Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Flowers fell The Philippines' Aquino

Benigno Aquino survived a deadly assassination attempt during his struggle to the top of bare-knuckle Philippine politics, but there is one foe the president cannot beat: flowers.

MANILA // Benigno Aquino survived a deadly assassination attempt during his struggle to the top of bare-knuckle Philippine politics, but there is one foe the president cannot beat: flowers.

Mr Aquino's spokeswoman Abigail Valte revealed yesterday that the 53-year-old was taking a sick day due to his allergy to flowers.

"He has an adverse reaction when he is exposed to many flowers at proximity," Mr Valte told reporters.

"He is feeling under the weather. The president will instead remain in Manila to take a bit of rest."

Ms Valte said the president suffered an allergy attack on Tuesday after attending a national police ceremony, where many floral decorations were set up.

She said Mr Aquino had a similar allergic reaction during a state visit to Australia last year, when he was forced to miss an official function.

The situation is so serious that floral arrangements at the presidential palace are sited in "strategic places" to prevent them from setting off the president's allergy, according to Ms Valte.

Mr Aquino, a bachelor known for dating younger woman as well as an avid shooting enthusiast, is regarded as one of Philippine politics' ultimate political survivors.

His father was shot dead in 1983 at Manila airport as he returned from exile to lead the democracy movement against dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The son was himself hit by five bullets when rebel soldiers mounted a coup attempt against his mother, then-president Corazon Aquino, in 1987.

Three of Mr Aquino's security guards were killed in what his mother said was a failed attempt to kill her son. He still has one of the bullets stuck in his neck.

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greeted by university students as he leaves Sistan University in Sistan and Baluchestan’s provincial capital of Zahedan on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

In Iran’s most troubled province, Rouhani hears pleas for change

Hassan Rounani aims to connect with residents of far-flung Sistan and Baluchestan province.

 Prince Bandar bin Sultan in Riyadh on March 3, 2007. Hassan Ammar / AFP Photo

Saudi Prince Bandar promised a victory he could not deliver

Saudi Arabia's controversial intelligence chief stepped down this week after rumours that his policies on Syria had fallen out of favour.

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish spiritual leader Fethullah Gulen. AFP Photo

The inner workings of Gulen’s ‘parallel state’

Fethullah Gulen's followers are accused of trying to push Turkey's prime minister from power.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National