September 25, 2008. Our Constitutional Law 1 professor, who happens to be the Dean of the Ateneo School of Government, made us go to Bantayog ng Mga Bayani and Malacanang Palace instead of holding our usual late afternoon class in UP to talk about extraordinary powers of the chief executive.
It was a good time to talk about the topic, since incidentally it was also the week of the 36th anniversary of Pres. Ferdinand Marcos’ imposition of Martial Law.
First stop was Bantayog ng Mga Bayani near the National Power Corporation compound along Quezon Avenue. The place serves as a memorial to the hundreds of martyrs, from students and workers to the priests and nuns who fought the dictatorship decades ago. It was an inspiring reminder of how valiantly our people confronted the oppression that prevailed and a stark reminder of how we should uphold and continue to fight for the freedom that we all value.
After an hour or so, we all proceeded to Malacanang Palace in Manila, which we all know, unless you’re not a Filipino, is the seat of the Chief Executive of the country.
Of course, the only part we, or the general public get to see, is the museum area or the Kalayaan Hall building of the Palace compound, which was not totally uninteresting because the same compound served as the past Governor Generals and past Presidents’ working area. Among the rooms in the building were the room from where President Marcos broadcasted his Martial Law proclamation, and the cabinet meeting rooms of pre-Martial Law presidents and even the offices of the Spanish and American Governor Generals. We also got to sit at the same chairs they sat on, among other perks. Or perhaps it was only because the curator allowed us preferentially.
After the tour of the Malacanang museum, our professor gave a brief lecture on the extraordinary powers of the chief executive based on the constitution. After his lecture, he was supposed to bring us to Mall of Asia for dinner, but instead he asked us to proceed to Intramuros.
We had dinner at this restaurant called Barbara’s adjacent to San Agustin Church. It had a really old-rich Spanish colonial feel to it. Even the air in the restaurant smelled old and musky. We were the only group in the place. The food was great, however. It was relatively expensive, but well, it was our professor’s treat.