8 of the Most Notable

and Bizarre Moments

of ASEAN 2017

By Anthony Ken

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Given the state the world is in these days, it should not have come as a surprise to us the amount of surreal moments we have witnessed thus far at the gathering of dignitaries at this year’s ASEAN. What did caught us off-guard were the ones that involved those at the periphery of the event.

Here is the rundown of the notables, as well as those that have become notorious, in ASEAN 2017:

Traffic Deja Vu

We were warned that traffic would get bad. Which is why the government suspended work and classes. They even put up the pylons, some bearing the words “ASEAN LANE”, to give us a preview of what’s to come. Still, people went out in droves, and unsurprisingly were met with horrible traffic jams reminiscent of the APEC Summit held in the country two years ago. As such, an outpouring of violent reactions were seen on our feeds.

Jeez, if only we were warned.




Of course, the reason for the heavy traffic was to ensure the safety as well as the smooth and fast transfer of the visiting heads of state from the airport to the hub of ASEAN activities. There were quite a few characters there, too.


The ASEAN Handshake Strut

Take U.S. President Donald Trump, for example. Trump is notoriously known for his violent handshakes. But when it came time for the traditional arms chain for members of ASEAN, he seems to have lost his grip on the occasion. Trump is also known for breaking protocols in his stint as a statesman. I guess we should be thankful he participated in this at all.


Budding BFF

All eyes were on Trump and President Duterte as they are seen in public for the first time as leaders of their respective countries. Are sparks going to fly? What inventive invective are we going to hear? But what we were treated to so far was Duterte serenading Trump. Pretty tame, but it turns out their rapport is real. We’re shocked.

Hero or Villain?

Depending on your disposition at the time of the horrendous traffic jam, you either raised your fist in victory or in fury over what Maria Isabel Lopez did. We may or may not have done what she did under the same circumstance. But we would definitely not post it on social media and gloat about it.


No Invite

Speaking of breaking protocols, it has been an established custom in the country for the Vice President to be the one to receive guests on such gatherings as the ASEAN. In keeping with the new world order, the VP was sidelined on this occasion. She was invited though on the opening and closing ceremonies, and will be delivering a keynote speech in the ASEAN Investment and Business Summit .


No Invite pt 2

Duterte diehard (there’s no other way around it) Sass Sasot confronted BBC reporter Jonathan Head about her perceived manipulation of the international news agency in interviewing Duterte critic and blogger Jover Laurio. Sasot insinuated that the BBC was approached by a powerful group to have Laurio interviewed. While we may question the choices any news agency might have on their interview subjects, it’s pretty much a stretch when one argues that they have much more followers than the one interviewed. Besides, we’re pretty sure getting up in the face of journalists is not the way to get yourself featured.


Trudeau is our Beau




What were the highlights for you so far? Tell us about them below!

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