Marcos dubs New Zealand PM as honorary Filipino; Jollibee chickenjoy one of his family's favorites

President Marcos called New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon an “honorary Filipino” after revealing that one of the official’s first stop in the country is the famous Jollibee fastfood chain.


PM Luxon_chickenjoy.jpgNew Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon (RTVM screenshot)


During the officials’ meeting at Malacañang Palace on Thursday, April 18, for the Prime Minister’s first official state visit, the Chief Executive asked Luxon what was his family’s favorite Jollibee dish.

“It was the chicken joy. I got a (chicken) for my wife, daughter. I had to try that. We did that,” he told Marcos.

The President said that the Prime Minister is “no stranger to our country” since he had visited the Philippines “many times as part of your work in the private sector.”

“I think it is also useful to point out that one of first stops that the Prime Minister made was to Jollibee which immediately qualifies you as an honorary Filipino,” Marcos told his fellow leader.

The President welcomed Luxon at Malacañang Palace where he even drove him in a golf cart from the Kalayaan Grounds all the way to the Palace’s reception hall for the signing of the guestbook.

The two leaders met to highlight the importance of the ties between the Philippines and New Zealand.

Luxon underscored how it is “a good time for us to come together and talk about things that’s important for both of us.”

“For New Zealand, we are deeply committed to reenergizing our relationship across the Southeast Asia, the Philippines, in particular,” he said.

“We look at this market.  In this country, we think it’s a fantastic future that you have—118 million people, fast growing economy, young talented people inside the Philippines with huge potential,” the official highlighted.

The Philippines and New Zealand established formal diplomatic relations on July 6, 1966.

Last year, New Zealand ranked as the Philippines’ 28th trading partner out of 230, with total trade amounting to $495.37 million. It is the country’s 38th export destination and 24th import source.

There were also 29,272 tourist arrivals recorded from New Zealand in 2023, making New Zealand the 22nd source of visitors to the Philippines.

New Zealand is home to an estimated 79,998 Filipinos, although this is expected to grow pending a new census to be released next month.