05 December 2017 – Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Antonio A. Morales hosted the ASEAN Gala last 22 November at the Shangri-La Hotel that was also participated in by other ASEAN resident embassies in Singapore: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The Guest of Honor was Senior Minister of State for Defense and Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mohamad Maliki Osman. He was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary of the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chee Wee Kiong.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Morales said that “it is indeed a miracle that ASEAN has gone on to reach 50 golden years and counting” given the inauspicious geopolitical environment when ASEAN was founded.
The Ambassador described the chairmanship of ASEAN by President Rodrigo R. Duterte as “a crowning diplomatic moment” for the Philippines.
“President Duterte swept himself to victory on the tide of a strong populist sentiment and a clamor for change. His chairmanship of ASEAN then was an opportunity to showcase another side of him – a leader of a nation on the cusp of coming into her own,” he added.
Ambassador Morales also congratulated and wished Singapore good luck as it takes over the rein of chairing ASEAN next year.
During the program, cultural performances were presented by the ASEAN embassies, with the Philippines represented by the Higaunon Tribal Dance, a Singapore-based group of HSWs that aim to promote Philippine culture through dance.
The ASEAN Gala, which is always held in November, has been a tradition among the ASEAN resident embassies in Singapore.