Cate Paspos

July 2023 - One year since the proclamation of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to the Office of the President, here is a quick recap of his state visits during the one-sixth of his term. 

Former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte set a record in the Presidential office by having 19 foreign trips during his first year, which was immediately contested by President Marcos by having 13 state visits and international forums during and post-pandemic.

Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Cellona/ABS-CBN News

September 4-6, 2022 - INDONESIA

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. arrived at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on September 4th. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) also confirmed Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo's request for executive clemency of Mary Jane Veloso to Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in Jakarta on the same day.
PBBM met with President Joko Widodo the next day at Bogor Presidential Palace, Jakarta.

The state visit yielded $8.48 billion worth of business deals with the Philippine government's private-public partnerships — such as a C-5 4-level elevated expressway — with Indonesian business leaders and investors that would generate at least 7,000 new jobs. 

September 6-7, 2022 - SINGAPORE 

President Marcos Jr. landed at Changi Airport around 12:45 p.m. Over 1,500 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) gathered at the Ho Bee Auditorium of the National University of Singapore (NUS) to meet the President.

Wednesday morning, the President and First Lady Liza Marcos visited the Singapore National Orchid Garden, where the “Dendrobium Ferdinand Louise Marcos” orchid was named after them.

Singaporean investors pledged $6.54 billion worth of investments expected to generate 15,000 jobs. The investments centered around electronic tricycles (e-trikes), solar and marine renewable energy, and data centers.

September 18-24, 2022 - UNITED STATES (United Nations General Assembly)

The 88th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on September 18th marked Marcos's international stage debut, where he vowed to be a “friend to all and an enemy of none.”

According to the Philippine Air Force, the President’s flight was escorted by two FA-50 fighter jets.

On the sidelines, PBBM met with US President Joe Biden on the 21st, where he assured that the Philippines remains an ally to the US. Biden also reaffirmed their commitment to the defense of the latter’s country.

His first US trip as the highest post also yielded USD 3.9 billion worth of investment pledges in different sectors, such as Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM), expected to create around 112,285 employment opportunities.

October 1-3, 2022 - SINGAPORE (F1 Grand Prix Race)

A picture of the President with his son Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” Marcos and cousin House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez at the Singapore grand prix at Formula One Grand Prix race circulated on Facebook.

On October 3, 2022, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles confirmed PBBM’s Singapore trip over the weekend. Cruz-Angeles said the SG visit was productive as it secured and encouraged investors to invest in the Philippines.

There were no explanations for why there was no announcement prior, how it was “productive,” and where the funds came from.

November 9-13, 2022 - CAMBODIA (40th and 41st ASEAN Summit)

PBBM said his four-day trip to Cambodia for the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits in Phnom Penh was “very successful” as he could “articulate our national interests.” He also had bilateral meetings with the nation leaders of Brunei, South Korea, Vietnam, and Canada.

November 16-19, 2022 - THAILAND (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) 

Pres. Marcos Jr. met with other leaders in his participation in the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summon in Bangkok, Thailand. 

Marcos came to Bangkok accompanied by nine officials: House Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Enrique Manalo, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Erwin Tulfo, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Ivan Uy, Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual, Office of the Press (OPS) Secretary-OIC Undersecretary Cheloy Garafil, and Presidential Adviser on Creative Communication Paul Soriano.

He had bilateral meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. These bilateral meetings assured the cooperation of the five leaders in expanding the Philippines' agriculture, trade, infrastructure, energy, and defense.

Before leaving Thailand, he met with the Filipino community at the Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park Hotel and said his APEC attendance was a “success.”

December 12-14 - BELGIUM (ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit)

Marcos Jr. attended the 10th Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU) Summit in Brussels, Belgium — marking his first European continent in his presidential term.

After meeting with international maritime employers and shipowners, the President ordered the creation of an “advisory board” for Filipino seafarers to comply with the standard set by the European Union.

“We need to act not. We need to act together. We need to get it right.” Marcos said in his closing keynote speech at the Summit about the issue of climate change and made a case for setting up free trade between ASEAN and EU. He also mentioned that the two blocs must cooperate in enforcing the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

January 3-5, 2023 - CHINA 

Before his departure on January 3, 2023, he mentioned in his speech that his 48-hour China state visit would accompany his “secret weapon,” former president and House Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He also flew with House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Senator Imee Marcos,  and First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos.

PBBM was the first foreign head-of-state to visit China in 2023 post-pandemic. Marcos received a grand welcome and held bilateral meetings with three influential Chinese leaders — National People’s Congress leader Li Zhanshu, Premier Li Keqiang, and President Xi Jinping — at different halls. 

The state visit had 14 signed agreements from agriculture, development, maritime security, and tourism discussions of reopening daily flights. Marcos also secured $22.8 billion worth of investment pledges for renewable energy, electric vehicles, mineral processing, and agriculture.

It also allowed the state to open the Durian diplomacy, where Filipino farmers and traders from Mindanao told in Philippine STAR that it is expected to generate USD 150 million during the first year and shall increase every year.

January 16-21, 2023 - SWITZERLAND (World Economic Forum)

President Marcos Jr. landed in Zurich on January 16, 2023, and was accompanied by at least a 70-man delegation, including people from the private sector, Vera Files reports. Criticisms arose as the United States had 19 delegates without the head of the government, India had seven, and many more.

The President defended many of his World Economic Forum (WEF) as he said in Davos on January 18th that “half” of the delegates came on their own.

After returning to the Philippines, the President said the WEF was an essential event in promoting the Philippines to investors.

February 8-12, 2023 - JAPAN 

Marcos arrived on Wednesday afternoon (Tokyo time) at the Tokyo International Airport. The Chief Executive entourage included First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, some members of the Cabinet, and legislative leaders Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, and Senior Deputy House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The President and the First Lady met with Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masasko on February 9 at the imperial palace.

Speaker Romualdez said that the two nations are entering a military deal allowing Filipino and Japanese troops to conduct joint drills and access military bases in the Philippines. The House Speaker also pushed for a charter change, which is the “last piece of the puzzle” in encouraging foreign investors to invest in the country.

April 30 - May 4, 2023 - UNITED STATES 

US President Joe Biden welcomed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to the White House, where they held their second bilateral meeting in less than a year. Marcos reaffirmed the long-standing alliance between the two countries.

The President also met with US Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack and presented the essential agricultural programs of the PH government.

Marcos met with the nuclear energy firm NuScale for the second time after his September 2022 US visit; they discussed the firm’s plan to conduct a study in locating a site in the Philippines. He also witnessed the deal signing of the Ayala-led Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc. and Zero Motorcycles partnership to manufacture electric motorcycles in the PH.

May 5-6, 2023 - UNITED KINGDOM (Coronation)

President Marcos Jr. and First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos became the first incumbent Philippine President to attend the monarch coronation of the United Kingdom at Westminster Abbey. The last coronation of the UK was the succession of Elizabeth II from George VI in 1937, when the PH was still a commonwealth.

May 9-11, 2023 - INDONESIA 42nd ASEAN Summit

Marcos considered his attendance at the 42nd ASEAN Summit a success as “it charted new directions that were initiated by the chairman, (Indonesian) President (Joko) Widodo, and with the concurrence of all the member states,” according to his speech at the Villamor Air Base upon arrival from his three-day visit.

The Summit had multiple ideas which are expected to progress the political and economic front of the region.