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Jeopardy calls Philippines' Marcos a president 'who has taken so many foreign trips'

Contestant nicknamed 'Bongbong' wins 'Jeopardy' with question about Philippines and Marcos

President of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos Jr (inset) and the screenshot of Jeopardy question about a world leader who has travelled too much since becoming president in 2022.

Once again, the Philippines’ first family has made it to the American game show “Jeopardy” after a question under the “current world leaders” category referenced the Philippines and its President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

In the show’s 21 February episode, host Mayim Bialik asked a question about a country whose leader has taken numerous foreign trips since 2022 with “Ferdinand Magellan Jr” used as a clue.

The official question reads: “In office from 2022, the president of this country has taken so many foreign trips. A play on his name is ‘Ferdinand Magellan Jr’”.

Magellan was the Portuguese explorer who supposedly “discovered” the Philippines for Spain in 1521, and was killed during the battle of Mactan in the island of Cebu, the first-ever recorded resistance of Filipinos against colonisers.

The three contestants were given 30 seconds to answer, and at the end, contestant Avi Gupta from Stanford University, who shares the Filipino leader's nickname “Bongbong”, was the only one who correctly answered the question writing, “What are the Philippines (sic).” He ended up winning the game with a US$21,300 (S$28,500) prize.

10 overseas trips in 7 months

A self-confessed traveller, Marcos has been on 10 overseas trips since becoming president in June 2022. Most of the time, he is accompanied by family members like the First Lady and their children, the Speaker of the House of Representatives who is also his cousin, and other officials.

Marcos travelled to Indonesia and Singapore in September 2022 for his first official trip and made another stop in the city-state to attend the Singapore F1 Grand Prix the following month.

Critics at home have been questioning his trips, but the Philippine president is quick to defend all of his trips, saying that each trip brings investment pledges to the country.

However, following his most recent trip to Japan in February, Marcos said that he would be taking a pause from overseas trips to assess the investment pledges made by foreign parties to the country with his cabinet.

This is not the first time the popular US game show referenced the Marcos family.

In June last year, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr was featured as a Philippine president in 1986 who stuffed US$7.7 million into suitcases and fled to Hawaii, and died three years later.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and lifestyle writer who focuses on politics, the economy, and pop culture. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.

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