If there’s one venue that has been a witness to the country’s political history aside from the Malacanan Palace, it would be the century-old Club Filipino.
Read as “kloob,” Club Filipino’s history dates back, even before the 20th century, to November 6, 1898—shortly after the Philippine Independence from the Spaniards on June 12.
According to its website, Club Filipino was called originally as Club Filipino Independiente (Independent Filipino Club in English).
It started out as the first exclusive social club in the Philippines frequented by illustrados (rich and educated Filipinos), elites, and native aristocrats of the early Filipino high society.
It counted among its members General Antonio Luna and the country’s first president, General Emilio Aguinaldo, who also served as one of the club’s honorary president.
Four years after its establishment, the Club was renamed the Club International in line with the American occupation in the country at that time.
In 1905, the club members debated with the government—then influenced by the Americans—over a proposal to drop “Independiente” from Club Filipino. Hence, the club’s present name.
Before President Benigno Aquino III makes his 2016 presidential candidate known on Friday, July 31, Club Filipino was witness to:
* Corazon “Cory” Aquino’s oathtaking as the country’s first woman president on February 25, 1986, following a bloodless people’s revolt that toppled a dictator in then President Ferdinand Marcos.
*Ilocos Sur Governor Luis “Chavit” Singson’s allegations of corruption against then President Joseph Estrada in 2001 that resulted in his ouster via a second popular revolt dubbed “the second people power revolution”.
Estrada was replaced by his vice president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who would stay in Malacanang for nine years, including the six in which she won the presidency in 2004.
*Another Aquino’s ascension to power with then Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III being endorsed by the Liberal Party in 2009 as its standard bearer in the 2010 elections.
The young Aquino became a popular choice following the death of his mother and former President Corazon Aquino in August 2009.
Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas, who was being eyed as LP standard bearer in 2010, gave way to his friend.
Aquino is expected to return the favour this Friday when he announces his endorsement of Roxas as his candidate in 2016.
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