‘Party event center’: Bianca Manalo’s birthday party at Malacañang earns flak

November 30, 2023 - 12:19 PM
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Actress Bianca Manalo, First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr and Sen. Win Gatchalian in Malacañang in this photo on Bianca's Instagram on Nov. 29, 2023 (biancamanalo/Instagram)

The birthday celebration of actress Bianca Manalo at the Malacañang earned flak from Filipinos who questioned the private function at the president’s official residence and workplace.

The actress, who is Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian‘s girlfriend of five years, shared pictures of the celebration on Instagram where she said she was “beyond grateful” for commemorating her birthday in the Palace.

“Never in my wildest dreams have I ever thought of celebrating my birthday in Malacañang, to be hosted by our very own President Bongbong Marcos and First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos,” she said on Wednesday, November 29.

“Together with the Philippine Senators and Spouses. I am beyond grateful!” the actress said with emojis of a grinning face and the Philippine flag.

“I am 37 but still feels 27,” Bianca added with emojis.


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A post shared by Bianca Manalo (@biancamanalo)

Other personalities spotted in her pictures were presidential sister Sen. Imee Marcos, Sen. Nancy Binay, Sen. JV Ejercito, Sen. Joel Villanueva and Sen. Bong Revilla. Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano was also present.

The event drew flak from some Filipinos who were displeased with how the Palace became a venue for a supposed private celebration of a non-public official.

“Ginawang birthday place ang Malacañang. NAOL [Sana all],” an Instagram user commented.

“Pwede pala mag-celebrate ng birthday sa Malacañang ang hindi naman taga-Malacañang, na jowa ng Senador,” another user wrote.

“Gamit na gamit pera namin ahhhh,” commented a different Filipino, referring to people’s taxes used to fund public expenditures in the country.

“Hoy, kailan pa naging party event center ang Palacio?” another user commented to Bianca’s post.

Bianca was not the only one who had a birthday event in the Palace.

Last July, former first lady Imelda Marcos celebrated her 94th birthday at the Malacañang’s Kalayaan Hall.

The Bayanihan Dance Company, the national folk dance company of the country, performed at the event.

The Marcos matriarch was known for hosting lavish celebrations during the presidency of her husband, late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

Months after Imelda’s birthday event, the Palace was once again used to host a fashion show for Michael Leyva’s 65-piece collection called “Isang Pilipinas.”

The usage of the venue earned flak from the public who thought it “extravagant” and “insensitive” as ordinary Filipinos dealt with the aftermath of typhoons and a high inflation rate, among others, at that time.

RELATED: ‘Wasteful,’ ‘Capitol of Panem’: Reactions to Malacañang fashion show

Isabelle Duterte, one of the granddaughters of former president Rodrigo Duterte, also held a glamorous photo shoot for her pre-debut in the Palace before.

The Malacañang is the country’s seat of power, serving as the sitting president’s official residence and principal workplace where he executes his duties as the highest official of the land.

Former president Ramon Magsaysay also calls it the “Palace of the People.” The same phrase can be seen in a plaque inside the property.

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