|PH joins Bel-Asia Fair and Salon Idees Vacances|
PH JOINS BEL-ASIA FAIR AND SALON IDEES VACANCES
Ambassador Victoria S. Bataclan leads the Philippine Embassy in Brussels as it joins the 31st Bel-Asia "Asia's Festival and Fair" at the Centre Zandloper of Wemmel, Belgium on 15 to 16 February 2014 and the 59th Salon Idees Vacances (Salon Vacation Ideas) at the Charleroi Expo in Charleroi, Belgium on 20 to 23 February 2014.
The Philippine Embassy booth attracted visitors, not only due to its colorful display of Philippine posters and brochures but also because of its offer for a free taste of a Don Papa Rum-cum-Philippine mango juice cocktail.
At the Bel-Asia fair, the Philippine booth flaunted a 3x2 meter backdrop of the Palawan Underground River - proclaimed by the New7Wonders foundation as one of the new7Wonders of Nature; while it exhibited real Philippine mangoes at the Salon des Vacances.
Tourism brochures of such places as Boracay, Cordillera, Iloilo, Davao and Palawan and of the entire country were distributed. Aseana Travel, the only travel agency in Belgium specializing in travel to the Philippines, provided tour packages and gave out brochures detailing these packages.
At the Bel-Asia fair, Filipiniana Europa vzw, a Filipino community group in Belgium led by Ms. Juliet Frisnedi presented a variety of Philippine dances while Mr. Dominiek Segaert, Founder and Chairman of Vriendschap voor den Filipijnen (Friendship for the Philippines) and a Knights of Rizal Commander twice presented a Lecture on the peculiarities of Philippine Culture vis-à-vis the Belgian culture while Karel Corthals, a friend of the Philippines, presented a video documentary on "Philippines, an a-typical Asian Country full of surprises".
At the Salon des Vacances, Ambassador Bataclan volunteered to contribute Filipino aperitif at the Vietnamese reception for local government officials, organizers and selected guests. (Vietnam is feature country.)
The Bel-Asia festival also featured Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Uzbekistan as well as twelve (12) tour operators, five (5) airline companies and twenty-four (24) non-government organizations. Partnering with the European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS) this year, it also featured EIAS forums on EU-Indonesia Trade and Investment - Invigorating Economic Relations with Ambassador Arif Havas Oegroseno of Indonesia and Corporate Social Responsibility in India and the Investment in Research and Development by Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri of India. The festival also included a Mongolian fashion show, taiko drummers, Bollywood dancers and workshops on Tibetan Yoga, Japanese Tea Ceremony, a Cambodian dancer, Thai cooking and sushi-making classes etc. This year's visitors totally approximately 1,500.The Salon Idees Vacances of Charleroi featured some 200 booths from tourist villages, campsites, bed & breakfast, travel agencies, and those from the countries of Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam.