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Duterte hosts 1,300 guests at Asean gala dinner

Published: 8:40 p.m., Nov. 12, 2017 | Updated: 10:26 p.m., Nov. 12, 2017

Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and their dialogue partners were in a celebratory mood at the gala dinner hosted by President Rodrigo Dutert on Sunday night.

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Five world-renowned giant lanterns from Pampanga lighted the SMX Complex in Pasay City.

The gala dinner had a celebratory theme, “which showcases both the Filipinos’ penchant for celebrating the holidays with gusto and the eternal desire of each person to bring cheer to any celebration.”

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Duterte hosted 1,300 guests at the gala dinner, which showcased Filipino talents and artistry.

US President Donald Trump and Duterte shook hands twice and exchanged pleasantries before they posed with other leaders for a group photo and everyone filed into dinner.

Trump joined his fellow leaders in wearing Philippine formal attire — the barong tagalog, or long-sleeved white shirt.

He sat to Duterte’s left at dinner and they engaged in conversation before the first course was served.

Trump and Duterte will hold more formal talks on Monday.

US President Donald Trump sits with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and partner Cieltio Avanceña at the Asean gala diner on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. (Photo from an RTVM video)

Gathering of leaders

Among the Asean leaders present were Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen, Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long, Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Indonesia President Joko Widodo, Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak, Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuân Phúc, and Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.

Besides Trump, the other Asean dialogue partners who attended the gala dinner were United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of Russia, Prime Minister Li Keqiang of China, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India.

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European Council President Donald Tusk and Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araújo of Timor Leste are expected to arrive in the Philippines on Monday.

Also spotted making an entrance at the gala dinner were former House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr., former Presidents Fidel Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Pangasinan Rep. Rosemarie “Baby” Arenas, Finance Secretary Carlos Dminguez, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, and Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano.

Four-course dinner

Chef Jessie Sincioco prepared a four-course Filipino-Asian meal.

The menu included ensaladang ubod at alugbati (heart of palm and malabar spinach salad), sinigang na maya maya sa miso (soured red snapper in miso broth), bistek sushi (Filipino steak sushi), and charcoal grilled apahap fillet with tomcat-mango sambal.

For dessert, the guests had “budin,” Filipino caramel flan.

Aside from the sumptuous dinner, gala dinner guests would be delighted with an orchestra, a marching band, a rock band and soloists to welcome them.

The classic song “Manila” set the mood for the guests, who were also entertained with ballet, folk, ballroom, tap, and contemporary dance performances by top local talents.

Filipino top designers Albert Andrade, Rajo Laurel, and Randy Ortiz designed the barong tagalog and Filipiniana gowns that world leaders and their spouses wore during the gala dinner.

Andrade made piña fabric-made barong tagalog that would either have full or half button-down silhouette with intricate embroidery on the center front, collar, and cuffs.

Each of the 22 world leaders’ barong tagalog would have its own unique embroidery designs while its front and cuff buttons would feature the Asean logo.

Meanwhile, Andrade, Laurel, and Ortiz dressed the spouses of the leaders and dialogue partners with their creations, which included Filipiniana gowns.

Filipiniana attire – terno, baro’t saya, among others – had designs inspired by the three major islands of the Philippines: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

The gowns were made of high quality poly Thai silk with embroidered adornments, piña cloth with special embroidery, and piña with flower-themed embroidery and Mindanao-inspired fabric. –With a report from AP /atm

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TAGS: 31st ASEAN summit, ASEAN, ASEAN 2017, Rodrigo Duterte
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