PH Celebrates Independence Day in Athens with Reception, 30th Year of Embassy in Greece


Minister and Consul General Rosario P. Lemque, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. (third from left) with, (from left): Philippine Consul in Thessaloniki, Greece Nikolaos K. Margaropoulous, Philippine Consul in Patras, Greece Anastasia Manolopoulou, Second Secretary and Consul Judy Barbara G. Robianes, Philippine Consul in Nicosia, Cyprus Shemaine A. Bushnell-Kyriakides, and Philippine Consul in Crete, Greece Alexandros Fasoulakis. (Athens PE photo)

ATHENS 03 July 2018 – The Philippine Embassy in Athens, Greece commemorated the 120th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine independence at the Hotel Grand Bretagne on 11 June 2018.

The event also marked the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Philippine Embassy in Athens, which officially opened its doors in October 1988.

Diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Greece were established in 1950.

The theme of the celebration was “Independence 2018: Change We Fought for, an Offering to an Abundant Future.” It is a tribute to the struggles and sacrifices of Philippine heroes and forebears in the quest for freedom, prosperity, and progress.

In her speech, Charge d’Affaires a.i. Rosario P. Lemque highlighted the recent progress of the Philippine economy. Charge d’Affaires Lemgue said that the country’s GDP grew by 6.7 percent and was one of the best economic performers in the world in 2017.

Charge d’Affaires Lemque also underscored the contribution of the 12 million Filipinos overseas (10,238 of whom are in Greece) in the advancement of the Philippine economy, and their assistance in the greater understanding and appreciation of the rich culture of the Philippines. Aside from their peoples both being warm and sunny-dispositioned, the Philippines and Greek cultures have many similarities, particularly in their myths of creation and the fall of man.

The two presentations in the evening’s celebration – an exhibit of artworks featuring mythical creatures and figures from Philippine stories of nature entitled “Alamat,” by painter and children’s book illustrator Frances Alcaraz, and performances by students of the Philippine School in Greece, are a nod to the Philippines’ ancient stories of creation, tradition, and thanksgiving. 

The first performance was entitled “Pagdiwata,” a ritual dance by the Tagbanua tribe of the island of Palawan featuring the “babaylan,” or high priestess, portraying the blessing of an abundant harvest. The second was a song taken from the pop-ballet opera “Tales of the Manuvu,” based on anthropological researches on the Manuvu people, a tribe from central Mindanao Island, whose stories tell the beginning of all things. The song “Noong Unang Panahon,” captures the essence of what life was like in the beginning, when nature was kind and man was at peace. END


Students of the Philippine School in Greece perform the Pagdiwata. (Athens PE photo)


Students of the Philippine School in Greece perform the song “Noong Unang Panahon”. (Athens PE photo)

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