Terrorism, climate change and South China Sea disputes are on the Apec agenda - but there's good news, too, thanks to #APEChotties

Terrorism, climate change and South China Sea disputes are on the Apec agenda - but there's good news, too, thanks to #APEChotties

The hashtag taking the conference by storm is less about world issues and more about whether you're #TeamTrudeau or #TeamNieto

apechotties.jpg

Are you #TeamNieto (left) or #TeamTrudeau?
Photos: AP, EPA

World leaders, including US President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping are in the Philippines for the two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit. They are there to discuss pressing world affairs, including global warming, sovereignty of islands in the South China Sea, and the region's economy. For much of the last week, Manila's social media has been filled with angry tirades at the huge traffic disruption caused by security measures which have blocked off most of the capital's roads. 

But there has been some light relief thanks to two of the attendees: the dashing good looks of Canada's prime minister and Mexico's president have sparked the unlikely hashtag #APEChottie to go viral. The mood of social media users in the country has soared as Filipinos lose themselves in  the dreamy eyes of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Their arrival in Manila got tongues wagging and keyboards clicking, with both social and traditional media filled with compliments for the pair.

While diplomats, business leaders and international news have focused on Obama and Xi, the Philippine Daily Inquirer put the Mexican and  Canadian leaders on its front page and asked readers: "Are you with Team Nieto or Team Trudeau?"

Many Filipinos flocked to social media to declare which kind of political eye candy they preferred. 

"Not sure if Canadian prime minister or Disney prince" wrote @imjesstorres on Twitter, adding the hashtags #APECHottie and #PrinceEricIsReal.

For @jochendria it was Nieto who came out on top.

"Trudeau and Nieto. Hmmm... I choose the latter. #APECHottie."

"I'm sorry but he's too attractive," posted @anndiazpiquero, who used more  than just words to express her admiration for Nieto - adding an emoji face  with two hearts for eyes.

Facebook user Santi Galasi summed up the #APECHottie phenomenon as follows: "An example of that wonderful Filipino trait where, despite being screwed over by circumstances, we find a reason to be happy."

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