|Agahan para sa Kalayaan|
PH EMBASSY IN BRUSSELS HOLDS "AGAHAN PARA SA KALAYAAN"
11 June 2013 - The Philippine Embassy in Brussels brought together 100 leaders and members of Filipino community organizations at the Chancery on Avenue Moliere on June 01 to share in an "Agahan Para sa Kalayaan" event. This served as the kick-off ceremony for the diplomatic reception to be hosted by the Embassy on June 12 as well as the four-city (Brussels, Ghent, Brugge & Luxembourg) Philippine Independence Day celebrations in Belgium and Luxembourg by various Filipino organizations this year.
This breakfast event was launched last year by Philippine Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union Victoria Bataclan as a way to bring together all Filipino community leaders in Belgium and Luxembourg, express appreciation for their efforts to celebrate Philippine Independence through their various organized events and to inspire them to do more for their country and their fellowmen.
In her remarks, Ambassador Bataclan highlighted the 2013 Kalayaan theme "Ambagan Tungo sa Malawakang Kaunlaran" and outlined ways of how every Filipino could contribute to growth and development of the Philippines, such as through encouraging foreigners investors and tourists in the Philippines. She cited the most recent investment upgrades that our country has received from Standard & Poor's and Fitch and our growth rate of 7.8%. She, however, reminded everyone that the poverty level in the Philippines is still at 30% which means that a lot more needs to be done for the country and for the people.
The Embassy also opened a Filipino painting exhibition at the Chancery entitled "Filipinism." Germany-based Filipino curator Virgilio Cuizon, who is responsible for organizing the exhibit, explained that "Filipinism" was defined by former President Jose Laurel as the assertion of one's national birthright with patriotism defined as love of country as primary element. If applied in the art scene, Filipinism is a way of showing the true identity of artists as Filipinos in their works of art.
The exhibition featured the works of Aris Bagtas, Rafael Cusi, Erick Dator, Rigor Esguerra, Vincent Gonzales, Ronna Manansala, and Rene Robles.
Also part of the program was a candle-lighting ceremony which was done while singing "Pananagutan" which symbolized each citizen's responsibility towards each other especially in nation-building.
To add to the festive mode, the Embassy brought in homegrown Filipino talent, Mr. DK Valdez, Philippine Movie Press Club's (PMPC) Best New Male Recording Artist 2012 and Belgium-based Ms. Maria Theresa Morales who was a semi-finalist in the recent "The Voice - Flanders" singing competition on Belgian television.During the event, Ms. Adela Lulu, Council of Filipino Organizations in Belgium (COFAB) President and Ms. Haydee Holliday, President of Belga Cultura Filipina (BCF) invited the leaders to participate in the first project of the Philippine Cultural Promotion Circle (PCPC), the PCPC Youth Day, a first-ever initiative to orient the Filipino youth of Belgium and Luxembourg on their rich Philippine heritage