Who did it first? Lualhati Bautista shares 20-year-old candle-blowing photo alongside Duterte’s ‘rice cake’ pic

March 29, 2021 - 6:03 PM
Duterte and Lualhati Bautista
President Rodrigo Duterte blowing out a candle placed on top of a cup of rice for his 76th birthday, taken by Sen. Bong Go (left) and Lualhati Bautista with her "ensaymada" cake taken on her old birthday celebration and shared on her Facebook on March 29, 2021 (right).

Renowned Filipino novelist Lualhati Bautista quipped of being the first one to substitute something else as a birthday cake in response to President Rodrigo Duterte‘s viral rice mound-turned-cake picture.

The “Dekada ’70” author on Monday shared an old photo of her about to blow a candle on top of a large ensaymada (Filipino brioche) roll and juxtaposed it with the president’s picture where he was about to blow a candle on top of a rice mound.

“Siya, kanin; ako, ensaymada. At least, mas marami ang pansit ko,” Lualhati quipped on a Facebook post.

She clarified in the comments section that her own photo was taken around “20 years ago” and that her birthday is on December 2 and not in March.

“Kuha ang picture na ‘yan, siguro mga 20 years ago. Meaning, una ako kay Digong ng 20 years pagdating sa mga kalokohan,” the writer quipped.


Some of Bautista’s followers were amused by her picture while others greeted her with a “happy birthday” in advance.

“Advance happy birthday, Madam. Sana sa birthday niyo hindi po tayo under ECQ (partying face emoji),” a Facebook user said.

Others shared that Duterte had lechon or roasted pig in his celebration, despite having a rice mound for a supposed cake.

“May lechon naman po siya, Ma’am Lualhati hahaha.
Paawa epek lang niya (‘yung) kaning cake haha,” a Facebook user claimed.

Last weekend, Duterte was accused of supposedly pretending to be “poor” when he was pictured celebrating his 76th birthday in his hometown with a rice mound for a cake.

A video uploaded later revealed that he was also presented with what appeared to be a small cake with a lighted candle during the occasion.

RELATED: ‘No malice’: Birthday video bares Duterte attempt to grope househelp

A photo of him posing with a customized cake bearing his initials, his trademark fistbump gesture and the Philippine flag also surfaced online.

It was uploaded by a cake artist on March 15, weeks before Duterte’s birthday.

His spokesperson said that the chief executive never “pretended to be poor” and that he has “always been known as simple.”

“There may have been food served for special occasions, but that did not violate any sense of decency. There was no extravagant show of wealth because the president was in t-shirt and shorts and celebrated only with his family,” Duterte’s spokesperson said in an interview.

“No, the president never pretends, he is known for his authenticity. He has simple celebrations and I think that’s what happened on his birthday,” the Palace official added.

When he was still campaigning for the presidency, Duterte has always branded himself as a simple man with a supposedly frugal lifestyle.