Marcos marks first state visit in meeting Widodo; countries' ties strengthened

BOGOR CITY, Indonesia—Two months after assuming his post as the Philippine head of state, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. debuted on the international stage when he met on Monday morning his Indonesian counterpart, President Joko Widodo, for a state visit that was expected to strengthen the diplomatic, military, and economic ties of the two countries.

Malacañang Photos

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. and Indonesian President Joko Widodo (RTVM Screenshot)

The ceremonial rites of Marcos' visit to Widodo at Istana Bogor or Bogor Palace ran on the dot.

At exactly 10 a.m., the President, wearing a barong, arrived at Widodo's official residence onboard the Indonesian presidential car, along with his wife, First Lady Liza-Araneta Marcos, who was clad in cream Filipiniana.

The couple was warmly received by Widodo and his wife, Iriana, who gave Araneta-Marcos a bouquet of flowers before they introduced the members of the Philippine delegation.

The delegates included Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Sec. Enrique Manalo, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Alfredo Pascual, Department of Finance (DOF) Sec. Benjamin Diokno, Marcos Jr.'s son, Senior House Deputy Speaker and Speaker Martin Romualdez.

Then, a 21-gun salute started rang out the Philippine and Indonesian national anthems were sang.

A sunny morning greeted Marcos Jr. and Widodo, both still accompanied by their wives, when they finally entered Bogor Palace and proceeded to the veranda, where they had a two-minute small talk.

"There is a lot of oxygen here," Widodo told Marcos Jr. as he showed the landscape of the palace, where the President said he could have "beautiful walks."

Marcos was then led by Widodo for a ceremonial tree-planting activity, that was also done by other head of states who visited the world's largest archipelagic state. The President planted Pohon Ulin, a special tree in Indonesia.

The two presidents, still with their wives, then returned to the veranda to have a more formal talk.

The President's ceremonial state visit ended with an official meeting between the Philippine delegates and Widodo and his officials, who talked about the two countries' plan of action concerning bilateral relations over the next five years, a defense and security agreement, promotion of culture, among others.

In his closing remark, the President said he made a "proper choice" in going to Indonesia for his first state visit as the Philippines and Indonesia agreed to help each other to promote peace and regional development not only in Asia but also worldwide.