ASEAN ministers’ spouses warmed by Kapampangan hospitality

Betis Craft Owner Myrna Bituin warmly welcomed the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economic ministers’ spouses during their visit in Guagua town on Tuesday.

The spouses were led by Pik Hiang of Indonesia (spouse of Enggartiasto Lukita, Ministry of Trade, Indonesia), Wang Qi (spouse of Franz Jessen, European Union Ambassador), Malou Lopez (spouse of Department of Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez), Tess Espenilla (spouse of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla) and others.

Mekeni Tuki Ka, Malaus Ka Pampanga. Surely, ministers’ spouses and other guests will be leaving Pampanga with full smiles.

The delegation visited the luxurious showroom of internationally acclaimed woodcarved furniture in Guagua, Pampanga.

On the second day of ASEAN Summit this November 13 to 15, these distinguished women have immersed with the vibrant culture and tradition of the Kapampangans.

Kapampangan musician Andy ALviz and the Arti Sta. Rita serenade the guests.

Members of Arti Sta. Rita founded and managed by Kapampangan musical legend Andy Alviz welcomed them with the bayanihan scene, a Filipino tradition of men lifting a nipa house to another place which signifies unity.
Pidayit designer Philip Torres with Peggy Lukita of Jakarta, Indonesia.

To the tune of famous Kapampangan love songs, these ladies gazed over the window pane of the bahay kubo as the young gents of Arti Sta. Rita serenade them.

As the food capital of the Philippines, local exhibitors cooked and served well-loved gastronomic delights like bibingka (rice cake), ale ube (ube jam), sorbetes (ice cream), and taho (soy pudding). Fiesta-themed lunch overwhelemed the guests’ tastebuds with guilt-free organic litsun babi (roast pig) and chicharron (deep-fried pig skin), fresh paku ensalada (fern salad), mouth watering talbus mustasa (mustasa leaves), balasenas (eggplany) dipped in buru (fermented rice with shrimp or fish), flavorful asadung babi (pork stew) to name a few.

To cap the day tour, the spouses trooped at the souvenir booths for a take-me-out local grabs. Of textures and prints, retazzos of cloth meticulously knitted to form handwoven barongs, bags, long skirts, dresses and shoals – Pidayit – designed by Kapampangan fashion genius Philip Torres from Angeles City. The famous copper bonsais of Andy Bondoc also wowed the spectators.

The ASEAN Summit 2017 has opened new doors to strengthen ties among SouthEast Asian countries in realization of the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers. –Photos by Larrica Angela Cunanan