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Toni Gonzaga on Malacañang's dinner invitation: 'I was surprised'

INVITATION. Toni Gonzaga reveals that she didn't know the reason behind President Duterte's dinner invite.

Photo from Toni Gonzaga's Instagram account

MANILA, Philippines – Many were surprised to see a number of celebrities at the May 7 private "thanksgiving dinner" in Malacañang hosted by President Rodrigo Duterte and partner Honeylet Avanceña.

Toni Gonzaga, one of the celebrities present at the dinner, said she was surprised herself when she received the invitation. (READ: IN PHOTOS: Celebrities at Duterte's thanksgiving dinner)

In an interview with Inquirer.net, the TV host and actress said she didn't know why she and the other celebrities were invited to the private dinner.

“Hindi rin namin alam kung bakit kami ‘yung mga napili na dumating because I wasn’t active during the whole campaign. Noong presidential, hindi ako nangampanya. Kaya nagulat din ako,” she said.

(We didn’t know why we were chosen to attend the dinner because I wasn’t active during the campaign. Even during the presidential elections, I didn't campaign for him. I was surprised.)

Toni said most of the celebrity guests at the dinner party were surprised to see each other there. 

“Lahat kami nagkagulatan na, ‘Invited ka pala, invited ka pala,' (All of us were surprised to see each other)," she said. 

"It was such a private invitation na hindi namin alam kung sino ‘yung mga makakasama namin (we didn't know who we'd see at the party),” she added.

Toni said she assumed she was invited – along with her husband Paul Soriano and her sister Alex – because they are close to actor Robin Padilla, a loyal supporter of Duterte. 

Other artists spotted at the event included Bayani Agbayani, Richard Gomez, Freddie Aguilar, Gretchen Ho, John Lloyd Cruz, Phillip Salvador, Chad Borja, and Ai-Ai Delas Alas. – Rappler.com