This is definitely a DiploMoment… one of those special experiences that I never really expected to have but have the pleasure of doing so as a diplomat’s wife. Recently PBSA (President Benigno S. Aquino) was in town for the ASEAN Summit as were many other important people in the region. We were lucky enough to be invited to greet him as he arrived at the Four Seasons Hotel where he was billeted.
Four Seasons was looking great!
A few people from the embassy and the mission and a handful of prominent Filipinos in Jakarta were present. It was quite an intimate group.
DID YOU KNOW?
Filipinos in Indonesia are mostly professionals (CEO, Marketing Directors etc. of multinationals and businesses) and business owners. Unlike countries like Singapore were there are many blue collar workers. This is due to the surplus of low-cost domestic labor.
I spent ages adjusting the settings of my DSLR so that I could get it right when the President arrived I would not be scrambling. Of course I didn’t factor in the bright lights of the media crew that would be following him! Ack. So here are the few over-exposed photos I was able to catch before he swiftly passed by!
And then he was gone! I have to say I was disappointed that he didn’t shake hands (or even wave) to the small group that was there to welcome him. His staff said that this was because he was really shy and he must have been really tired.
After the excitement we had a chance to meet some other delegates to the ASEAN and take a few photos. Sorry I wasn’t able to include it all. (Do you like the yellow ribbon I included?)
Sadly for TD their convoy was held up just as they were about to turn the corner into Four Seasons – held up by the President’s convoy! The President’s much faster convoy beat them to the hotel! They were all just sitting in their cars until one of the Secretaries made a run for it (seriously!) so of course all the underlings had to get out of their cars and run after their bosses as well. How funny! It’s too bad that despite the run, they missed him. P-noy was just too quick. =P
Most of the pictures I took of TD were of him talking on the phone. Believe me I have more! I must have taken about 8 of these… he spent the rest of the evening madly pacing the the lobby while talking! Very busy indeed!
Despite my tiny disappointment at not being able to shake the Presidents hands, it was still quite exciting that I got to be part of the welcoming group and that I got to see him in the flesh up close. Lucky me! =D