Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, Pasay City
April 29, 2017

“I would like to propose a toast… 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 friendship between our nations and positive change in the lives of our people, mabuhay!,” said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in a speech at the gala dinner that officially ended the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders’ Summit at the Sofitel Grand Ballroom in Pasay City.

The President expressed gladness to host a dinner for the ASEAN leaders and their respective delegations present in the audience. “After a very productive day of open discussions, sharing infos and exchanging of views, we are about to enjoy a sumptuous feast and lovely performances, a showcase of Filipino hospitality,” he said.

He spoke of the intimate connection that ASEAN members thrive on. “We consider all of you, not just as neighbors but friends, but also our brothers and sisters,” he added.

President Duterte also talked about the differences of each ASEAN member-states and their united goals, saying, “We are all proud of the diversity of our culture and history, bound as we are of shared vision and shared aspirations in this fraternal bond that continues to unite and inspire us to partner for change and to engage the world.”

The President compared the gathering of ASEAN nations to a family reunion and stressed, “In the Philippines as in any other ASEAN country, family reunions are always a joyous occasion for fellowship and hospitality.”

The gala dinner showcased performances from the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philippine Women’s University (PWU) Jose Abad Santos Memorial School Rondalla. The guests were also served appetizing and flavorful 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.

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