(Eagle News) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sang a hit Filipino love song at the ASEAN dinner gala in Manila Sunday (November 12), at one point taking the microphone to sing “Ikaw” (You), in a duet with local pop diva Pilita Corrales.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that Trump heard Duterte humming the tune, as singer Pilita Corrales was belting it out during the gala dinner.
Duterte stood up and sang the last lines of the song, “Upang bawat sandali ay…Upang muli’t muli ay…
Ang mahalin ay ikaw…”
Translated into English, the lines of the song speak of love that lasts for a lifetime — “I’ll take every moment that I can to do this again and again, to show that I love only you.”
After he belted out the tune, Duterte said: “Ladies and gentlemen, I sang uninvited, a duet with Ms. Pilita Corrales, upon the orders of the commander-in-chief of the United States.”
This was met with good-natured laughter from the audience.
The United States and its former colony, the Philippines, have been strategic allies since World War Two. But their relations have been strained by anti-US outbursts from Duterte, particularly during the administration of former US President Barack Obama. Duterte had also hoped for better ties with Russia and China.
On Monday (November 13), Trump said he had a “great relationship” with his Philippine counterpart, while Duterte told the U.S. president that the Philippines is an important ally during their meeting at the sidelines of a summit of East and Southeast Asian leaders in Manila.