Just when everything was expected to be serious at APEC, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his charm seemed to make things lighter in the Philippines. The newly elected Canadian leader attended the two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Conference summit in Manila, Philippines. As soon as he arrived on Tuesday evening, Filipinos went posting #APEChottie which immediately trended on Twitter.
Filipinos ignored the hotness of the sun and the heavy traffic the event had caused as long as they can take a glimpse of the 43-year old Trudeau. Many netizens tweeted how good-looking Trudeau was, with some even thanking him for showering ‘handsomeness’ in the Philippines. With the Canadian leader’s smile and wave, many girls were obviously swooned. However, Trudeau was quick to tell local reporters in the Philippines that it sometimes bothers him to be seen in an entirely different perspective unrelated to who he is.
Trudeau’s visit to Philippines was not all smiles and winks, though. He was placed on a hot seat when he addressed Philippine’s legal complaint over the garbage from Canada shipped to the Southeast Asian nation more than two years ago. Roughly 29 containers of trash from Canada were dumped in a landfill in Tarlac, Philippines in 2013. Philippine’s Bureau of Customs issued lawsuits against a private company importing scrap plastic materials from Canada. The shipment, which was supposed to contain recyclable plastic scrap, was filled with household garbage and mix trashes. Trudeau clarified that solid solutions are currently on the process and promised to fix loopholes in Canadian shipment policies. He also echoed Canada’s readiness to join the global fight against terrorism.
This is Trudeau’s first APEC appearance after he won in the October elections. He is the second youngest prime minister in Canadian history. The son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Justin Trudeau was a former schoolteacher and a parliament member since 2008 before running to higher office.
Aside from Prime Minister Trudeau, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was also named #APEChottie. Nieto, 49 years old, arrived in the Philippines on Tuesday morning. Filipinos are even doing unofficial voting on who between the two leaders looks sexier. “Are you with Team Nieto or Team Trudeau?” netizens asks, not minding the two leaders are married and have children. With the South China Sea dispute and terrorism attacks happening elsewhere, Filipino netizens defended that the #APEChottie is just the country’s way of showing its optimism and lightheartedness.