This photo was taken by the Filipino Reporter inside the then Payag Restaurant, which used to also be the venue of Filipino events. Above, l.-r.: Loren San Diego, Kay Habana, Ria Serrano and Amira Allahh hosted a fundraiser for a medical mission to the Philippines the night this picture was shot a few years back.

After 16 years of serving Filipino cuisine in the Woodside section of Queens, N.Y., Payag Restaurant has closed its doors.


Perhaps, stiff competition from many Filipino restaurants in the area may have contributed to the closure.

What caught our attention, however, was not economics, but politics.

The political color attributed by Filipino New Yorkers to the restaurant’s unfortunate fate.

The owner of Payag had been an ardent supporter and defender of PH President Rodrigo Duterte.

It was believed to have funded a social media weekly program which used to praise and defend Mr. Duterte from its critics, including human rights advocates.

Apparently, this brand of politics by the Payag owner alienated some of its customers.

We would like to share some comments of Filipinos from the area printed at end of an online story about the Payag closure.

“Never mix politics with a business.”

“Why pledge allegiance to Duterte? It’s not like he’s ever gonna know that a restaurant in Woodside supports him. I always thought he was kind of a jerk to be honest.”

“True Dictatuta Digong may not care about this pathetic resto in Queens but what is key here is lessons learned and message to those who support evil!”

“Don’t support an EJk & a China Puppy who doesn’t love Philippines!!!”

“I would not support anyone, group of friends or otherwise if they are supporting the killings in the Philippines, a total disregard for human life.”

“...This is a perfect example of karma for supporting a murderer. Am proud of you New Yorkers for fighting what is right for not tolerating evil! I was a New Yorker once, lived in Brooklyn and I know what is in the heart and mind of a New Yorker...we are not stupid and are vocal. We fight for what is right! Thank you New Yorkers!”

We wish the owner of Payag all the best in her next endeavor.

Hopefully, her experience served as a good teacher not only to her but to others who are similarly situated.

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