Manila saw this week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit 2015 unfold in ways both good and bad.
To the common Filipino, the week began unforgettably on Monday with thousands commuting to their place of work and back for hours in traffic and on foot from multiple road closures in the south. The government explained that these were made to ensure the security and mobility of the visiting delegates.
This gave birth to the latest portmanteau in the Filipino’s ever-growing vocabulary: “APECtado,” coined to mean “affected by APEC.”
On the same day, the APEC Ministerial Meeting opened, as well as the CEO Summit that saw President Benigno Aquino 3rd in his first official function as leader of the host country.
The following day, US President Barack Obama and China President Xi Jinping—heads of the two most powerful nations in the world today—arrived in Manila.
But there were two more visiting leaders that quickly caught the attention of Filipinos in Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Why so? Because of their extremely good looks.
It was then that the hashtag #APEChottie trended in the Philippines, helping those “APECtado” make light of what became their norm in the days to come.
Wednesday saw the lavish APEC Welcome Dinner at the SM Mall of Asia Arena where world-class Filipino talents were spotlighted, from the fashion of Paul Cabral, to the centerpieces of Kenneth Cobonpue, and the excellent performances of El Gamma Penumbra and the country’s best singers, dancers and musicians.
On Thursday, it was the APEC Spouses’ turn at the spotlight at a festive reception mounted by the President’s sisters Kris Aquino, Viel Aquino-Dee, Pinky Aquino-Abellada, and Ballsy Aquino-Cruz inside the historic walls of Intramuros, Manila.
Besides the official events, massive rallies also erupted in various parts of Metro Manila throughout the week with hundreds of anti-APEC Filipinos clashing with authorities.
Nevertheless, the 2015 APEC Summit was declared a success by Friday as world leaders and their respective delegations bid fond farewells and extended gratitude to the ever-hospitable Filipino people, bringing with them promises of reinforced partnerships for a better world.
This is the APEC Summit 2015 through the eyes of The Manila Times photographers.