The Senate of the Philippine is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. As part of its year-long celebration, a centennial dinner was held at the old Congress building, which was attended by incumbent and former members of the Senate.
The legislative body, also called as the Upper Chamber, will celebrate its actual 100th year of existence on October 16. It was established 100 years ago or in 1916 during the American occupation period.
Past and present senators gathered for a reunion dinner to kick off the centennial celebration of the Senate of the Philippines [photo taken from the Senado 100 Facebook page]
The incumbent and former senators who attended the centennial dinner were: Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, former Vice-President Noli de Castro, Senators Santanina Rasul, Eva-Estrada Kalaw, Rene Espina, Grace Poe, Luisa Ejercito Estrada, Risa Hontiveros, Edgardo Ilarde, Emmanuel “Manny” Paquiao, Nancy Binay, Richard Gordon, Franklin Drilon, Anna Dominique Coseteng, Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Juan Ponce Enrile, Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., Leila de Lima, Wigberto Tañada, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Francisco Tatad, Victor Ziga, Gregorio Honasan II, Ralph Recto, Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, Joey Lina Jr., Heherson Alvarez, Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Joel Villanueva, Alfredo Lim, Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Rodolfo Biazon, Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian and Cynthia Villar.
It was a reunion of sorts also for Senate Presidents Koko Pimentel, Frank Drilon, Juan Ponce Enrile and Aquilino ‘Nene’ Pimentel. [photo taken from Senado 100 Facebook page
There was a reunion also of former Senate Presidents which include the present Senate President, Koko Pimentel and Former Senate Presidents Franklin Drilon (2000; 2001- 2004; 2004- 2006; 2013- 2016), Juan Ponce Enrile (2008- 2010; 2010- 2013) and Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. (2000- 2001). Two other former Senate Presidents, Edgardo Angara (1993-1995) and Manuel Villar Jr. (2006-2008), were unable to attend the event.
Senate President Pimentel III, in his keynote speech, said that throughout the years, different generations of senators have enacted relevant laws, checked abuses in government, and concurred in beneficial treaties. “Why has the Senate lasted this long? Because all of us, who have served the Senate – and that means all of us here- have served with utmost dedication and devotion to the best interests of the Filipino people,” he said.
Pimentel admitted that the present generation of senators faced many challenges but “whatever be the challenge, the Philippine Senate will fulfill the Filipino people’s dreams of a better Philippines. We will stay true to our duty and continue to be relevant to our peoples’ lives and our country’s history.”
Besides the political luminaries present during the centennial dinner, there were celebrities too such as Batangas 6th District Representative Vilma Santos-Recto (wife of Sen. Ralph Recto), Helen Gamboa-Sotto (wife of Tito Sotto), and Heart Evangelista-Escudero (wife of Chiz Escudero).
Actress Heart Evangelista (wife of Sen. Chiz Escudero) and Batangas 6th District Representative Vilma Santos (wife of Sen. Ralph Recto) provided star power in the centennial dinner
Entertainment was provided by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra and singer Dulce. A well-applauded traditional Filipino dance was also performed by Senate spouses Audrey Zubiri, Gladys Villanueva, and Elvira Angara during the Senate centennial dinner.
More activities are lined up during the year to mark Senate’s 100th year anniversary. Earlier this year, the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) launched the Senate centennial commemorative stamp designed by artist Luis E. Yee, Jr.. It features the Philippine flag and Senate logo from 1987 to the present.