SUNICO & A CAPPELLA MANILA FEATURED AT INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION IN BRUSSELS
The Philippine Embassy in Brussels, led by Her Excellency Ambassador Victoria S. Bataclan, Philippine Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg and Head of the Philippine Mission to the European Union (EU), provided guests with a double treat as the Embassy presented world-renowned pianist Dr. Raul C. Sunico and the choral group A Cappella Manila, in a mini-concert during the Philippine National Day celebration at the Panoramic Hall of the Square Brussels Meeting Centre on 15 June 2016.
Belgian government officials, officials from the different EU institutions, diplomats from the different Embassies/Missions in Belgium, business and trade people, leaders of the different Filipino community organizations in Belgium, and friends of the Philippines numbering around three-hundred listened in awe to Dr. Sunico's rendition of Liebestraum, Bato sa Buhangin, Aragon, Prelude in C#Minor, Hanggang sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan and Rhapsody in Blue and to A Cappella Manila's Eres Tu, La Rose Complete, Heal the World, Iisang Bangka, Lipad ng Pangarap and Tagumpay nating Lahat while savouring an array of carefully-selected Filipino dishes which includes tapa and ukoy, served with San Miguel Beer.
In her Message, Ambassador Bataclan cited the Filipinos' love for freedom and found it fitting that they are celebrating the 118th Anniversary of Philippine Independence with Belgian friends with whom they are also celebrating 70 Years of Philippine-Belgium diplomatic relations.
Another highlight of the event was a chocolate piece symbolizing Philippine-Belgium friendship created by chocolatier John Soriano.
Dr. Sunico's performances in France, Germany, Brussels and Luxembourg were made possible with the generous support and assistance of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
The A Cappella Manila, on their 6th European Goodwill Concert Tour, performed in The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg. In Belgium, apart from the National Day reception performance, they were at the Shrine of Infant Jesus in Brussels and the Knights of Rizal (KOR) commemoration of the 155th birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal.
This year's Philippine Independence Day celebration in Brussels was likewise made possible with the support of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Philippine Department of Tourism office in Frankfurt, Germany; the Office of the Agricultural Attaché in Brussels, and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Brussels.
In addition, the Philippine Embassy organized an economic briefing, The Philippines - Your Business Partner in Asia-Pacific, for Belgian officials and members of the business sector prior to the National Day celebration. The briefing, held in preparation for the Belgian Economic Mission to the Philippines in May 2017, was attended by representatives from the Federal Public Service - Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation; the Belgian Foreign Trade Agency; Brussels Invest & Export; Flanders Investment & Trade; Wallonia Foreign Trade and Investment Agency; the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of key Belgian cities; and a number of Belgian companies.
Ambassador Bataclan in her welcome remarks said the Belgian Economic Mission is a testament to the longstanding friendship between the Philippines and Belgium, and a vote of confidence in the strength of the Philippine economy.
MEDIA STATEMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE PHILIPPINES AFTER THE SPECIAL ASEAN-CHINA FOREIGN MINISTERS' MEETING IN KUNMING, YUNNAN PROVINCE, CHINA HELD ON 14 JUNE 2016
The Philippines participated in the Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China on 14 June 2016.
During the meeting, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers noted that 2016 is a milestone for ASEAN-China relations as it marks the 25th Anniversary of ASEAN-China dialogue relations. They looked forward to working together with China to bring ASEAN-China cooperation to the next level. They agreed to enhance ASEAN-China cooperation on the basis of the principles of equality, mutual benefit and shared responsibility in the interest of achieving national and regional prosperity.
On the South China Sea, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers:
had a candid exchange with the Chinese Foreign Minister in view of the recent developments on the ground;
expressed their serious concerns over recent and ongoing developments, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and which may have the potential to undermine peace, security and stability in the South China Sea;
stressed the importance of maintaining peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea, in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS);
emphasized the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would further complicate the situation or escalate tensions, and pursue peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law;
articulated their commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes, including full respect for legal and diplomatic processes, without resorting to the threat or use of force, in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law, including the UNCLOS and the UN Charter;
emphasized the importance of non-militarization and self-restraint in the conduct of all activities, including land reclamation, which may raise tensions in the South China Sea;
reiterated their firm commitment to the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in its entirety, and while noting the momentum and new phase of consultations, urged the early adoption of an effective Code of Conduct;
Pursuant to the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in its entirety, and pending the early adoption of an effective Code of Conduct, stressed the importance of undertaking confidence building and preventive measures that would enhance, among others, trust and confidence amongst parties.
When the arbitration case was raised, the Philippines’ reply underscored that arbitration is among the legal and diplomatic processes promoting the rule of law in the region, and is fully consistent with the DOC and the region’s efforts to peacefully resolve the disputes in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the UN Charter. END
EMBASSY CONDUCTED CONSULAR OUTREACH AT KALAYAAN 2016 CELEBRATION IN LUXEMBOURG
The Philippine Embassy in Brussels conducted a two-day consular mission in Luxembourg over the weekend in time for the celebration of the Filipino community of the 118th anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine independence.
The consular mission on 11 June 2016 was conducted at the EY office along Kennedy Avenue, Luxembourg City. The second day of the consular outreach was done in the 12th of June in Rosport, Luxembourg, where some 200 Filipinos simultaneously celebrated Independence Day 2016.
Some 50 Filipinos availed of the consular services including legal clinic. Some Filipinos residing in western Germany and eastern Belgium also joined the festivities and availed of consular services; they thanked the Embassy for making the services available near the Luxembourg-Germany border. "We normally take leaves of absence if we renew our passports in Berlin. I hope you come to Luxembourg regularly," said one permanent resident in Limburg.
The Independence Day celebration in Luxembourg was made possible through the efforts of four large Filipino organizations in the Grand Duchy. If featured Filipino folk dances like “Tinikling” and Subli and songs like “Usahay” and was preceded with a holy mass. Native Philippine products like Tanduay rum and imported fruits like Philippine mango and saba banana were sold by the community.
Consul Oliver Delfin attended the event on behalf of Ambassador Victoria Bataclan. Mr. Delfin congratulated the leaders for preparing for and successfully hosting the event and wished them continued cooperation and unity for the benefit of the interests of Filipinos and the Philippines in Luxembourg. "We go where Filipinos collectively go so we could provide consular services on site," he told the crowd in a short talk.
AMBASSADOR BATACLAN COMMENDS FREEDOM-LOVING FILIPINOS DURING NATIONAL DAY CELEBRATION IN BRUGGE
Brussels, 08 June 2016. --- Ambassador Victoria S. Bataclan, Philippine Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg and Head of the Philippine Mission to the European Union, speaking before attendees of the celebration of the 118th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence in Brugge on 4 June 2016, paid homage to the freedom-loving Filipinos in Belgium and Luxembourg and expressed her greatest admiration to the efforts that they are exerting in the name of peace and development and for everything that contributes to the welfare of our countrymen in the Philippines and around the world.
Ambassador Bataclan encouraged the Filipinos to continue the work and continue to persevere in being useful members of the society and of our country.
She also mentioned that this year is also the 70th year of Philippine-Belgian relations and we are celebrating the ties that bind (as exemplified by the presence of Fr. Carlo Magno Gano Buyayo, one Filipino CICM priest missionary priest who is already based in Congo for 11 years).
Furthermore, she reminded everyone that it is also the 125th Anniversary of the printing of El Filibusterismo in Ghent and that Filipinos in Belgium should be thankful of the fact that Belgium welcomed our National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal in those times that he was in dire need of a haven to print his novel .
The celebration is being organized by World Mission for Peace and Development (WMPD), a non-profit, non-government organization which was founded on 14 February 1995 to “bring humanitarian assistance and development to the underprivileged and impoverished sectors of the society”. Its President, Mrs. Consorcia Scholtz – de Leon is instrumental in forming such Filipino groups as the Silayan International Society, Bayanihan sa Belgium, Kulturang Pinoy Gent, Philippine Women’s Club and the different Catholic ministries in the East Flanders area.
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL DAY CELEBRATION IN BRUGGE
Brussels, 12 June 2016. --- The Philippine Embassy joined the celebration of Independence Day on June 12 by the Filipino umbrella group, Council of Filipino Associations in Flanders (COFAF), led by Ms. Minabelle Siason, held at the Beurshalle Exhibition Hall in Brugge.
The day-long celebration began with a mass officiated by Father Rhodel Nacional.
The program featured cultural presentations by groups consisting of Filipino and Belgian dancers and singers, including children. Proceeds of the charity will be given to San Isidro Elementary School in Negros Occidental, as part of COFAF’s Classroom Project
FILIPINO NURSES PAYS TRIBUTE TO 70 YEARS OF PHL-BE RELATIONS; CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY ON OPENING OF PHIL FLAG DAYS
Four (4) Filipino/Belgian nurses based in Charleroi, Belgium and its environs reacquired their Filipino nationality on 27 May 2016 at Montigny-Le-Tilleul as they celebrate the 43rd year of their presence as Filipino nurses in Belgium.
Ambassador Victoria S. Bataclan, Philippine Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg, ‘inducted’ Mesdames Zenaida Gonzales, Flordeliza Mesina, Elflida Mortel and Roqueta Tambanillo as a fitting tribute to the 70th year of Philippine-Belgian relations and in observance of the first day of the Philippine Flag Days (28 May to 12 June).
Also present during the event were the other members of the ‘original’ arrivals in Belgium, led by Ms. Carol Baldovino, in whose residence the event took place.
The initial batch of Filipino nurses came to Belgium as early as 1969. It was, however, in 1973 that the late Mr. Andre De Cooman, then Director-General of the former Intercommunale d’Oeuvres Sociales (InterMunicipal Social Works of Charleroi) which managed the former “Le Rayon de Soleil” (The Rays of the Sun), came to Manila and recruited some fifty (50) Filipino nurses with the assistance of the Belgian Embassy in Manila. Mr. De Cooman and Dr. Marie-Jeanne De Cooman, a Pediatrician, believed in the Filipino nurses’ dedication and loyalty and hoped that their strong sense of duty and service will provide a new dimension to the then problematic “Le Rayon de Soleil”. The hospital couldn’t operate properly then without the presence of qualified nurses. In 1985, the hospital was closed in view of a ruling from the Belgian Ministry of Health requiring that the number of hospital beds in the regions be diminished. Most of the nurses continued to work at the Centre Hospitaliere Universitaire Andre Vesale.
To date, these nurses are now retired and/or have migrated to either the United States or Canada.
The presence of Filipino nurses in Belgium since 1968 serves as a fitting testament of the success of Philippine-Belgium people-to-people relationships which has grown stronger through the years.