Filipino Hospitality at Its Best in ASEAN Gala Dinner

President Duterte, together with Ms. Honeylet and Asean leaders and their spouses (Photo credit to Philstar)

Fresh News: Goodness is still the universal trait of people. If you are a foreigner in a certain land, most of the people will treat you in a good way, and accounts of hospitality in the Philippines are really exceptional and is known worldwide.

On the Gala Night of the ASEAN summit, the administration hauled out all stops in displaying Filipino hospitality at the exceptional celebration dinner for the heads of state and delegates of the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings.

Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and exchange partners looked exquisite in their Philippine formal clothing and began touching base at the setting at around 6 p.m.

The Gala dinner, enriched by exactly 1,300 visitors, came at 7:30 p.m, attended by eighteen heads of state, including US President Donald Trump, who wore barong tagalog and present day Filipiniana made by top Filipino fashioners Rajo Laurel, Albert Andrada and Randy Ortiz in the occasion supported by Malacañang at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City the previous evening.

Myanmar true leader Aung San Suu kyi wore a blue-green customary Burmese dress while Trump, wore a barong tagalog and came without First Lady Melania Trump, sat adjacent to President Duterte.

President Duterte and partner Honeylet Avanceña welcomed & respected the leaders and their life partners, and postured for a gathering photograph.

It is my peasure to welcome you all to Manila… I am deeply honored to host this rare occasion of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN,” President Duterte said in his speech before offering a toast.

I look forward to having constructive and having substantive discussion in the upcoming meetings,” he added.

Other leaders who were present at the dinner were Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Russia Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, South Korea President Moon Jae-in, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Japanese Prime Minsiter Shinzō Abe, Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak, Vietnam President Trần Đại Quang, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Lao People’s Democratic Republic Prime Minister Thoungloun Sisoulith.

Meanwhile, World-class artists and performers from the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries serenaded the visitors, while they were delighted in the extravagant four-course Filipino-Asian supper by prestigious gourmet expert Jessie Sincioco, with the assistance of Sofitel Philippine Plaza.

Freddie Aguilar, known as President Duterte's supporter was among those artist who performed that night, together with Ms. Pilita Corrales who had a duet with President Duterte himself.

Aguilar sang his mark melody "Anak" while President Duterte joined Asia's Queen of Songs Pilita Corrales in singing his main tune, "Ikaw."

"I sang together with Pilita Corrales upon orders of the President of the United States,” Pres. Duterte said.

However, European Union President Donald Tusk and Timor Leste Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araujo missed the supper as they are just set to land in the nation today.

And aside from the world pioneers, former presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Fidel Ramos, individuals from the Duterte Cabinet and administrators likewise joined the sumptuous welcome dinner.

The leaders and different visitors were served ensaladang ubod at alugbati (heart of palm and Malabar spinach plate of mixed greens) with tamarind vinaigrette dressing and sinigang na maya sa miso (soured red snapper in miso soup).

For the principle course, they had options of bistek sushi (cuts of flame broiled US Black Angus hamburger tenderloin marinated in soy-calamansi) with sushi rice and caramelized onion rings served on barbecued eggplant and Asia plate of mixed greens or charcoal barbecued apahap filet with tomato-mango sambal and were served budin, a Filipino caramel flan for dessert.

Best of all, for keepsakes and souvenirs, the leaders and their partners got espresso mugs with two packs of espresso beans, named "ASEAN Blend".

Truly, another Filipino hospitality at it's best.

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