MANILA–President Rodrigo Duterte and several foreign leaders gathered in Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila on Saturday evening for a gala dinner hosted by the Philippines during the 30th Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.
President Duterte hoped that the gathering will strengthen the old friendships among the Southeast Asian Nations and make new ones.
“We consider all of you not just as our neighbors, but friends but also our brothers and sisters,” Duterte said.
He added that the nations are all proud of the diversity of the culture and history bound as they share common vision and aspirations.
“In this fraternal bond that continues to unite and inspire us to partner for change and to engage the world,” Duterte said.
The Chief Executive then offered a toast to the stability of the Southeast Asian nations.
“To the unity, centrality, solidarity and continued success of ASEAN; to peace and stability in the region and continued growth of our economies; to the enduring friendships between our nations and the positive change in the lives of our people,” Duterte said.
The leaders had the chance to chat before their official family photos were taken.
Among those who performed during the gala dinner were the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra and Philippine Women’s University – Jose Abad Santos Memorial School Rondalla.
The guests were treated to a festive night, from the delectable food choices such as Kinilaw na GenSan Tuna, Sinigang na Sugpo ng Batangas, Suhang Davao Sorbet, Pinoy Adobar, Lapu-lapu sa Dayap, Kakang Gata sa Tsokolate, and Fiesta Halo-halo.