Obama thanks Filipino chef for ‘lumpia, adobo’

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Monday, April 28, 2014

VISITING United States President Barack Obama on Monday lauded the Filipino-American chef, who serves his family at the White House.

The American leader specifically mentioned Cristeta Comerford in his brief remarks during the state dinner in Malacanang.

"There is one in particular I am grateful for. Cris Comerford, our executive chef at the White House. Cris was born in Manila. She still has family here. Thanks to her we, in the White House, enjoy the occasional lumpia and adobo," he said.

Obama cited the spirit of friendship between the American and Filipino people that expresses itself in so many ways.

"There is our mutual obsession with basketball. There is our mutual admiration for Manny Pacquiao—even if sometimes his fight against Americans doesn't turn out the way we'd like. There is our shared pride in the millions of Filipino-Americans who contribute to our nation every single day," he said.

During the state dinner, President Benigno Aquino III conferred Obama the Order of Sikatuna with the rank of Raja or Grand Collar, the highest recognition of diplomatic merit of the Philippines.

"As a friend and partner of the Filipino people, Mr. President, you have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the growth and development of our nation. It is only fitting, therefore, that your efforts be recognized with the conferment of the Order of Sikatuna," he said.

The award was given to Obama for his leadership and policies that assisted the Philippines in times of natural disaster, for helping uphold stability and peace by means of the rule of law in Southeast Asia, and for working with the Philippines to fundamentally raise the defense capacity of the country.

Some 300 guests were present during the state dinner. Among them were Vice President Jejomar Binay, former President Fidel Ramos, former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, Senate President Franklin Drilon, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. (SDR/Sunnex)

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