President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei infused some sense of nostalgia Saturday, recognizing the close ties that were fostered during the time of the late president Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
During their bilateral meeting at the sidelines of the 40th and 41st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summits and Related Summits, the President pointed out that the strong bond nurtured by the Philippines and Brunei was shaped in part by his father and that he witnessed this as a young man.
“We have been witnesses to this growth in our relationship. From the early days when my father came to visit you and I was able to accompany him,” President Marcos told the Brunei sultan during the meeting.
“I remember I just happened to be in Manila for a vacation from studying in the UK. And my father said, ‘You have to come.’ And I was lucky enough to be able to accompany him and enjoy the hospitality of Your Majesty,” Marcos, waxing nostalgic, said.
In response, Sultan Bolkiah recognized the strong fraternal bond that Brunei and the Philippines have developed through the years.
Bolkiah, for his part, recalled hosting the late Philippine president in Brunei during the celebration of the country’s first National Day in February 1984.
“Since then, our relations have continued to grow stronger. There’s an active exchange between us at all levels. There is a large Filipino community in Brunei. They are an important part of our growth and invaluable contribution to our socioeconomic development,” Bolkiah said.
The sultan hopes more Filipinos come to Brunei for a visit with the availability of more direct flights between the two countries.