APEC World Leaders Arrive in Manila
World leaders arrived in Manila today, amid high security and protests. Over 20,000 police and military have been deployed on the streets around the APEC conference.
With some roads cleared for APEC, others have become so congested that many buses refused to take passengers to their final destination, forcing many to have to get out and walk.
“It took me half day literally stuck in Coastal and with no options or other means of transportation to be able to reach EDSA. I just diverted going home,” said Rhodora Fuentebella, who was riding a bus traversing Coastal Road.
“The Coastal Road traffic-jam reached as far back as Lungos in Las Pinas, forcing other vehicles such as jeepneys to take the Paranaque route instead.” Reported ABS CBN.
Protests and Clashes
Students took to the streets, protesting against APEC, burning American flags and clashing with police.
Roads Closed, Businesses Closed, Government Closed
To prevent traffic for APEC attendees, many major roads were closed, causing massive congestion on many other roads. Countless commuters were forced to disembark early and walk the remaining distance to and from work.
The government announced that November 18th and 19th would be national holidays. With the central bank being closed on these days, it also means that banks will not be processing checks during these days.
Having talked to a few friends who own local businesses and restaurants, most have reported that they will be closed as they are having difficulties receiving deliveries as well as staff being able to get to work. Not exactly a great example to show when hosting a trade conference!
Obama Announces Plans
As Air Force One touched down at NAIA, Obama announced his plans for the next 3 days while attending APEC.
With high tensions over the disputed south china sea and the US military already sending a Missile Destroyer and B52 Bomber, President Obama announced that he will pay a visit to the Gregorio del Pilar frigate which was acquired from the USA in 2011.
“The Philippines, which has one of the weakest militaries in Asia, has in recent years sought to draw longtime ally the United States into the dispute as a protector against China.” Reported Yahoo News.
APEC is "worst-dressed parade"
APEC is considered to be the worst dressed parade. This year, designer Paul Cabral is creating shirts made from pineapple fibers in hopes to shake off the negative title.
Last year, “the tunics worn by the leaders in China went viral on social media for resembling Star Trek uniforms.” reports The Guardian.