Sunday, May 13, 2012

Ghosts Keep Estrada Awake

Former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada is finding it hard sleeping in his new residence in Sta. Mesa, Manila. Estrada moved into the half-hectare property at 589 Manga Avenue last Wednesday, the first major step in his campaign to win the race for mayor next year. But it's not political concerns that is keeping Estrada awake nights. It's ghosts. "I'm waiting for ghosts to come out. They say there are lots of ghosts here. I thought (the ghost of) President (Ramon) Magsaysay will show himself to me," Estrada said in Filipino, laughing. He said he is still adjusting in his new home. "The atmosphere is still not so pleasant here. I need to renovate the comfort rooms and change the air conditioning units, which are very old," he said. The house has eight rooms filled with antique furniture. It is surrounded by trees and has a swimming pool. Estrada said he will not tear down the old house he bought from the Legarda clan, but would preserve it because it is the place where former President Ramon Magsaysay used to live. Magsaysay, the seventh Filipino president, was considered as the country's most loved chief executive. He died in a plane crash in 1957. "A little renovation and repainting is all that this place needs. It's hard to tear this down because this is historical. President Magsaysay lived here for awhile that makes me the second president to live here," Estrada said. He shares the house with his wife, former Senator Loi Estrada. The Estradas expect their home to be the remote office for the new members of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) in Manila. "You cannot expect another honeymoon (in this house) because there will always be other people around. If you go into (political) parties again, this is how life going to be," Loi said in a jest. But Mrs. Estrada said moving in felt like a homecoming for them after of four decades living in Greenhills, San Juan. The couple lived in a five-door apartment in Sta. Mesa in 1960.