Tag Archives: rice

Final Answer: President Aquino Says He Went To Sleep After Learning About The Kidapawan Massacre

imageMANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – In the United States, the president has to wake up to answer a 3 a.m. call if there is a crisis.  In the Philippines, the president goes to sleep.

For over a week, Philippine President Noynoy Aquino chose to remain silent on the April 1 Kidapawan massacre which killed and injured farmers who staged a peaceful protest to ask for rice to feed their families who had nothing to eat because of the El Niño effect on crops in Mindanao.

Today, finally, Aquino talked about the massacre and why he has not said a word about this unfortunate incident.

“Alam po niyo, talagang 24/7, 365 days ang trabaho ko po, paminsan-minsan po nagrereklamo na rin ‘yung katawan ko,” Aquino said. “Kaya nung Biyernes ng gabi, bigla ho tayong nagkaroon ng trangkaso. Giniginaw, naka-sweater, balot na balot, walang aircon, walang electric fan, pinilit nating matulog sabay nagkakonti pang problema kinabukasan pati ‘yung ating sikmura at talaga naman pong pinayuhan ng doktor kailangan magpahinga raw maski konti,” he added.

(You know really, my job is 24/7, 365 days and once in a while, my body complains.  On Friday night (on the day of the massacre), I came down with the flu all of a sudden.  I was having chills, had a sweater on, fully wrapped, no airconditioning, no electric fan, I tried hard to sleep and the next morning I had more problems  involving my stomach, so the doctor advised me to rest even for just a short period.)

Responding to a question from The Adobo Chronicles on why it took Aquino more than a week to make a statement about the incident, the president said that his press secretary and staff were on a week-long annual holiday in a beach resort in Palawan so no one could help him write a good excuse for not immediately responding to the massacre. He added: “It was only this morning that my press secretary reported back for work, but I think he did a good job in coming up with a good reason for my one-week silence, don’t you think?”

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REPORTS OF ARSENIC IN RICE PROMPT PHILIPPINE LAWMAKERS TO MAKE PAN DE SAL THE NATIONAL STAPLE

Pan de Sal
Pan de Sal

Manila, Philippines – Rice is the main staple food of the Filipinos.  It is estimated that each household eats an average of almost 500 kilograms of rice per year. While Philippine farms produce rice quite extensively, the country often resorts to rice importation to supplement local demand.

It is therefore not surprising that Filipinos are alarmed at recent reports and studies showing the presence of arsenic (poison chemical) in rice and rice products. (See latest article from The New York Times).

To appease the growing anxiety among the population over arsenic-tainted rice, Philippine lawmakers have moved quickly to make pan de sal the new national staple in place of rice. The wheat-based delicacy is the Filipinos’ choice of breakfast bread or dinner roll.

While lawmakers realize that their action will cost the country millions of pesos in wheat importation, they said that the health and safety of the citizens are of greater concern.  Wheat is not produced locally and the Philippines imports 100% of its wheat and flour requirements. The Philippines is one of the top destinations for U.S. wheat exports.

The lawmakers are confident that the Filipino people will adjust easily to the change in staple from rice to pan de sal because the latter goes well with many Filipino dishes like adobo, pancit, dinuguan, menudo and queso de bola.