On Tuesday, staff and the Jollibee mascot, a bee, visited the Philippine School to meet the children. Filipinos consider the restaurant, which is modelled after McDonald’s to be a modern symbol of their country. “This is the pride of the Philippines,” said Richard Altera, who works in the IT sector. He visited the construction site three times in hopes of the restaurant’s opening.
“I spoke to the foreman actually, just to show all my friends that ‘Oh Jollibee is about to open in Oman!’ Everybody asked me, ‘When is it going to open Richard!’” he said.
Back in the Philippines, it’s a place he’s used to go with relatives and children. In addition to fast-food such as burgers, Jollibee also offers rice and spaghetti and other food. It’s a place people also go for special occasions such as birthdays. And people stop not only for meals but snacks as well.
The restaurant, which is themed red and white, is as common as a convenience shop in the Philippines. It has since grown to establish branches in Southeast Asia, elsewhere in the Gulf and the US. Filipinos in Oman have been talking about it in social media and within the community since its opening was announced months ago.
“We have groups, we are posting the advertisements by Jollibee that they’re opening,” said Alliver Revilla, a scaffolding trainer. “The taste of the chicken, the crispiness, the flavours of spaghetti and burgers. Oh Jollibee, every Filipino loves it,” he said. But for Oman the jury is still out. Revilla said he wants to see if the new one is the real deal.