So now new details of the real “extravagant meals” of the Presidential party on their recent trip to the U.S. dribbles out. It must be hard to keep up a unified fib when there are so many involved and the meals were taken in such high profile and public restaurants… Now it’s FOUR controversial meals! And members of congress and others who dined are the ones who confirmed the meals occurred. First there was the dinner on July 30, Thursday at Bobby Van’s in Washington DC for 60-65 persons reportedly paid for by a large woman but which Congressman Suarez claimed he ultimately paid for. Then there was apparently a dinner at Le Cirque in New York for 20-30 people on July 31, 2009 Friday, paid for by Congressman Romualdez or his brother, depending on which report you read. Then on August 2 Sunday, after mass at St. Patrick’s, some of the Presidential party had lunch at Wolfgang’s on Park Avenue (reportedly confirmed by Ms. Villarosa according to television reports), with as yet unidentified person picking up the tab. Then again, another anniversary dinner on August 2, Sunday for roughly 40 persons (according to Congressman Mandanas) at Bouley in New York that lasted from 8pm to roughly 12 midnight. I have not heard any reports as to who paid the bill at Bouley.
NO WONDER THE CONGRESSMEN/WOMEN’S post trip stories were so confused, it’s because there apparently were SO MANY different dinners, and not everybody attended every lunch or dinner. Tsk. Tsk. Listen, I don’t have a problem with people eating and eating well. But when you are elected or appointed government officials of a third world country with tremendous poverty, and are travelling to a foreign land to meet their President, (but it was NOT A STATE VISIT where the host country would take care of accomodations and meals) then it is SIMPLY INSENSITIVE, INAPPROPRIATE and SERIOUSLY POOR JUDGMENT, in my humble opinion, to spend such reportedly lavish amounts on meals. And almost laughably, in the post trip analysis, all of these folks treated to meals are all complaining that the food wasn’t particularly good, that the service often sucked, that the meals were just plain and simple. What a joke! They were invited by whom, it wasn’t clear to all of them, it wasn’t clear who hosted and paid for dinner, and because they didn’t know, are we to believe they didn’t even know who to thank for the dinner? And after they get home, they complain about the quality of the restaurants and meals? What a bloody big joke. If I were the owners of Bouley and Le Cirque, I would give copies of the restaurant bills to the press since they are being bashed for having such substandard food. Absurd. Oh, and yes, in all fairness, I should mention that our government has decided to cancel/postpone their planned purchase of a PHP1 billion plus Presidential jet and will supposedly divert the earmarked funds to anti-poverty projects. Duh.
For a great running post (constantly updated) on the matter, please read Manolo Quezon’s post, Le Circus Freak, here.