Enrile’s wife Cristina and daughter Katrina sang for the guests

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SENATE President Juan Ponce Enrile became emotional and shed tears during the launch of his memoir. PHOTO BY JOSEPH VIDAL

Marcos, Aquino, Ramos, Estrada. Tick off the names, and every political dynasty—but one—was represented at the launch of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s memoir, which was so well-attended it caused horrendous traffic on Makati and Ayala Avenues in Makati Thursday night.

The high-profile affair at Peninsula Manila brought together the country’s most powerful, many of whom—as the political tides changed—were once either close allies or bitter enemies.

SENATE President Juan Ponce Enrile signs a copy for economist Winnie Monsod. PHOTO BY JOSEPH VIDAL

“Juan Ponce Enrile: A Memoir” is “simply my own rendition of what I know to be true because I was there, and I lived through and survived all these events,” the 88-year-old senator said. A true survivor, he has prevailed in six political administrations through five decades.

Enrile broke down as he recalled his humble beginnings as a son out of wedlock of a housemaid and a prominent lawyer.

“As I struggled toward the steep and difficult ascent to social recognition, I had to surmount the almost impregnable barriers of poverty and ignorance,” he said. “The pain and despair of the oppressed, I knew only too well, for I was one of them.”

SENATE President Juan Ponce Enrile, with son Jackie and daughter Katrina, welcomes President Aquino. PHOTO BY JOSEPH VIDAL

President Aquino, whom Enrile presented the first copy of his book, gave a speech and stayed throughout the event, which lasted for some three hours.

Colorful encounters

“I am truly humbled that in spite of my rather colorful political encounters with the martyred Benigno C. Aquino Jr. and the much-admired icon of democracy, the late President Corazon C. Aquino, the President has so kindly looked at this book just for what it is—a personal account of my beginnings and my experiences as I traversed many crossroads along my way,” Enrile said.

ABS-CBN OFFICIALS congratulate Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile. PHOTO BY JOSEPH VIDAL

Apart from government, high society, business movers and the diplomatic community were represented. The top management of ABS-CBN, which published the book, was also present. Nelson Navarro edited the memoir.

Oscar M. Lopez, chair emeritus of First Philippine Holdings and patriarch of the clan, and Vice President Jejomar Binay delivered speeches.

Former President Joseph Estrada, who also took to the podium, had the audience giggling as he acknowledged his “one and only wife,” former Sen. Loi Ejercito, in the audience.

LOPEZ Group chair emeritus Oscar Lopez and wife Connie welcome President Aquino. PHOTO BY JOSEPH VIDAL

Enrile’s wife, Cristina, entertained guests with a performance of the Portuguese song “Manha de Carnaval,” and Rodger and Hammestein’s “If I Loved You” in a duet with daughter Katrina. Son Jackie, who’s running for senator, also gave a speech.

“Everybody was friendly with one another,” a guest noted the vibes of the social mix.

While Imelda Marcos was spotted lining up to buy a copy of the book, the Arroyos were conspicuously unrepresented in the multipolitical-color event.

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  • dequis

    Isn’t it more of a HOW-TO book than a memoir? — how-to on telling lies, on feuding with a fellow mamatay tao na si Gen Ver, on staging a fake ambush, on killing a daughter’s boyfriend and hide the truth about it, on raising a son that would grow into a killer and build an ambition for him to become a senator, on turning his back from a dictator and make people believe he did it more for the benefit of the country than his own survival, on logging our forest (isn’t it mentioned there?), on writing a garbage book.

  • g219h

    What  bloody hypocrites….just look around Manila, while the homeless and kids roaming the streets starving, these so-called socialites and political mongrels partying.

    Shameless!

    Gising taong bayan. HUWAG botohin ang mga kamag-anakan sa Senado. Enough with the dynasty. Parang negosyo na ang politika sa bansa.

    If these so called  kamag-anakans have the skills, they should run their business or get a job , rather than get elected, and get the pork barrell to continue enriching themselves.

    Nakakahiya.

  • bugabee

    “The pain and despair of the oppressed, I knew only too well, for I was one of them.”

    And you contributed immensely–and continue to contribute even while you’re slowly dying–to the pain and despair of the oppressed you were once with. Hahh!! No political power and money could save your soul.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7FFCQNX2TROQZQS3DJRDTWMQDE abot

    rewriting history. ini-ulol ang mga pilipino.

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