In 2017, the ten countries making up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will celebrate its 50th year. The Philippines has been designated as chairman and host nation of ASEAN’s upcoming meetings and summits, with milestone celebrations marking the continued growth and success of the regional initiative.
 
As a founding member of ASEAN, the Philippines is well-versed in hosting large-scale regional events and catering to ASEAN’s multicultural context. This year, 12 cities—Manila, Cebu, Palawan, Clark, Tagaytay, Iloilo, Laoag, Boracay, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Bohol and Davao—are playing host to 139 ASEAN meetings including two Leader’s Summits, 16 Ministerial Meetings, 43 Senior Officials Meetings and 78 Working Group Meetings.
 
A number of notable events have already taken place around the country, including the first flagship event of the year—the 30th ASEAN Summit—from April 26-29 within the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex in Pasay City, with ASEAN leaders coming together on April 29  at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
 
PICC greets ASEAN delegates
 
The PICC served as a good fit for the high-profile meeting, flaunting 70,000sqm of event space and including two banquet halls, two boardrooms, and five buildings housing several private meeting rooms and exhibition areas. After the day’s affairs, participants enjoyed a more intimate gala dinner at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza hotel.
 
Finance and Central Bank Meetings took place in Cebu in April, including the 21st ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Meeting held at the Shangri-la Mactan Resort and Spa. On March 21-23, SMX Bacolod held the 15th Senior Officials Responsible for Information (SOMRI) Meeting. Davao, Bohol and Iloilo also hosted recent ASEAN events.
 
Expansive outdoor event space at Shangri-La Mactan

Dozens of events are planned for the coming months, all culminating at the second and final ASEAN Summit of 2017, taking place from November 10-14 at the Clark Freeport Zone. The area is home to the five-star Widus Hotel and Casino, several international restaurants, lounges and spas. In preparation for the landmark event, Clark is opening new transportation initiatives including the Clark-Mabalacat-Angeles Road (CMAR), set to curb traffic congestion, and an influx of new flight routes to and from Clark International Airport.
 
The Philippines is set to take its place as a serious player on the international business event stage, and 2017 will continue to showcase the nation as a thriving, urban centre capable of accommodating large-scale meetings and events.
 
ASEAN’s overarching theme this year is ‘Partnering for Change, Engaging the World’, which seeks to promote unity among Southeast Asian nations and global partners alike. If the association’s 50th anniversary affairs serve as any benchmark, the Philippines is on the fast track to becoming a major international player.
 
To start planning a successful event in the Philippines contact the Philippine Tourism Promotions Board at +63 2 525 9318 to 27 or email mice@tpb.gov.ph