MANILA - Before hosting a luncheon in Intramuros for the spouses of the world leaders attending the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit Thursday, presidential sister Kris Aquino stopped by one of the country's flags situated inside the historic walled city.
There, the 44-year-old Aquino mused about the positives of hosting an international event of such scale wherein leaders and representatives from over 20 countries came together to discuss issues such as climate change and regional economy growth.
On her Instagram account, Aquino wrote: "I captured this while waiting for our guests this morning. It felt like a beautiful reminder of upholding our treasured cultural trait of being welcoming and hospitable to all our guests, and being proud of our country and our people."
She added: "Some of the APEC leaders are flying out of the Philippines today, others will leave tomorrow. We've been blessed to host this yearly gathering that continues to help build closer ties, economic cooperation, shared prosperity for member nations, inclusiveness and peaceful coexistence."
Since the President Benigno Aquino III is a bachelor, his sisters take over the tasks normally undertaken by the first lady in welcoming world leaders and their families.
Addressing critics of APEC 2015
On one of Aquino's photos on Instagram with Alibaba founder Jack Ma and Jollibee Food Corp.'s Tony and Grace Tan Caktiong taken during the state dinner held for Mexico's Enrique Peña Nieto, one of her followers aired her observations about APEC 2015.
In the comments section, Aquino's follower wrote:"Sana makatulong talaga ang APEC in upcoming years para naman sulit ang pagod na na-feel ng mga Filipino. Sa commute sa hassle and everything."
"Nakakatuwa lang na isipin na akala ko ba kami ang boss pero kailangan pang mag-APEC para lang malinis ang EDSA walls? ...We keep inviting international leaders for them to invest here, why not expose and show them what we have [so they] can help us [because] they believe in what we do and not because they want to use the land and the people for their own benefit."
To which Aquino replied: "We don't live in isolation -- we live in a world that needs defense treaties, and trade agreements, and a world where at any given time there are 3 million documented Filipinos working abroad."
She added: "The IT-BPO industry now employs more than 1 million of our countrymen here in the Philippines and income would be in the US$20 billion dollar range by 2016."