It never occurred to most of the guests who arrived at the ELJCC (Eugenio Lopez Jr. Communication Center) that the building was never formally dedicated.
Finally, on November 4, 2010—the 82nd birthday of Eugenio "Geny" Lopez Jr., after whom the building was named—its marker was officially unveiled by no less than President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, along with with Geny's brothers, Oscar and Manolo, and Geny's son, Eugenio "Gabby" Lopez III.
In his welcome remarks, Gabby Lopez explained why "we're having this ceremony only now when this building is already ten years old."
As "Sir Gabby"—the name by which the president and CEO of ABS-CBN is called in the industry—said the occasion was actually the network's "third attempt" to dedicate the building.
The first was in 2000, but this coincided with the arrival of typhoon Reming. The second was in January 2001, but this was the start of former President Joseph Estrada's impeachment which led to the People Power 2 revolution that overthrew Estrada.
Continuing his story, "With President Aquino with us now, it seems he has determined that now is the time that the Lopez Communications Center be dedicated. It is by fate that we have President Aquino himself to honor this dedication ceremony."
PNOY'S SPEECH. For his part, President Noynoy talked about the Pinoy pasko and ABS-CBN's role in "influencing the viewers."
He underscored the crucial role of media. In his words, in "raising public awareness and molding public opinion, especially on issues of development and, more importantly, accountability."
The Bayan Mo, Ipatrol Mo. Ako Ang Simula campaign of Channel 2, the President said, is a good way for Filipinos to participate in nation-building.
"Sa ganitong klaseng proyekto, nabibigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga Pilipino na makiisa sa paglilingkod sa bayan sa pamamagitan ng masusing pagmamatyag sa gobyerno," PNOY said.
Next, he acknowledged the outstanding efforts of Regina "Gina" Lopez, chief of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, for her efforts to clean up the river, and for holding successful events such as the recent Run for Pasig River.
Lastly, he thanked the Lopezes who have been active "in ensuring progress in our country."
The son of former Senator Ninoy Aquino and former President Cory Aquino recounted that his "Manong Geny Lopez," father of Gabby and Gina, was jailed during the martial law era for his efforts to be of service to the Filipinos, who were then a "silenced people."
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS. That evening, ABS-CBN's Christmas station ID, which salutes Pinoys who have brought pride and honor to our country, was also shown to the small crowd—composed mainly of advertisers.
This year's catchy song, "Ngayong Pasko, Magniningning ang Pilipino,"was recorded by ABS-CBN talents Gary Valenciano and Toni Gonzaga.
And to officially welcome the yuletide season, Christmas lights adorning the three buildings in the Kapamilya compound were simultaneously switched on, with ABS-CBN president Charo Santos-Concio and ABS-CBN Foundation managing director Gina Lopez leading the ceremonies.
Yes, it's that time of year again. As the network tells it year after year: Pasko na, mga Kapamilya!
But the jubilation is tempered by PNOY's request: "Ating ipagbunyi ang tunay na diwa ng Pasko. Habang papalapit ang kaarawan ni Hesus, patuloy sana nating paalabin sa ating mga puso ang pagkakaisa upang mapanatili sa tuwid na landas ang ating bayan, at gawing maningning ang buhay ng mga kapamilya nating Pilipino."
Stars spotted at the event included President Noynoy's sister, Kris Aquino, who was with best buddy Boy Abunda, as well as TV hosts Angel Aquino and KC Concepcion. Also there was Gretchen Barretto, partner of Tony Boy Cojuangco, who is PNOY's cousin.
Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, MTRCB (Movie and Television Review and Classification Board) chief Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares, and TV head Cory Vidanes were also present.