It never really occurred to me that I’ll ever attend the ASEAN Summit. I grabbed the chance to go when I found out that it’s going to be held here in the Philippines. I don’t really see myself working in that field, but we never know. An opportunity is an opportunity, right? I guess it’s an additional credit for future portfolios, or additional knowledge for myself.
Just a brief background, the ASEAN or the Association of South East Asian Nations is consisted of the countries the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Brunei. There are currently two observers — Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste. The ASEAN’s purpose is to tackle issues and cooperation on economy, trade, industry, arts, culture and information. One of the benefits of the cooperation is visa free travel for tourists from member countries. It’s originally called the SEATO or the South East Asian Treaty Organization (Hello, 8th Grade Social Studies!). SEATO was organized for the purpose of common security and military alliance.
“The Philippines is privileged to hold the ASEAN Summit on its milestone year” says PRRD, people inside the PICC Plenary Hall were all ears as he talked about solidarity and cooperation between nations. It’s the 50th year of the association but I would rather not get into further detail about his speech and other issues though. Aside from the traditional ASEAN handshake and song, people in the audience were also presented with amazing and vibrant performances.
I have never seen Manila so alive. The driveway of Sofitel Philippine Plaza, for one, was filled with luxury cars. Higantes and festive dancers in colorful clothing welcomed the leaders and other guests for the Gala night. The food that was served were mostly from our local cuisine. I guess I could say that the Halo-halo was a top hit, you can see people of different nationalities enjoying the icy treat.
For an 18 year old, it feels very overwhelming to have witnessed an event such as the ASEAN. I felt very happy to be surrounded by people from various fields. I couldn’t explain my excitement all throughout that day. Again, this blog post is a bit off my usual, but the experience I had at the ASEAN Summit was worth writing about. I hope I get to experience it again, someday, in another country.
Ending this with a full OOTD!