PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was born 59 summers ago to the late President Diosdado P. Macapagal and his wife, the late Evangelina Macaraeg. As the daughter of a legislator who later became the President of the Republic, the young Gloria Macaraeg Macapagal was exposed to the demands of public life and service early in her life. She was 14 years old when her father was elected President.
As a student, our incumbent President was very diligent, graduating valedictorian of her high school class and magna cum laude for her baccalaureate degree, both at Assumption College. She proceeded to study for two years at Georgetown University and upon returning to the Philippines, she obtained her masteras degree in economics at the Ateneo de Manila. She taught economics at the Ateneo, the University of the Philippines, and Assumption College. Subsequently, she enrolled and obtained a Doctor of Philosophy in economics from the University of the Philippines.
President Arroyo started to serve a wider public when she joined the government as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry in 1987. She was promoted to Undersecretary two years later. In her concurrent position as Executive Director of the Garments and Textile Export Board, she oversaw the rapid growth of the garments industry in the late 1980s. …