President Benigno Aquino plans to have something especially “hot” this Christmas.
Before anyone gets the idea that the country’s most eligible bachelor—who has had no steady date since his last reported squeeze, Manila-based Korean television host Grace Lee—is thinking of someone special, Mr. Aquino is quick to knock such ideas down.
What he actually has in mind is a popular local dish—arroz caldo (rice porridge with chicken broth).
The subject came up when Mr. Aquino was asked by reporters during a break in the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Leaders Summit in Vladivostok, Russia, whether he had someone special to keep him warm when the weather gets cold this December.
The President, who can be occasionally candid about his personal life, replied: “Arroz caldo.”
Pressed to reveal more, Mr. Aquino said: “I’m really only expecting arroz caldo. Probably, ham and pan de sal. Joshua (his nephew) might cook for me. You can add queso de bola. But that’s not warm, it’s normally served cold.”
Lee was the President’s date in December 2011 and they continued to go out until around the first quarter of this year, when they reportedly drifted apart.
Other women have also been romantically linked with Mr. Aquino.
One of them was Valenzuela Councilor Shalani Soledad, who later became a TV host. Their two-year relationship reportedly began after they had a chance meeting in a restaurant in Quezon City, and they were seen as an item during the 2010 presidential election campaign and at his oath-taking as President in June that year.
It was reported that sometime in September 2010, they called it quits.
In January 2012, Soledad tied the knot with Pasig Representative Roman Romulo.
From regular to light to zero
The rumor mill later linked the President with four more women—stylist Liz Uy, stockbroker Len Lopez, teacher Bunny Calica and then Lee.
In November 2010, Mr. Aquino admitted to a TV5 reporter during the 18th Apec summit in Japan that he had been dating Uy. In December that year, he was rumored to be dating Lopez.
In May 2011, the President was spotted on a date with a woman eventually identified as Calica, a teacher who is into early education and is working with Korean students. They were seen at a Hotdog reunion concert at the ballroom of Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City.
Later that year, the President compared his love life—or lack of it—to a sugar-free cola. “Before it was ‘regular.’ Then it became ‘light.’ Now it’s ‘zero,’” he said.
Then in February this year, he confirmed he was dating Lee. The two were spotted in April at the Sergio Mendes concert at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
A month later, in an interview, the President was quoted as saying that he and Lee were “friends.”
Before becoming president, Aquino was romantically linked to television reporters Korina Sanchez in the 1990s and Bernadette Sembrano in 2002. Sanchez and Sembrano have since gotten married. With a report from Inquirer Research
Originally posted: 9:09 am | Tuesday, September 11th, 2012