Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and US President Donald Trump have finally met and although details of their closed door meeting are only emerging slowly, at the opening gala of the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, one sound was clear about the rest: the singing voice of Rodrigo Duterte.
Duerte surprised his international audience with a love song after announcing, “Ladies and gentlemen, I sang uninvited a duet with Ms. Pilita Corrales upon the orders of the commander in chief of the United States”.
— Karen Jimeno (@AttyKarenJimeno) November 12, 2017
This is not the first time Duterte has sung for other world leaders. In November of 2016, he famously serenaded the Malaysian head of state at a banquet.
While Karaoke remains a highly popular leisure activity throughout East and South East Asia, what many do not know is that Filipinos have taken things a step further. Philippines is home to many instrumentalists and vocalists who are capable of precisely replicating some of the most popular hit songs for the last fifty years in a regionally renowned music scene.
One Filipino singer, Arnel Pineda was discovered by the top American rock band Journey when they were in need of a new singer. Pineda joined the band after the Journey’s founders discovered a tape of Pineda and were impressed by his likeness to the original records sung by American Steve Perry.
When it comes to the political substance of the Duterte-Trump meeting beyond serenades, it has been reported that both shared a laugh over their mutual strong dislike of Barack Obama.
However, the fact the more detailed results of the meeting have not been entirely forthcoming, is yet a further sign that when it comes to entertainment Duterte and Trump struck the right note, but that when it comes to new deals for the future, Duterte’s more serious meetings were the recent ones he conducted with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.