Known easily as one of the best-looking heads of state, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s arrival in Manila went viral on Sunday after he visited a women’s clinic in Tondo and a popular Filipino fast food chain.
A few hours after he landed to a pop star welcome at Clark International Airport in Pampanga to attend the Asean Summit, Trudeau’s photos picking up a baby at NGO Likhaan Center for Women’s Health and having selfies with surprised customers at Jollibee in North Harbor, both in Tondo, flooded the net.
“Can I get it to go? I’ll eat it in the car,” a Reuters report quoted the 45-year-old prime minister.
With many asking how exactly the fast food stop transpired Jollibee executive Jose Minana released a statement that it was Trudeau who requested for the visit. Apparently, the devoted husband and father of three has tasted the Filipino favorite Chicken Joy among other items on the menu when he led the opening of Jollibee’s branch in Winnipeg, Canada.
Trudeau’s unexpected detours, meanwhile, garnered mixed reactions from Filipino netizens. Some were positive, appreciating what seemed to be his special affinity for Filipinos, while others criticized them as publicity stunts. There were posts that even reminded him about an issue that hounded him during his first visit in 2013 regarding garbage Canada illegally dumped in the Philippines.
“For anyone who finds it difficult how Trudeau can stage all of these things (Jollibee visits, random jogging encounters), watch any political series (Veep, House of Cards, The Good Wife). It’ll be eye-opening, I promise,” Michael Manangu posted on Twitter.
“Dear PM Justin Trudeu, thank you for trying our Jollibee. Now after enjoying your Jolly meal, kindly make sure you dispose off your trash properly.
“Appreciate it loads,” Twitter user @potionstar said.
“While Justin Trudeu is very pretty, that Jollibee stop looks calculated. Canada ships garbage to dump in the PH, ya know,” @noelledeg mentioned.
“It would’ve been great if PM Trudeau not only tasted Jollibee but also saw the Philippines’ beaches and the mountains! We can’t forget the mountains built by Canada…the mountains of garbage they’ve been dumping in the PH,” @royaltykai said.
Noel Dolor went on the defense and posted on Twitter, “Justin Trudeau is very much aware of the very strong Filipino community based in Canada, and of course, this makes him very much aware of the fact that Jollibee is a very popular Filipino fast food brand. And, so nice for him to enjoy Jollibee, here in Manila.”
“Crab mentality. Aren’t Filipinos happy a homegrown brand like Jollibee just opened a branch in Canada? Trudeau visiting the local store is helpful,” echoed user Ronald Vidal.
“Lol. Some idiots are actually criticizing Trudeau’s Jollibee stunt as contrived. Dude, all politicians’ public act ivities are contrived. It’s just business,” shared Twitter user @benign0.