WHILE their husbands get down to business at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), the spouses of world leaders attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in Manila will enjoy a day of history, culture and fashion today, Monday.
Despite the absence of US First Lady Melania Trump, who is perhaps the most prominent of the spouses, her counter parts from other countries will begin their day with a guided tour of a special exhibit to mark the 50th founding anniversary of Asean.
Mounted at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ (CCP) Little Theater, under the auspices of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the leaders’ spouses will view “ASEAN at 50: Power as Flow”—a show of artifacts, images, and texts featuring the history of the Southeast Asian people, emphasizing their excellence in trade, art, and culture.
The exhibit will further reveal the Asean’s plans to sustain the region’s water resources, from proper management through reservoirs and other hydrological infrastructures to protect its marine species and ecosystems.
Museum and exhibition development corporation TAO Inc. founder Marian Pastor-Roces and cultural stalwart Cora Alvina will guide the spouses during the tour.
According to the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), meanwhile, the wives will appreciate a glimpse of the Asean’s vast goals through the exhibit, which essentially takes pride in the member countries’ existence as an interconnected region.
Following the tour, President Rodrigo Duterte’s common law wife, Honeylet Avancena will host a Spouses’ Luncheon at The Manila Hotel, where a four-course Filipino menu has been prepared by the property’s executive chef Konrad Walter.
To entertain the guests during the luncheon, a fashion show by Filipino designer Randy Ortiz, dubbed “Manila Wear,” will be staged.
By the end of the day, Avancena will personally gift the leaders’ spouses with boxes of Malagos Chocolate from the Dutertes’ hometown in Davao City.
Davaoenos take pride in the locally sourced and manufactured premium quality dark chocolates, which already won several international awards, including the 2017 Great Taste Competition in London.
According to previous reports, Avancena ordered 12 sets of limited edition gift boxes for each Asean spouse, which contain three sweetened dark chocolate bars, one unsweetened chocolate gift can and two demitasse cups.