Heads of state and world leaders arrive at the SMX Convention Center for the ASEAN 2017 gala dinner
November 12, 2017, MANILA—President Rodrigo Roa Duterte welcomed 1,300 guests including 19 heads of state for the ASEAN gala dinner held at the SM Convention Center in Pasay City—the biggest gathering Duterte hosted to date.
Duterte, ASEAN leaders and dialogue partners together with their spouses were all clad in Filipiniana costumes designed by top Filipino designers Albert Andrada, Randy Ortiz, and Rajo Laurel. The men, including US President Donald Trump, wore barong tagalog while the ladies, including Duterte’s partner Honeylet Avanceña, arrived in different Filipiniana designs.
Other leaders present during the dinner were Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Russia Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Japanese Prime Minsiter Shinzō Abe, Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Vietnam President Trần Đại Quang, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, South Korea President Moon Jae-in, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lao People’s Democratic Republic Prime Minister Thoungloun Sisoulith, Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, and Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The four-course dinner was prepared by Chef Jessie Sincioco, who hopes guests will appreciate Filipino food. Sincioco also made the menu during Pope Francis’ last visit to the Philippines.
Part of the festivity was a short dinner program, which included an impressive display of vocal prowess by the country’s best singers. Freddie Aguilar sang his greatest hit Anak. The President surprised everyone with an impromptu song number with Asia’s “Queen of Song,” Pilita Corales.