VP Leni's 'peg': Virtual culinary instructor for celebrity vlogger

Ever since the start of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak last year, Vice President Leni Robredo has found more time to perform simple yet rewarding domestic tasks, like cooking meals for her daughters.

But who would have thought that in 2021, Robredo would turn into a virtual culinary instructor to the stars? Actress and celebrity vlogger Saab Magalona-Bacarro is her first "student", and a very eager one at that.

In an online video, Vice President Leni Robredo teaches celebrity vlogger Saab Magalona-Bacarro how to cook ginataang santol. (Saab Magalona-Bacarro/Youtube)

Saab is the daughter of the late "master rapper" of the Philippines, Francis Magalona, or Francis M.

For those who don't know, the Vice President was born and raised in Naga City, Camarines Sur in Bicol--a province famous for its spicy, coconut milk-enhanced viands. In keeping with her specialty, Robredo sent a personalized instructional video to Magalona-Bacarro to teach her how to make one of Bicol’s most infamous dishes—ginataang santol or cotton fruit cooked in coconut milk.

“Yung request mo daw ay isang (Your request is for a) Bicol recipe. Yung pinakakilala kasi na parang Bicol dish ay Bicol Express, Laing pero (The most famous Bicol dish is Bicol Express, Laing but) for this particular segment, ang naisip ko ang ipakita sa iyo tsaka ituro ay ginataang santol kasi mas (I thought about showing and teaching you how to make ginataang santol because it’s more) acceptable siya sa mga non-Bicolano na panlasa kasi na-aadjust mo talaga ‘yung(to non-Bicolano’s taste because you can adjust the) level ng (of) spiciness tsaka napakadali niyang gawin (and it’s easy to make),” Robredo told Magalona-Bacarro in the video.

READ: VP returns to cooking amid ECQ

The lady official then enumerated to Magalona-Bacarro the ingredients of the dish, which are as follows: santol, coconut milk, pork sliced into small pieces, red onion, garlic, long chilis, red chilis (Thai or ordinary), shrimp paste, and cooking oil.

Robredo demonstrated in the video that the garlic and onions must be sautéd first before adding in the pork slices. Once the pork was cooked, she instructed the vlogger to add the star of the dish--the santol.

After letting the santol and pork simmer for three to four minutes, she told Magalona-Bacarro to add the coconut milk, then the chilis, and then the shrimp paste.

Mindful of the vlogger-host's tolerance level, Robredo suggested that she tweak the spiciness of the dish according to her liking.

Admittedly a fan, Magalona-Bacarro told her YouTube viewers that she was “shookt” that Robredo’s team even sent her the actual ingredients for the dish ahead of time.

“I can’t even pretend that I’m not making it a big deal. It’s such a big deal to me that she took the time to do this and such a ‘fangirl.’ I just found her so inspiring,” she said in reaction to the institutional video she received.

“Okay, this is so crazy because her team actually sent me over the ingredients to make this. I didn’t ask for this but they are so efficient like that. I’m gonna watch the video she sent me and recreate it,” the vlogger, who has been very vocal of her support for Robredo, added.

In the first part of the video, the Vice President described their kitchen as small but “very functional” especially during the quarantine. VP Leni certainly knows how to get the job done--just ask Saab.

READ: VP Leni as mom and chef: Robredo’s chicken pastel for daughters