Taste of fame: Viral ‘pares’ server arrested for 2018 case

Taste of fame: Viral ‘pares’ server arrested for 2018 case

Viral ‘pares’ server arrested for 2018 case

‘PARES’ KING Deo Jarito Balbuena, famous on social media as “Diwata,” gamely poses for a selfie with a customer at his “pares” street food stall in Pasay City in this photo taken on April 6. —RICHARDA. REYES

He’s probably the king of the “pares” street food in Pasay City, but on Thursday morning, Deo Jarito Balbuena, better known to his legions of loyal customers and followers on social media as “Diwata,” found himself in legal trouble—again.

The viral social media personality, famous for what his customers describe as a mouthwatering rendition of the braised beef brisket cubes dish, was apprehended by authorities at his stall on Diokno Boulevard in Barangay 76, Zone 10. The reason? An outstanding 2018 case for slight physical injuries.


READ: Diwata Pares claps back at ‘haters,’ assures patrons they will remain open despite closure order


According to the Pasay City Police, Pasay City Metropolitan Trial Court Judge Allan B. Ariola of Branch 48 issued the warrant of arrest for Diwata.

However, after posting a P3,000 bail, the pares purveyor of Pasay was immediately released, free to return to his stall and serve the beef dish with unlimited rice and soup for just P100, which has brought him fame in social media.

But Balbuena’s troubles are far from over.

Lacking permit

Just recently, an inspection of his popular food business uncovered a lack of proper permits from the local government.

His operation was temporarily shuttered after complaints regarding sanitary issues until Pasay City Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano stepped in, granting the roadside pares purveyor a two-month grace period to sort out his paperwork.

It’s a familiar pattern for the vendor, whose roadside eatery has faced its fair share of legal and regulatory hurdles over the years.


His stall’s massive popularity has at times snarled traffic around the nearby Senate building, drawing the ire of authorities.

Yet through it all, Balbuena has maintained a devoted following of pares-loving patrons who flock to his spot for a taste of the “Diwata pares overload”—with some reportedly lining up for more than three hours.

Balbuena’s journey has been nothing short of miraculous.

Stabbing incident

From enduring a brutal attack that resulted in him receiving stab wounds via a box cutter on his head in 2016 after reprimanding two of his friends who were allegedly using drugs to living under a bridge, making and peddling charcoal, growing and selling kangkong (water spinach), and recruiting for a call center company, the vendor has fought his way tooth and nail to build a thriving business of his own and a devoted following.

Local authorities have vowed to closely monitor Balbuena’s case, ensuring he secures all necessary licenses to continue his business.

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For this larger-than-life street food icon, the fight to serve his famous street dish is far from over.

TAGS: Deo Jarito Balbuena, Pares King

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