Embassy in Pakistan Commemorates 120th Anniversary of PH Independence
ISLAMABAD 16 May 2018 – In commemoration of the 120th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence, the Philippine Embassy in Pakistan hosted a reception at the Serena Islamabad Hotel on 08 May ahead of Ramadan.
Around 300 guests representing officials from the host government, diplomatic corps, the business sector, media and the Filipino community joined the Embassy in this year’s celebration. The Chief Guest was Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Muhammad Baligh ur Rehman.
In line with this year’s theme, “Pagbabagong Ipinaglaban, Alay sa Masaganang Kinabukasan,” Philippine Ambassador to Pakistan, Daniel Ramos Espiritu, in his remarks, paid tribute to the heroes of Philippine independence and highlighted their sacrifices and struggles in their relentless pursuit of liberty and solidarity. Since then, the Republic of the Philippines has matured into a modern and dynamic republic with a vibrant economy.
The Ambassador also noted the Philippines' 6.7% GDP growth in 2017, which makes the country one of the best performers not just in Asia but in the world. He also mentioned the Philippines’ successful chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which also commemorated its 50th Founding Anniversary last year.
In terms of bilateral relations, Ambassador Espiritu emphasized the significant strides in a wide range of cooperation that has developed through the years between the Philippines and Pakistan in the realms of politico-security, economic, cultural affairs and people-to-people exchanges since the establishment of their diplomatic relations in September 1949.
He also mentioned the two high-level bilateral consultation meetings which were held in Islamabad early this year, namely, the 5th Philippines-Pakistan Policy Consultation Talks in January and the Inaugural Meeting of the Philippines-Pakistan Joint Economic Commission in February. The Ambassador also noted the exchange of high-level delegations between the Philippine National Police and the Pakistan Defense Ministry.
It is remarkable that since 2013, the total trade between the Philippines and Pakistan has been steadily rising at a much robust pace, with a 172% increase in a span of four years. Ambassador Espiritu also mentioned the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Central Banking Cooperation and the inspection visits to Pakistani pharmaceutical companies of the officials of the Philippine Food and Drug Authority last year.
The main guest of honor, Pakistan’s Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Muhammad Baligh ur Rehman, for his part, conveyed his felicitations on behalf of the Pakistani Government and people. He also noted the close to 70 years of friendly relations between the two countries and called for the further broadening of Philippines-Pakistan ties.
The formal program ended with the ceremonial cutting of the Philippine Independence cake and the traditional ASEAN handshake by Ambassador Espiritu, together with Minister Rehman and the heads of the other ASEAN missions in Pakistan.
The officers and staff of the Philippine Embassy also performed their own rendition of the songs, Isang Mundo, Isang Awit by Ms. Leah Navarro and Where is the Love by the Blackeyed Peas.
Ms. Maria Unera, a singer/songwriter of Pakistani and Filipino parents also showed her vocal prowess during the event.
The Philippine Embassy also took the opportunity to promote Philippine handicrafts as well as food products, such as Mama Sitas Mixes and Sauces, Del Monte fruits cocktails and coco water, and S&W juices.
An audiovisual presentation of famous Philippine tourist spots was also featured during the event.
Filipino dishes including Chicken Tinola, Beef Caldereta and Lumpia Roll, among others, were introduced and served to the gustatory delight of the attendees. END