Philippine President Aquino spotted at Lucky Plaza Jollibee

SINGAPORE - Philippine President Benigno Aquino was spotted making a pitstop at a Jollibee outlet at Lucky Plaza.

He is on an official trip to boost the Philippines' political and economic ties with Singapore, and today is the second and final day of the visit.

In a video uploaded by The Straits Times, a small crowd within the restaurant can be seen excitedly giving the popular President a rock star welcome as he dined at the Orchard Road shopping mall outlet.

Jollibee is a Filipino fastfood chain and is famous for its fried chicken dish Chickenjoy. The Lucky Plaza branch is the only one in Singapore. In 2013, The Straits Times reported that the branch is the brand's top performing outlet worldwide.

"Of course, we are honoured that President Aquino and his delegations have decided to drop by Jollibee Lucky Plaza to see us and together with our Chairman Mr. Tony Tan Caktiong, we are looking forward to welcome him and have a quick store tour maybe and for the President to meet the hardworking Philippine members of Jollibee Singapore," the Philippines Daily Inquirer (PDI) quoted Jollibee Singapore area manager John Nacional as saying ahead of the President's visit.

The President made an example of Jollibee in his keynote interview with The Economist at The World in 2015 forum on Tuesday night.

"Jollibee started out as an ice cream parlour and it's now one of our biggest multinationals... I don't remember exactly how many (branches in other) countries they do have. So there are more and more opportunities that are coming up for very different, a lot of sectors," Aquino was quoted as saying.

Yesterday, Mr Aquino met Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and was hosted to lunch by President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the Istana.

Following his lunch stop, President Aquino and his delegation are scheduled to proceed immediately to Changi Airport for his departure to Manila. He is expected to land back home at 6.45pm on Wednesday, PDI reported.

yamadak@sph.com.sg