Fw: Travel Pool Report #13 — Arrival at APEC / Family Photo

From: Shear, Michael [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2015 09:20 PM
To: Allen, Jessica L. EOP/WHO
Subject: Travel Pool Report #13 — Arrival at APEC / Family Photo

At 7:35 pm Philippine President Aquino and his wife took the center of the red carpet inside the Mall of Asia Arena dressed in this year's traditional APEC shirt -- a sheer, off-white linen number called a barong Tagalog by Filipino designer Paul Cabral, according to local press accounts. The formal men's version has a four-button placket, gold embroidery and is usually worn buttoned to the neck, which has a pointed collar. The women's version is similar but has an open neck line.

Traditional percussion music was playing outside the arena as the leaders began to arrive, and they passed by a photo pen both outside and inside as they were greeted by Aquino. Pooler counted more than a dozen video cameras inside and more still photographers.
Each leader, many of whom were accompanied by their spouse, shook hands with Aquino and posed for photos.

The order of arrivals was as follows:

Hong Kong
Indonesia Vice President
New Zealand
Papua New Guinea
Russia's Medvedev
Chinese Taipei (Taiwan)
Korea's Park, who wore a thicker, longer, non-sheer version of the shirt (the embroidery and color was similar)
Malaysia First Lady who came solo after PM Najib had entered earlier; she wore a very bling-worthy sparkly gown and big bouffant hairdo

POTUS entered solo at 8:30, shook hands with Aquino and his wife, smiling and asking, "How are you?" Then Potus, like those before him, curled around to an escalator to visit the leaders lounge to wait for the APEC family photo.

Then, protocol ambassadors for each nation, including the United States' Peter Selfridge, took the places where the leaders would stand on the two-tiered podium in front of a wall with gold lettering reading, "Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World."

The leaders arrived back downstairs at about 8:35. POTUS, who was chewing gum, walked in with Brunei's president and took his place in the first row next to Vietnam's president on his right and Thailand on his left. POTUS shook hands with the Malaysian First Lady. The leaders posed for photos, and then POTUS suggested,  "One wave?"' And the leaders waved for another pic. Then they broke up and left for dinner, with Potus first out of the room.

Inside, the room was set up for a seated dinner, with huge chandeliers that were made to look like native plants.

POTUS entered the room shortly after, alongside Aquino, who then delivered some opening remarks and a brief toast. POTUS did not deliver remarks.

Aquino assured the diners that "tonights dinner will not feature a menu of policy and statistics."

He describe the traditions of a Philippine dinner, which was meant to "strengthen our friendships" and share culture.

He toasted the "stability and progress" of the Asia Pacific, friendships and the "future that we are shaping."

The program for the dinner listed some of the entertainment for the night:

-- "On a clear day," sung by Jessica Sanchez, who was one of the final two contestants of  season 11 of American Idol, and a former glee cast member.

-- Stairway to Heavan, by Arnel Pineda and Jed Madela

-- The APL Song / Where is the love? by Apl de Ap / Reynan Del-Anay

Your pool is holding until the end of the dinner.


Michael D. Shear
White House Correspondent
The New York Times

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