|President Aquino finds Bais City Mayor, Karen Villanueva (inset) "gwapa" or beautiful in Ilonggo. Photo by ABS-CBN
DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – Has another woman caught the eyes of the country's first bachelor President?
On Wednesday, President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III mentioned in his speech twice that he finds Bais City Mayor Karen Villanueva "gwapa" or beautiful.
“Kaya nga noong kampanya, naalala ko na sinabi ko ang dami palang magaganda rito sa Bais. Pero ngayon, talagang pwede kong sabihin na madami ngang magaganda dito, lalo na si Mayor Karen,” Aquino said in the local language.
Villanueva, 31, is single.
Aquino was in Negros Oriental to attend the inauguration of the Mercado de Bais public market complex.
Villanueva, on the other hand, said she was flattered by the President’s comments but stressed that all the things that he had said were just part of his speech.
“Thank you for appreciating but anything more than that, it’s part of the speech,” she said.
Meanwhile, it was also reported that Aquino and his former girlfriend, Valenzuela City councilor Shalani Soledad, nearly crossed each other's paths upon arrival in the province.
Aquino, however, denied they were supposed to meet each other in Negros Oriental.
“Wala, wala. Malay ko kung ano gagawin niya dito, di ba? I'm here for this market, ‘yung IT park, saka pasalamat dun sa mga volunteers namin nung kampanya,” he said.
But it seemed that Aquino and Soledad were just simply meant to see each other.
The former couple saw each other upon arrival at the airport in Manila.
Aquino recently compared the stages of his love life to variants of the soft drink, Coke.
"Coca-cola, 'nung araw regular, naging light, ngayon zero," he said in a speech last week before the Filipino community in Beijing, China.
Last June, the President called 2 other women "beautiful" during a visit to Cebu -- Governor Gwendolyn Garcia and Korean television personality Grace Lee.
Aquino, 51, also once said he has been unlucky in love. His past dates include Soledad, celebrity stylist Liz Uy and stockbroker Len Lopez.
He has also been linked to actress Iza Calzado and Sabrina Chua of Singapore-based Channel News Asia. - Report from Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News and dzMM