QUEZON CITY, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – Leni Robredo has chosen her vice presidential office — the Quezon City Reception House, formerly known as ‘Boracay Mansion,’ and just like her election, it is wrought in controversy.
The 7,145-square-meter Mediterranean-style building is said to be once the residence of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada’s mistress, movie actress Laarni Enriquez.
Earlier, it was reported that the house was offered to Robredo by Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte without the knowledge of its current occupant, Mayor Herbert Bautista who must now pack up before June 30 to give way to the new VP office.
The incoming VP had decided against holding office at the ostentatious Coconut Palace which is currently the official residence of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
The original Boracay Mansion which has been foreclosed and demolished by the city government, used to have a white sand wave pool equipped with a machine that produces artificial waves. That would have been too opulent for Robredo’s simple lifestyle.
The pool has been replaced with a parking area, enough to accommodate the public bus that Robredo takes when commuting back and forth to her hometown in Naga City.
Robredo really liked the house the moment she first stepped inside — controversies notwithstanding. She even brought in a fung shui consultant to make sure that the bad luck previously associated with the building is banished for good.
The widow of former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo also told The Adobo Chronicles that she will ban the serving of alcohol in her new office. Instead, she will follow the example of President-elect Rod Duterte to serve only buko (coconut) juice to visitors and guests.
She said she will also provide tsinelas (flipflops) for visitors to wear when entering her office — a tradition among many Filipinos.