Valte, DFA spokesman spotted partying with Apec delegates in Boracay
BORACAY, Philippines—The delegates got to have a taste of the party scene here on this tourist haven, famed for its breathtaking beaches.
The delegates of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit here celebrated the conclusion of their first day of the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) II on Wednesday night by partying on the beachfront at Pearl of the Pacific Resort in Balabag, Boracay, near the beach station 1.
The party was dubbed “FuntaSea.” “Party with mermaids, mermen, and a host of colorful wildlife in an 80’s disco party on Boracay’s powdery white sand and under the night sky,” the invitation to the party read.
Such was the hysteria that even deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte and Foreign Affairs spokesperson Assistant Secretary Charles Jose were seen partying on the colorful stage designed to look like an upside down jelly fish.
But the two Cabinet officials were on opposite sides of the party spectrum. While Valte was jumping and shouting to celebrate the conclusion of the first SOM, the more reserved Jose was just clapping amid the din of frenzied delegates and organizers.
When the noise subsided and a quieter party playlist followed, Jose was pulled by someone toward the stage to dance again, but his feet dragged on the powdery sand.
“We wanted it to be young, hip and modern!” Valte told reporters who chanced upon her having fun.
The welcoming dinner featured mostly Filipino food such as bulalo, roast beef and lamb with a dip of soy sauce and vinegar, among others, as well as leche flan for dessert.
Of course, no party would be complete without alcoholic beverage that seemed to keep flowing from the bar housed in a wooden hut for added Filipino flavor.
Before the party, delegates and Apec officials were entertained with a cultural performance led by renowned power belter Bituin Escalante and beatbox performer Myke Salomon, backed up by dances from the Ballet Philippines and Daloy Dance Company, among others (who were dressed in costumes depicting sea creatures), and made even fiercer by the fiery whips of the Boracay Fire Dancers.
The performance featured mostly classic songs – foreign ones like “I Will Survive,” “Disco Inferno,” “It’s Raining Men,” “Dancing Queen,” and Filipino songs like “Manila,” “Awitin Mo, and “Tayo’y Magsayawan.”
The party was commissioned by the Apec Philippines National Organizing Committee with the Department of Tourism and organized by the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Delegates and officials gathered in Boracay for the second leg of the Senior Officials’ Meeting on Wednesday and Thursday, where they are expected to get updates on previous commitments and to give additional measures to achieve the following Apec priorities – regional economic integration, SME’s participation in regional and global markets, investment in human resource development, and sustainable and resilient communities.
The second senior officials meetings were preceded with 37 technical working group meetings on a variety of topics, such as oceans and fisheries, food security, science and technology, higher education, human resource development, emergency preparedness, Internet economy and connectivity, counterterrorism, tourism, among others.
Senior officials will then report to trade ministers during the Ministers Responsible for Trade meetings on May 23 to 24 also here in Boracay.
The Philippines is hosting this year’s Apec, a delegation of 21 member economies. The country hosted the gathering ahead of the Asean integration in 2015. It hosted the Apec leaders meeting for the first time in 1996. AC
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