PHILIPPINE CONSUL GENERAL IN LUXEMBOURG CELEBRATES PHILIPPINE NATIONAL DAY
Philippine Consul General (ad honorem) for Luxembourg Mr. Alain Kinsch, Country Managing Partner of Ernst & Young Luxembourg, together with Her Excellency, Philippine Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg Victoria S. Bataclan, hosted around two hundred (200) Luxembourg government officials, business and trade people as well as diplomats from the different missions represented in Luxembourg to a reception in celebration of the 118th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence at Cercle Cité in Luxembourg on 16 June 2016.
In their individual speeches, Consul General Kinsch and Ambassador Bataclan highlighted the friendly relations which have existed between the two countries for the past seventy (70) years. Similar to Belgium, it is also the 70th year of Luxembourg-Philippine relations.
Luxembourg has always been supportive of Philippine initiatives particularly on the search for a peaceful resolution of the South China Sea disputes based on international law, specifically under UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea).
It will be recalled that Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario visited Luxembourg on July 2013 to renew bilateral ties with Luxembourg and promote trade and investment between the two countries. Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn visited the Philippines in 2008.
In his speech, Consul General Kinsch cited the signing of the Philippines-Luxembourg Social Security Agreement (SSA) on May 2015 which provided for some 500 Filipino workers in Luxembourg and Filipino seafarers on board Luxembourg-flagged vessels to aggregate their contributions and receive continuous social protection whether in the Philippines or in Luxembourg.
Consul General Kinsch also expressed his appreciation to the ‘vibrant’ Filipino community in Luxembourg which to him is an expression of solidarity and concrete support for the Filipinos in the Philippines. Such Filipino community includes Filipino women married to Luxembourg nationals and the 164 Filipinos working in Luxembourg (according to STATEC, the government statistics service of Luxembourg). Around 30 Filipinos are employed as accountants in the various financial institutions in Luxembourg such as Ernst & Young, Swiss Re Europe Holdings Inc., Capita Asset Services, Prologis Luxembourg etc.
Ambassador Bataclan took the opportunity to encourage Luxembourg officials and business people to send another Mission to the Philippines, similar to the Economic Mission of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce to the Philippines in November 2015 and to the one which Belgium will be having in the year 2017. She also spoke personally with the Chairman of E&Y Luxembourg and invited him to conduct a team-building activity of E&Y executives in the Philippines. As in previous occasions, the Ambassador took every chance to promote the Philippines as an investment and tourist destinations.
Consul General Kinsch also took the celebration of the 118th Anniversary of Philippine Independence and the 70 Years of Philippine-Luxembourg relations as the occasion to host and to feature world-renowned pianist Dr. Raul Sunico at a Private Concert at the E&Y Auditorium of the very new E&Y building headquarters along Kennedy Road in Luxembourg.
In his Remarks, the E&Y Chief Executive Officer, said that he is presenting this Concert because the (Philippine) Ambassador has always reminded him that it is not enough to promote business relations alone, but it would also provide additional benefits to promote cultural relations between the Philippines and Luxembourg.
Dr. Sunico delighted the audience with his heartwarming renditions of Prelude in C# Minor, op. 3 no 2; Aragon; Etude in E, op. 10 no. 3; Polonaise in A-flat, op. 53; Liebestraum; Liebestod; Bato sa Buhangin; Hanggang sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan; and Rhapsody in Blue.
Dr. Sunico is the current President of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Dean of the UST Conservatory of Music.