Aquino invites Apec leaders to dinner, to be a friend
“Kain tayo” or “Let’s eat” is not just an invitation to eat among Filipinos but also an invitation to be a friend, President Benigno Aquino III told his fellow heads of state on Wednesday.
“When a Filipino is about to have a meal, he is always compelled to share what little food he might have with anyone around, even if they are complete strangers,” Aquino said during his toast at the Mall of Asia Arena. “He does this by saying, in our language, ‘Kain tayo,’ or ‘Let’s eat.’ And he will not begin to eat until the offer has been accepted, or kindly refused.”
“This is an invitation not only to share whatever food is on the plate, but also and more importantly, an invitation to be a friend,” he explained.
That was how Aquino welcomed the other member economies during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) welcome dinner.
He added that sharing meals are not just about the food but also about the bonds that form and the communication between friends.
“Is this not the spirit that animates all our discussions? Whether we have large or small economies, all of us sit at the same table and engage in fellowship for the advancement of all our peoples,” he said. “In this manner, we demonstrate that an inclusive Asia Pacific is doing its part to achieve a more inclusive world.”
In his toast, Aquino wished for the stability and progress of the region, for partnerships that bring their economies closer and for a future where no one is left behind.
Leaders and representatives of Apec member economies are now in Manila for this year’s summit. They are expected to discuss mostly economic issues.
Aquino also met with some of the leaders on Wednesday for bilateral meetings.