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Jan 27th
Home Columns San Diego Happenings Mayor Morrison Lauds the "Obama Pan de Sal” as a New Healthy Bread Alternative
Mayor Morrison Lauds the "Obama Pan de Sal” as a New Healthy Bread Alternative PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - San Diego Happenings
Wednesday, 21 January 2009 12:33

The News UpFront: (TOP STORY) as of Wednesday, January 21, 2009 

A brief, almost-unnoticeable event unfolded yesterday in National City amidst the nationwide jubilation over the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. A namesake healthy bread alternative called the "Obama Pan de Sal" by its creator, Wilma Fernandez Ventura, was formally launched by top government officials led by Mayor Ron Morrison. After the brief ceremony, Ms. Ventura's The Original Richard's Bakery treated the Filipino community to a generous serving of Filipino noodles and, of course, the Obama Pan de Sal, which come into two variations. 


"OBAMA PAN DE SAL" LAUNCHING in NATIONAL CITY: Guests Share in History-making Debut and Inauguration



By Romeo P. Marquez


The author is a member of the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), Asian-American Journalists Association (AAJA) and the National Press Club of the Philippines-USA.


W hile the nation was transfixed in the festivities culminating in the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, top city officials and Filipino community leaders made their own local history by formally launching the only bread named after Mr. Barack Obama.


The "Obama Pan de Sal", the healthy bread alternative created by Filipino baker Wilma Fernandez Ventura, took center stage minutes after its namesake president assumed office in Washington, DC, on Tuesday (Jan. 20).


It was no accident that the event happened in San Diego's suburban neighbor to the south, the City of National City. That small city, essentially Navytown USA, has one of the biggest concentrations of Filipinos in America.


The city, according to its Mayor Ron Morrison, is the acknowledged "unofficial overseas capital of the Philippines" being home to many Filipinos who comprise 20-percent of the population and the center of Filipino business activities in San Diego County.


PHILIPPINE VILLAGE VOICE - Redefining Community News
BREAKING NEWS -  Exclusive
Volume 3, Issue No. 3 / News Without Fear or Favor /
. . . A community service of San Diego's Philippine Village Voice ( or at 619.265.0611) for the information and better understanding of the public . . .


The birthplace of the Obama Pan de Sal is the Ventura-owned and-managed “The Original Richard's Bakery,” a medium-sized bakeshop that's been serving the community with quality bread products for the last 20 years. It is located at 3400 East Eighth St., National City, CA. 91950.


The formal launching of the Obama Pan de Sal had taken the appearance of an official community function related to the inauguration, more so because of the timing and the presence of city officials, namely, Mayor Ron Morrison, Councilmember Frank Parra and Assistant Chief Cesar Solis, the highest-ranking Filipino in the San Diego Police.


Further, two media outfits – the regional television affiliate of MSNBC, Channel 7/39, and the San Diego Union-Tribune – had listed the Obama Pan de Sal launching in their events calendar related to the inauguration.


"The creation of the 'Obama Pan de Sal' is an affirmation that 'there's hope that the US is looking for' in such ventures"--Mayor Ron Morrison.

"This product is not about division, it's about diversity," remarked Morrison right after he cut the ribbon to open the ceremonial box containing a dozen Obama Pan de Sal which Ms. Ventura then gave out to the guests.


He cited Ms. Ventura and her creation of the Obama Pan de Sal as an affirmation that "there's hope that the US is looking for" in such ventures. "It's not just Obama but also the United States," he added.


B akery workers pulled out trays upon trays of the new bread from the oven, placed on shelves while still hot and made available to the public for free as a celebration of the rise of the first African American to the US presidency.


For the whole morning on Tuesday, The Original Richard's Bakery served the two variations of the Obama Pan de Sal (the classic, bite-size rolls and the bun, which is stuffed with chicken adobo, cream cheese, sweet peas, raisin and carrots) and plates of Filipino noodles for free.


Dr. Ofelia Dirige, executive director of the Kalusugan Community Services, said the KCS is prepared to extend its full support to Ms. Ventura's own effort to promote healthy eating through her Obama Pan de Sal, which is made from 100-percent whole wheat flour.


Ms. Ventura has taken orders for the bread from as far as Chicago and New York since the first story about the Obama Pan de Sal hit the Internet and posted online in a number of websites across North America and England.


Serendipity played a role in the "discovery" of the Obama Pan de Sal, according to Rosannah V. Vargas, assistant manager of the bakery. Her mother Wilma had inadvertently burned trays of pan de sal in the oven and upon seeing them, exclaimed "Obama, Obama pan de sal!" because they were charred to a brown.


So instead of overcooking them to achieve the healthy-looking brown, Wilma substituted whole wheat flour in place of the regular flour. It worked. The whole-wheat flour, in fact, added a healthy component to the pan de sal.


Wilma then decided that she would name it Obama Pan de Sal to honor Mr. Barack Obama and celebrate him as the first African-American to become President of the United States.


Aside from Morrison, Parra and Solis, other community leaders graced the occasion,  including Officer Benjie Podschun, Ceferina Ruiz, MD; Ms. Ditas Yamane, Rizalino Oades, PhD, Ofelia Dirige, PhD., Cindy de Leon, Nena Ancheta, Albert Lopez, Sweet Flordeliza, Crisanta Martinez and Rosemarie Vargas. Some guests from the media also came. # # #


This Breaking News was sent by Romeo P. Marquez, editor, Philippine Village Voice, San Diego, California. Mailing address: P.O. Box 2118, La Jolla, CA. 92038. Volume 3, Issue no. 3, January 21, 2009



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Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 January 2009 12:34

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