MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. opened the Malacañang door to witness a time-honored tradition initiated by former President Ferdinand E. Marcos and First Lady Imelda R. Marcos.
Children from neighboring barangays had a delightful time experiencing the carnival rides set up at the Kalayaan Grounds of Malacañang.
Admission to the area is free, with the condition that visitors undergo security checks conducted by the Presidential Security Group (PSG).
In addition to children, students from nearby universities and colleges also took pleasure in the diverse carnival rides and attractions.
“It’s going back to the time of FM (Ferdinand Marcos Sr.), of the time of his father when they opened up the Palace to the people because he also said this is the Palace of the people,” said Dina Tantoco, deputy social secretary.
“So dapat i-open natin ang Malacañang during that time before Christmas,” she added.
The Malacañang carnival will remain accessible until December 23, operating from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. In addition to the carnival attractions, food stalls have been set up in the vicinity. The Kalayaan Ground is also available for individuals attending the traditional Simbang Gabi.
“This is the first time that the Palace grounds have been opened for the entire nine Simbang Gabi nights,” newly appointed presidential adviser Undersecretary Cesar Chavez said.
“This holiday, President BBM and his family organized a special treat for Filipinos, especially children. Children, I believe, would love to enjoy the spirit of the season right inside the Palace grounds. Kids can enjoy the rides installed in a carnival setting, or take selfies in front of the magnificently-lighted Christmas tree, or families can just walk around the lush garden and savor the cool evening breeze,” he said.
“Opening the Palace this Christmas to the public is his way of saying ‘welcome home’,” Chavez added.