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12 Interesting Facts To Expect on President Rodrigo Duterte’s Inauguration

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte
President-elect Rodrigo Duterte

Borrowing Barney Stinsons line, all we can say is this inaugration is … “LEGEN…” wait for it… “…DARY!”

Barney Stinson Legendary

Based on the news and stories about the preparation for the 16th President Rodrigo Duterte’s inauguration, Philippine Communications Office (PCO) incoming Secretary Martin Andanar calls the preparation “simple and frugal”.

Yes, it’s simple and frugal because it’s Duterte: the simple man who attained the big dream for the country.  Duterte had always pledged  the “simple and frugal” way before he mustered to attract 16 million Filipino votes in the 2016 Philippine Elections.

President-Elect Rody Duterte insisted on this “tall order” and with the preparation comes very interesting facts that YOU MAY or MAY NOT LIKE. =)

And here are our list of things that you can expect on Duterte’s Inauguration day on June 30 (Thursday):


(12) Duterte to Fly in on a Commercial Flight

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte
President-elect Rodrigo Duterte (

“I’ll go there on the day of my oath of office, not before,” Duterte told media.

He even joked:

“‘Pag na-delay ‘yung flight, walang oath-taking (If the flight is delayed, no oath-taking).”

On his first weeks at work, he plans to take a commercial 2-hour flight from Davao City (his home town) to Manila daily until he gets the hang of working from the Palace.

And here I thought he needed to borrow a jet from his friend, Quiboloy, to take the daily commute from Davao to the Palace and then vice versa.

A night-owl, he is expected to start working as early as 1PM daily after his inauguration as president.


(11) No Robredo in Duterte’s Inauguration?

Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte and Incoming Vice President Leni Robredo. (Rappler)
Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte and Incoming Vice President Leni Robredo. (Rappler)

Up to this date, no report can confirm of an invitation to incoming Vice President Leni Robredo from President-elect Duterte’s team. One thing’s for sure: there will be a separate inauguration for the incoming president and incoming vice president.

Aren’t we surprised? Nah.

According to Tatay Digong’s official photobomber and Executive Assistant Bong Go said in a Philippine Star interview:

“We believe that Leni Robredo’s family and supporters who worked hard for her deserve also to be present to celebrate her victory. And this can only be possible through a separate inauguration.”


(10) Duterte’s Inauguration at Rizal Hall of Malacañang

Rizal Hall
On January 12, 2015, President Benigno S. Aquino III hosted a vin d’honneur at the Rizal Ceremonial Hall to start the new year. Photo by the Malacañang Photo Bureau (

Since time and memories etched in the Philippine history, seven presidents have been inaugurated at the Quirino Grandstand: Elpidio Quirino (1949), Ramon Magsaysay (1953), Carlos P. Garcia (1957), Diosdado Macapagal (1961), Ferdinand Marcos (1965, 1969, 1981), Fidel Ramos (1992), and President Benigno S. Aquino III (2010).

However, Duterte has chosen to have a simple and straight-forward inauguration and it was agreed that the most feasible and historical location would be the Rizal Ceremonial Hall.

The largest room of Malacañang Palace, Rizal Hall (named after the Philippine National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal) is often used for large dinners and assemblies. It is also where the annual Vin d’Honneur is organized.

It was only in June 19, 2003, by virtue of Proclamation No. 407 that the Ceremonial Hall had been named “Rizal Ceremonial Hall” in tribute to the hero’s martyrdom, and whose sentence was passed in Malacañan Palace.

Historical in nature, Rizal Hall is also:

  • where the remains of former President Ramon Magsaysay was seen lying in state.
  • former President Ferdinand E. Marcos took oath of office in February 25, 1986.

It will also be the inauguration venue of the first Mindanaoan President of the Republic of the Philippines.


(9) Visitors Limited to 627 Guest

Duterte Ceremony Limited to 627 Guest
In this picture, President Benigno S. Aquino III addresses the 2012 The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) awarding ceremony at the Rizal Hall of the Malacañan Palace on Wednesday (January 09). For more than half-a-century, the TOYM has become an institution, having honored countless young leaders who have accomplished considerable, tangible results in the pursuit of excellence. (Malacañang Photo Bureau). (

Due to the limited space of the inauguration hall, the guests of President Digong’s inauguration is limited to 500. But as of the latest report, the list has jumped to 627. According to Secretary Andanar, the list may increase, decrease or remain as is. Nevertheless, the list is still way below and it seems frugal compared to his predecessor’s inauguration.


(8) No Traditional Media Coverage … At Rizal Hall Venue

No Media in Dutertes Inauguration Hall
Image from

Duterte’s inauguration is definitely off-limits to media. If there is an official media coverage on the inauguration, it will be limited to the Radio TV Malacañang (RTVM), and the in-house presidential videographers. These will be the only source of their live-feeds that they will be broadcasting live.

The traditional media outfits have been given spaces on the Malacanan Palace grounds to setup their equipments, however. This has nothing to do with Digong’s “boycott” to the media. According to the reports, the decision was made due to the venue limitations.

Duterte’s incoming administration does not intend to avoid the media in his 6 years in office. He can be hot and cold with them (the media). But the thing is the traditional media, yes the traditional media,  won’t stop for any coverage about this new Philippine president. He is big news, anyways.


(7) Facebook LIVE feeds for Filipinos Here and Abroad

Facebook Live on Duterte's Inauguration
Incoming Secretary Martin Andanar leads a meeting with Facebook Southeast Asia’s Elizabeth Hernandez. Photo from Martin Andanar (

Facebook is by far the strongest and the most used social media platform in the Philippines. The same platform that gave Duterte the organic and volunteer-driven “machinery” during the Presidential campaign would also be the major new media outfit to cover Digong’s inauguration.

Facebook Southeast Asia’s Elizableth Hernandez offered to help Duterte’s Team to ensure that this will happen smoothly.

So with Facebook LIVE alone, it is expected that around 50+ million Filipinos in the Philippines and another 10,000,000 Filipinos abroad can watch the inauguration of the first elected “social media” president of the country.

Now, you want to view Duterte’s inauguration? All you need is an internet connection, a smartphone and Facebook app (either android or istore).


(6) Tatay Digong Wears Barong On the Inauguration

Duterte Wearing a Barong
An old photo from Eagle News where then Presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte Meets Iglesia Ni Cristo Executive Minister Eduardo V. Manalo. (EagleNews.PH)

President-elect Duterte once defied by saying publicly that barongs are for funerals, not inauguration. President-elect Duterte even complains that the Barong is itchy to wear.

A satirical website also mentions of Bruno Mars modeling for another alternative look for Duterte’s inauguration. Will Duterte look good on this?

Bruno Mars Look for Rodrigo Duterte
Bruno Mars Look for Rodrigo Duterte (Adobo Chronicles)

But based on reports now, Duterte is set to wear a Php 6,500 barong on inauguration designed by a 42-year old haberdashery Bonie Adaza from Davao.

Adaza has been designing barongs for Duterte since 2009 and it is his first one to design barongs with unique tribal costumes of Mindanao. He has enlisted the help of a fellow friend designer Chard Pulache to complete the design of the 12 sporty barong designs that the incoming president will wear.

Duterte Barong Designers
Duterte’s Barong Designers are Bonie Adaza (left) and Chad Pulache, of Chardin in Davao City (MindaNews Photo by Antonio L. Colina IV)

Read also about Philippine Barong Fashion here


(5) “Awkward” Moments with Duterte’s Ladies

Dutertes Ladies - Zimmerman and Avacena
Elizabeth Zimmerman (L) and Honeylet Avanceña (Image courtesy of CNN Philippines)

Elizabeth Zimmerman is invited to attend inauguration of Tatay Digong. Afterall, she is the first wife. Their love story might have ended in an annulment in 2000, President-elect Duterte still takes care of her as mother of her three kids: Davao City Mayor Sarah Duterte-Carpio, the iron-willed Paolo and heart-throb Baste.

To avoid “awkward” moments, Ms. Zimmerman is planning to ask the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) to seat her, her children and grandchildren away from Duterte’s present partner during the inauguration.

Who is Duterte’s First lady?

Considering the situation, President Digong currently decides not to have a first lady.


(4) Brief Encounter with Outgoing President Benigno Aquino III

Outgoing President Aquino (R) and Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte

Duterte has broken so much of the flare of the Philippine president inauguration. One of them is the simple salubong, engkwentro and then the sending off. According to incoming presidential spokesperson Ernie Abella, it will not be exactly according to the traditional procedures.

Based on the previous presidents  experience:

  • Former President Estrada, on the other hand, fetched outgoing president Fidel Ramos from Bulacan Capitol and then shared a coach ride to Barasoain church where he took oath at exactly 12 nn of June 30.
  • Aquino shared a ride with outgoing president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from the Palace to Quirino Grandstand where he took oath.

For Aquino and Duterte transition, President Duterte will arrive at 10:30 AM to visit the president at the Reception Hall and sign at the guest book. After this, Duterte will lead the departure honors for outgoing president Benigno Aquino III.

Duterte will then proceed to the Rizal Hall for the Inauguration and then Aquino will go straight to his vehicle for his departure from the Palace.


(3) 5-minute Inauguration Speech

Duterte's 5-minute Speech in a Barong

If the news are to be believed, the speech of the incoming president will be the shortest ever.  According to Duterte, after the inauguration, he will go LIVE to address the nation in a 5-minute speech.

“I’ll go nationwide on TV and I’ll just spell out my governance in five minutes,” Duterte told reporters.

The speech is written by Duterte’s long time speech writer Davao City Administrator Jesus Melchor Quitain. According to Quitain, the speech is a straight-forward statement of what Duterte would like to convey to the nation and what can people expect from his presidency.

The speech is short because it will just detail the plan of Duterte and his secretaries will expound each one of them in their given forums.

View here the full text of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Inauguration Speech


(2) No Vin D’Honneur. No Champagne, Caviar and Cheeses.

Duterte Receiving US Ambassador Goldberg (1)
President-elect Duterte Receiving US Ambassador Goldberg. (

After the inaugration, President Digong is expected to deliver his 5-minute speech and then will proceed in the oath-taking of his cabinet officials and then formal introduction of the diplomatic corps assisted by incoming Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr.

There will be no Vin D’Honneur which was a French tradition adopted by several Presidential proclamations before. It simply means “Wine of Honour” and is often done after an official ceremony or celebration.

Since it is no longer Vin D’Honneur, don’t expect, champagne, caviar and cheese.” Andanar adds.

It will still be a Diplomatic Reception. Di ba?


(1) Reception Menu Highlight: Maruya, Buko Juice and Durian

Duterte's Inauguration Reception Food (1)
These are the reception menu: Maruya, Buko Juice and Durian.

The presidential reception highlight will be the serving of finger foods composed of: Maruya (banana fritters) and Buko Juice. Andanar on another interview said people should expect Durian. Yes, durian. People like durian. And the Palace will soon smell of durian. That I have to see (and smell) if I have the chance.

Will there be lechon? Let’s wait and see.


Is there any Presidential proclamation as “simple and frugal” as this?

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  1. Dear President Duterte ,
    Congratulation on your speech .Brief but concise .
    I tried to reach you several times re: Raul Andres ‘ drug addiction of
    5636 Don Pedro St. Makati City who reside in my property for over
    50 years without giving a single cent . He stole all my property including
    very important documents . Now I want to sell my property for my Nursing
    Home Care but Raul Andres refused to vacate .He stole everything ,jewelries,
    money and very important papers . Please help a respectable retired teacher .
    Raul Andres is the current driver of Makati Mayor Binay .


    Mrs. Dickson

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