdado P. Macapagal’s 108th birth anniversary in Lubao, Pampanga on Friday morning.
SGMA led the wreath laying ceremony at his father’s shrine in the Diosdado Macapagal Museum and Library with representatives from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. The replica of the late president’s nipa hut is also located here.
At the program, only her half sister former Vice Governor Cielo Macapagal Salgado made a speech. She said their father also known as “The Poor Boy from Lubao” was born poor in Lubao without the ability to study.
Because of his intelligence he was educated by a Philanthropist Don Honorio Ventura from Bacolor, Pampanga and graduated as a lawyer, Salgado said.
Macapagal was assigned in different government agencies and from there he started his career in politics where he became a congressman, vice president and president.
The people of Bulacan noted the late president was behind the first part of construction of the North Diversion Road which is now the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) from Balintawak to Tabang, Guiguinto, Bulacan in 1965.
During his term, the Angat Dam in Norzagaray, Bulacan was also constructed supplying 70% of water to Manila and irrigation in Bulacan province and other parts in Pampanga.
A Bulakenyo was also the first Filipino granted land ownership in Plaridel, Bulcan through Macapagal’s Land Reform Program followed by the establishment of the Land Bank of the Philippines to support the farmers and fishermen.
It was learned that this is the first time SGMA was able to celebrate the birthday of his father since she was freed in 2016. — ELOISA SILVERIO