Mall of Asia Arena
18 November 2015

President Benigno S. Aquino III welcomed the Economic Leaders for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) Welcome Dinner at the Mall of Asia Arena, Manila.

“Tonight, we Filipinos want to share something of our culture through our food, songs, and dance. And it is my hope that you see why so many have said that ‘it is more fun in the Philippines,” the President said.

Presenting a fusion of the traditional, modern, edgy and tropic Philippines, the welcome dinner provided a glimpse to the diverse culture and traditions with performances that offers only the best of the Filipinos’ wide array of talents. The performance featured Jessica Sanchez for the opening number, a performance from El Gamma Penumbra (first grand champion of Asia’s Got Talent), a heart-pumping ethnic dance from Douglas Nierras Powerdance, a song number from the Makiling Ensemble, a traditional ethnic dance of the Igorots by the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, a Masskara parade performance by Buganda Brumbeats, a musical duet on The Beatles “Stairway to Heaven” by Arnel Pineda and Jed Madela, a superb piano solo exhibition by Cecile Licad, a musical duet by APL de AP and Reynan Dal-Anay (a child from the Manobo tribe who was hailed one of the top 4 grand finalists from the latest “The Voice Kids Philippines”), a hair-raising performance from Charice Pempengco, and a surprise duet of Gary Valenciano and Martin Nievera.

Donned in traditional Filipino attires, the Pinyang Barong designed by Paul Cabral, had been hand-woven using pineapple fiber—incorporating in it designs that made each Barong unique and culturally grounded that represents the country of the Leader.

The Leaders were equally indulged to several Filipino-styled savory dishes prepared by Via Mare and Chibo starting off with an appetizer Ensalada Tagala and, for main course, Yamang Dagat Tinola (seafood tiniola) and Bistek Manilenya. Before capping off the night, the Leaders were presented with a signature delicacy served with a twist: the Majablanca Moderna Con Mangga (smoked coconut, Lambanog-poached Mango, white corn crema, topped with Latik glaze).

Inspired by the Banaue Rice Terraces, Kenneth Cobonpue, a renowned local industrial designer, transformed the Mall of Asia Arena into a green garland that transported the Leaders to the scenic view of the Rice Terraces while celebrating the general thematic feel of ‘oneness.’

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