SONA’s gourmet Filipino menu and dressed down guests

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Duterte and Aquino
President-elect Rodrigo Duterte and outgoing President Benigno S. Aquino III meets before the formal inaugural ceremony (Picture: Malacañang Photo Bureau)

President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) today will be conducted differently from his predecessors from fashion to food. It may be less glamorous but it is closer to the Filipino’s heart.

Legislators were reminded by the Palace to dress down from suits and long gowns to business attire.

Common Filipino dishes that has been turned into gourmet cuisine will be served to the 293 congressmen and 24 senators invited for President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) today.

According to Inaugural committee member Lisette Marques Duterte has requested for a simple celebration and to serve finger food.

Most of the items served were a repeat from the food served during the President’s inauguration. Included in the Merienda Buffet are native chips with salted duck egg dressing, pan de sal with kesong puti and beef steaks, fresh lumpia ubod in pouch, monggo soup with smoked fish and alugbati, spicy tuna empanaditas, crispy triangles of flaked chicken adobo and mushrooms, sotong goreng or deep fried calamaris tossed in chili and bell pepper, penne with taba ng talangka sauce, chicken skin crackling and balut pate in profiteroles.

The food served will be catered by Via Mare which is owned by restaurateur and writer Glenda Barretto. They have also provided caterign services for the 2007 ASEAN Summit in Cebu, the Miss Universe Pageant in 1995 and St. John Paul II papal visit.

Award winning director Brillante Mendoza will be directing the event, pro bono. There will be a “mood of reality” during the SONA. He said the Filipino people will feel like they are having a personal one on one talk with the President.

Leftist militants some of which comes from the lumads in Mindanao will not mount a protest today but would march instead in support of the new President.