Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wished good to the Filipino people on her 72nd birthday on Friday.
Arroyo also thanked all the people who had stuck with her through thick and thin after the 8 a.m. mass celebrated in her honor at the San Agustin Church in her hometown of Lubao in Pampanga.
In her speech, the former president said she would like to be remembered as bringing fiscal stability to the country after a global financial crisis.
“I like to think that my legacy will center around restoring our country’s fiscal stability after the storms on financial crisis here and abroad. The restoration of fiscal stability was the platform for my program that built more and better infrastructures, and that reduced our poverty from 39 percent when I assumed the presidency, to 26 percent when I left the presidency,” she said.
The Speaker also repeated her earlier statement that she will concentrate on writing her memoirs and serving as consultant of the Pampanga provincial government after she steps down from her post on 30 June 2019.
“Sinabi ni (Pampanga) Governor (Lilia) Pineda na sabihin ko sa inyo na upang patuloy ko pa na matulungan ang Pampanga, ako ay magiging consultant ng probinsya,” Arroyo said in capampangan.
Joining Arroyo in the church were her family, husband Atty. Mike Arroyo, children, former Reps. Mikey and Dato and their children, several members of the House of Representatives, Pineda, local officials of Pampanga and numerous friends and relatives.
Before the mass, Arroyo joined Pineda in the ceremonial opening of the Hot Air Balloon Festival at Pradera Verde in Lubao at 6 a.m.
Several ambassadors also personally greeted her as they paid a courtesy call on her in her house in Lubao. They were H.E. Ali Ibrahim Al-Malki, of the State of Qatar, H.E. Daniel Robert Pruce of the United Kingdom and H.E. Songkane Luangmuninthone of Laos.