PH Celebrates Golden Anniversary of ASEAN with Grandeur and Festivity

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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, ASEAN Foreign Ministers and ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh (left of PRRD) award special plaques of recognition to the Founding Fathers of ASEAN which are received on their behalf by their descendants/representatives during the Grand Celebration of ASEAN's 50th Anniversary at the PICC Plenary Hall

11 August 2017 MANILA — The Philippines commemorated ASEAN’s Golden Anniversary on 8 August 2017 with a Grand Celebration at the PICC Plenary Hall in the morning, and a Landmark Lighting Activity and Pop Music Concert at the CCP Complex and BGC High Street in Taguig City, respectively, in the evening of the said date.

Dubbed as the “Grand Celebration of ASEAN’s 50th Anniversary,” the morning program included a “Tribute to the Five Founding Fathers of ASEAN” where President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, as ASEAN Chair, awarded plaques of recognition to former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak of Malaysia, and former Foreign Ministers Adam Malik of Indonesia, Narciso Ramos of the Philippines, S. Rajaratnam of Singapore, and Thanat Khoman of Thailand through their descendants/ representatives who were present at the said event.

The program also recognized the winners of the following ASEAN Awards: the ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes Awards, ASEAN Youth Social Entrepreneurship Awards, and ASEAN Rice Science and Technology Ambassadors Awards.

In his keynote message, President Duterte said that despite the vast diversity of ASEAN Member States and the pessimism expressed by many at the outset of ASEAN’s formation fifty years ago, the regional organization has still prevailed and will continue to prevail against new and emerging challenges.

“As we stand at the center of the future of the [Asia-Pacific] region, we must remember our responsibility to fully realize the dreams and aspirations for our peoples,” President Duterte said.

The program also featured video messages from the Leaders of the ten (10) ASEAN Member States, and various cultural performances.

In the evening of 8 August, a Landmark Lighting Activity was held at the CCP Complex in Pasay City where a gigantic 20-foot lantern was lit at exactly 7:00 in the evening.

In the message of Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter S. Cayetano, read by DFA-ASEAN Assistant Secretary Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega at the event, the Landmark Lighting Activity symbolizes ASEAN’s invaluable role of illuminating the paths of ASEAN Member States in achieving national and regional aspirations of peace, prosperity, and socio-cultural development.

Before the Landmark Lighting, a Grand ASEAN Parade took place where students in ASEAN costume marched from Luneta to the CCP Grounds, together with marching bands, street dancers, ASEAN floats, and higantes.

The program included performance art such as poetry reading, dance numbers, and musical performances from artists of the ten (10) ASEAN Member States.

After the event at the CCP, a Pop Music Concert took place at the BGC High Street in Taguig City where indie and mainstream Filipino artists, along with the ten (10) ASEAN performing artists gathered and performed live in front of thousands of audience in attendance at the said concert.

Some 76 cities and municipalities in the Philippines, along with the capitals in other ASEAN Member States, also held their respective landmark lighting activity and side activities as a show of unity in commemorating the milestone ASEAN golden jubilee celebration on August 08. END

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(From left) Office of ASEAN Affairs Assistant Secretary Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega, National Commission for Culture and the Arts Chairman Virgilio S. Almario, and performers from the 10 ASEAN member-states at the Landmark Lighting Activity at the CCP in the evening of August 08