IN PHOTOS: PH stars perform at APEC 2015 dinner

MANILA, Philippines – Economic leaders or their nation's representatives are in the Philippines for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, and were welcomed by the country's top performers at a dinner Wednesday night, November 18 at the Mall of Asia Arena. 

In his opening remarks during the dinner, President Aquino said, "Tonight, we Filipinos want to share something of our culture through our food, songs, and dance. And it is my hope that you see why so many have said that 'it is more fun in the Philippines.'"

Among those who performed were Martin Nievera, Jessica Sanchez, Gary Valenciano, Charice, Journey frontman Arnel Pineda, and Apl de Ap.

After dinner, Jessica Sanchez and El Gamma Penumbra opened the program, followed by dance numbers. (IN PHOTOS: Jessica Sanchez performs with Christian Bautista in Manila)

Jessica Sanchez.

Screengrab from YouTUBE/RTVMalacanang

El Gamma Penumbra.

Screengrab from YouTUBE/RTVMalacanang

Jed Madela.

Screengrab from YouTUBE/RTVMalacanang

Arnel Pineda.

Screengrab from YouTUBE/RTVMalacanang

In a phone interview with Rappler before the performance, Dong Pilotos, manager of El Gamma Penumbra, said that they felt extremely honored to be part of the program. The song for the performance, he said, was prepared especially for the event. (READ: PH dance troupe El Gamma Penumbra wins 'Asia's Got Talent')

"Kasi professionalism na natin ang hinahanap dito, hindi na tayo competitor. Hindi na tayo contestant. Sabi ko sa kanila na dito natin ipapakita what a world class [talent] El Gamma Penumbra is," Dong said.

(It's all about professionalism, especially now. We're not competitors anymore. We're not contestants anymore. I told them this is the opportunity to show that El Gamma Penumbra is world class.)

Filipina pianist Cecile Licad also performed. Apl de Ap and The Voice Kids Season 2 finalist Reynan Dal-Anay sang "The Apl Song," and Black Eyed Peas' "Where is the Love." (READ: FULL RECAP: 'The Voice Kids PH 2' Grand finals)

Cecile Licad.

Screengrab from YouTUBE/RTVMalacanang

FIST BUMP. President Benigno Aquino III with 'The Voice Kids 2' contestant Reynan dal Anay.

Photo by Gil Nartea, Malacanang Photo Bureau

Reynan dal Anay performing with Apl de Ap.

Photo by Gil Nartea, Malacanang Photo Bureau

Apl de Ap and Raynan Dal-Anay.

Screengrab from YouTube/RTVMalacanang

Apl de Ap now performing #APEC2015 A photo posted by Kris Aquino (@withlovekrisaquino) on Nov 18, 2015 at 6:22am PST


Charice, accompanied by a choir, performed "Para Sa Bayan." (WATCH: Charice Pempengco performs with David Foster on 'Asia's Got Talent')


Screengrab from YouTUBE/RTVMalacanang

#ParaSaBayan by #CHARICE A photo posted by Kris Aquino (@withlovekrisaquino) on Nov 18, 2015 at 6:26am PST


Martin Nievera and Gary Valenciano shared the stage for the finale and performed "As One."

Martin Nievera and Gary Valenciano.

Screengrab from YouTUBE/RTVMalacanang

Martin Nievera & Gary Valenciano #APEC2015 A photo posted by Kris Aquino (@withlovekrisaquino) on Nov 18, 2015 at 6:30am PST


Other performers include Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, Buganda Drumbeaters, Douglas Nierras' Powerdance, Madrigal Singers, and Makiling Ensemble. The musical director for the night was Louie Ocampo. 

Bagobo and Kalinga Suite.

Photo by Gil Nartea, Malacanang Photo Bureau

PHOTO: "Bagobo and Kalinga Suite" dance performance at the #APEC2015 Leaders Meeting dinner. — APEC 2015 (@apec2015ph) November 18, 2015

PHOTO: "Bagobo and Kalinga Suite" dance performance at the #APEC2015 Leaders Meeting dinner. — APEC 2015 (@apec2015ph) November 18, 2015


PHOTO: @OfficialCharice, PH Madrigal Singers perform "Para Sa Bayan" at #APEC2015 dinner. — APEC 2015 (@apec2015ph) November 18, 2015



Some of the performers also posted photos of the night on their social media accounts. 

Before the show, Charice posted this photo with Jessica on Instagram.

All set. @jessicaesanchez A photo posted by chris (@supercharice) on Nov 18, 2015 at 4:36am PST

There's also this photo posted of them on the way to the APEC Welcome Dinner.

APEC 2015 A photo posted by chris (@supercharice) on Nov 17, 2015 at 4:26pm PST


Martin Nievera posted this photo of US president Barack Obama in a barong, standing with President Aquino. 

What a moment! Barack in a Barong makes it look so Baright! A photo posted by martinnievera (@martinnievera) on Nov 18, 2015 at 4:33am PST


The Welcome Dinner isn't the only event that was planned to entertain our foreign visitors. There's also a lunch planned on November 19 for the economic leaders' spouses, hosted by the president's sister, Kris Aquino. Actor Derek Ramsey will co-host the event with her.  

Last week, Kris announced that the roster of performers for the luncheon will include Matteo Guidicelli, Ogie Alcasid, Angeline Quinto, and Erik Santos.

The spouses of leaders from Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, New Zealand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Colombia are expected to attend the lunch. –