P-Noy Feels Right At Home in Milpitas City
AS HE KEEPS HIS “BUDGETARIAN” STREAK ALIVE
By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA (firstname.lastname@example.org) & RONNIE M. ESTRADA (© 2010 Journal Group Link International)
(PICTURE) Warm Greetings – Under a scorching 95-degree sun, the big crowd of supporters keeps the security details busy as they jostle to shake the hands of President Noynoy Aquino, who just finished his lunch at Max’s Restaurant in Season Market Mall on Landess Avenue, Milpitas City, California Saturday noon. Mr. Aquino also visited other Filipino American establishments inside the mall. ( Photos by Fernando “Ronie” Estrada, U.S. News Las Vegas, Correspondence Photographer, San Jose, California )
MILPITAS, California (jGLi) – President Noynoy Aquino may be on the other part of the world Saturday (Sept. 25) but he certainly wanted to feel at home in Milpitas City, California as far as his gastronomic taste is concerned.
Mr. Aquino could have sampled an Italian or Chinese food but he turned to a chicken fast food chain whose taste has a familiar ring to many Filipinos – Max’s Restaurant – at Season’s Market Place (Mall) on Landess Avenue in Milpitas. The city at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay, also known as “Crossroads of Silicon Valley,” is home to 70,817 residents, composed of 52% Asians with Filipinos comprising the majority based on 2,000 Census.
Fresh from revisiting his taste of hotdogs at a New York street corner, Mr. Aquino selected the newly opened Max Restaurant at the mall. But reporters could not join him in the fully booked fast food chain fried chicken built, so the Manila-based reporters repaired to nearby Yellow Cub Pizza while Filipino American reporters dined at Chow King.
It was hard to tell how much money the President forked out. But at $15 to $20 per person, Max’s restaurant’s was a steal when compared to the lavish meals his predecessor partook in New York’s Le Cirque restaurant favored by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, whose host dropped in $20,000 (nearly 1 million pesos).
More wasteful still was the lunch in a five-star hotel in Chicago, Illinois paid in advance by the Philippine Consulate of the Midwest that was never served to the Filipino community members when Mrs. Arroyo cut short her U.S. trip last year following the death of former President Cory Aquino. Mrs. Arroyo should have asked one of the Cabinet officials in her entourage to take a detour to Chicago and stood and spoke in her place.
While President Aquino was having his meal, a Filipino crowd was building up in front of Max’s. Despite the very warm temperature, the crowd even got bigger. When President Aquino had tarried to come out, some in the crowd were screaming “P-Noy, “P-Noy.”
The restless crowd was told the President was just putting away his cigarette stick. As soon as the President emerged from the restaurant, the crowd warmed towards him and he gamely started shaking their hands to the discomfort of his American security details.
The President would later motor towards Hewlett-Packard’s world headquarters in nearby Cupertino City, where he witnessed the expansion plans of one of the world’s largest information technology companies.
A barong or black-tie gala of the Philippine Development Forum would follow at the Fairmont Hotel in nearby San Jose.
After delivering his speech at the $200-a-plate dinner attended by overflowing crowd of over a thousand, the President joined a “chikka-chikka” (off-camera) after-dinner coffee with the Philippine and Filipino American media before 10 p.m. that lasted for about two hours.
On Sunday, the Presidential party will attend a mass with a Filipino-American community at Mission Dolores Church in San Francisco. The President is to deliver a speech after the mass.
Mr. Aquino will have be a sit-down interview with The Filipino Channel (TFC) at a “Town Hall Meeting” at Redwood City at 5 p.m.. The “Pinoys for Good Governance” will host the President at 7 p.m. at Grand Hyatt Burlingame, where the President will be interviewed by GMA-7’s Sandra Aguinaldo at 7:45 p.m., less than three hours before the departure of the presidential party for Manila aboard Philippine Airlines PR 205.