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DAVAO CITY, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the house of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City on Friday morning, January 13.
“Enjoy si Abe (Abe enjoyed),” Special Assistant to the President Bong Go told Rappler.
Go said Abe spent 45 minutes in Duterte’s house, 10 minutes of these in the President’s room.
Duterte’s aide added that the two leaders ate local rice cakes – biko, suman, and kutsinta – and had mongo soup, the President’s favorite dish.
They also had heart of banana salad and fresh fruits like mango, rambutan, and pomelo and were served Earl Grey black tea, coffee, and buko juice, according to a menu from Malacañang.
Duterte’s common-law wife Honeylet Avanceña, who supervised the preparations, earlier said they will serve puto, suman, and salad.
“Doing it for the Filipinos and for this country, as PM Abe is the first foreign, high-ranking government official to visit the country and Davao, and first to visit the Philippine President’s house,” Avanceña told Rappler.
In a Facebook post, Go noted that Abe was “inside the simple home of President Duterte.”
“We also showed him how the President enjoys the comfort of his own bed, including his old and favorite mosquito net,” he said.
During the visit, the Abes received gifts from Duterte and Avanceña. In photos released by Malacañang, Mrs. Abe unwraps her gift, showing a yellow embroidered Filipiniana blouse.
Outside of the house, Prime Minister Abe came across a life-size standee of Duterte, a sight that reportedly made him chuckle. The standee is a constant fixture. Visitors hoping to get a glimpse of the President’s home often pose beside it for selfies.
Abe also entertained requests of Duterte’s neighbors for a group photo.
Abe’s trip required tighter security near Duterte’s house in Davao City earlier on Friday.
Abe went to Duterte’s house as part of his two-day official visit to the Philippines from Thursday to Friday, January 12 to 13.
As part of this official visit, Abe flew to Davao City to show that the Philippines and Japan “are more than brothers,” a Japanese government spokesman said Thursday. – Rappler.com