FILIPINO DELICACIES. Vice President Sara Duterte (right) shares light moments with US Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday, (Nov. 21, 2022) in Aguado House in Manila. Duterte urged Harris to try some Filipino delicacies including pork knuckles with peanut sauce, adobo, and lechon. (Photo courtesy: PTV)

MANILA– Vice President Sara Duterte welcomed United States Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday with a warm Filipino gesture, when the latter paid a courtesy call before her scheduled meeting with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

In their meeting at Aguado House in San Miguel, Manila, Duterte shared with Harris some of her priority plans in the education sector following the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Duterte told Harris that she was looking forward to institutionalizing the blended learning modality in the Philippines, the Office of the Vice President (OVP) said in a post-meeting statement.

Duterte said even the pandemic setup has taken its toll on young learners, which caused “learning loss.”

She told Harris about the government’s plan to review the Kinder to Grade 12 (K-12) program to ensure that its goal of employment after graduation would be met.

Harris, according to the OVP, lauded Duterte for her plans and responsibilities while juggling her duties as both the vice president and the secretary of the Department of Education.

“VPOTUS (Vice President of the United States) said she was impressed by VP Sara’s work and responsibilities as VP and DepEd Secretary,” the OVP added.

Filipino delicacies

While sharing a light moment with the American official, Duterte urged the latter to try Filipino delicacies like kare-kare (Philippine stew in peanut sauce) and lumpia (spring rolls).

“That was what the second gentleman shared to us, that you really love cooking… that’s a perfect pair. I think you should try kare-kare, it’s pork knuckles with peanut sauce, and adobo, lechon. Have you tried lechon? That’s a roasted pig, that’s a Filipino symbol in all parties, birthdays, Christmas, every party,” Duterte told Harris.

Harris then asked Duterte to send her the cooking instructions for kare-kare.

The American second top official added that she loves Filipino spring rolls. “I love lumpia… I have it, all the time. Every time a Filipino works in my office…they always give me a big tray of lumpia.”

Posturing on security

Besides education, jobs, and Filipino food, the two leaders also discussed issues concerning security.

Harris assured Duterte that America is committed to supporting the Philippines when its security is being threatened.

Harris is the highest-ranking US government official to have visited the Philippines since Marcos assumed office last June.  She will be in the country for three days.  She will also visit Palawan to speak with officials of the Philippine Coast Guard.  (PNA)