PH Independence Day Reinforces Embassy’s Economic, Cultural Diplomacy Agenda in the Netherlands


In his remarks at KFFN’s picnic, Ambassador to the Netherlands Jaime Victor B. Ledda cited the Filipino people’s spirit of camaraderie and unity as they cherish the values of freedom gained by the country 120 years ago (The Hague PE photo)

THE HAGUE 04 July 2018 — The Philippine Embassy in the Hague undertook a series of events to commemorate the 120th anniversary of Philippine Independence, which included its participation in Independence Day activities by Filipino Communities in The Hague and Amsterdam. These events helped to reinforce and push forward the Embassy’s cultural and economic diplomacy agenda in the Netherlands on 09 June 2018.

The Embassy joined two of the biggest picnic events organized by more than 70 Filipino Community organizations and associations in The Netherlands.

The Kalayaan Fiesta Foundation of the Netherlands held at Spaarnwoude Park in Amsterdam its day-long fun-filled fair, and an all-Filipino gastronomic event of popular dishes and assorted products. On 16 June groups led by Migrante, Literacy Seminar and Entrepreneurship and Filipino Migrants in The Netherlands organized a get-together event picnic at Zuiderpark,

The Hague saw a display of Filipino traits of generously giving and sharing one’s meals to friends and visitors alike. The Filipino fiesta spirit was truly embodied in these collective cultural celebrations of Philippine food, dance and music, in tandem with the promotion of various Philippine products and goods by Filipino-Dutch entrepreneurs and retailers in The Netherlands, and Filipinos from nearby Belgium and Germany.

On 17 and 19 June, one of the country’s best cultural performers was prominently featured in a three-part program that mainly presented the country’s soprano-duo, The Nightingales.

In collaboration with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Embassy presented The Nightingales in a 30-minute performance after the English Sunday Mass on 17 June at The Church of Savior in The Hague. 

This was followed by a three-hour “Workshop on Philippine Folksongs” at the Embassy. The workshop consisted of a smaller performance that was attended by mainly former Filipinos who recalled memories of yesteryears rekindled by The Nightingales’ rendition of “kundiman,” and the playing of the distinct and mystifying chants of the Tausugs and the Igorots.


The Church’s regular attendees of Filipinos living and working in The Hague, locals, the city’s visitors and tourists were captivated by The Nightingales’ bel canto singing style in their own renditions of The Prayer of St. Francis and classic Filipino love song, Gaano Kita Kamahal. (Hague PE photo)

The highlight of the Embassy’s celebration of the 120th anniversary of Philippine independence was the diplomatic reception on 19 June at Hotel Des Indes in The Hague. The reception was overwhelmingly attended by over 200 guests from The Hague’s diplomatic community, officials of the Dutch government, representatives of Dutch businesses, economic agencies, and academic institutions.

In his remarks read at the Diplomatic Reception, Ambassador Jaime to the Netherlands Victor B. Ledda thanked Filipinos in the country in “keeping that indomitable Filipino spirit and love of country.”

The Ambassador cited and remembered our national heroes like Dr. Jose P. Rizal, whose patriotism, courage and sacrifice “bequeathed to us the gifts of independence, freedom and democracy.” 

Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Deputy Director for Asia and Oceania Department, Arjen van den Berg happily noted the active relations between the two countries, citing in particular the strong bilateral maritime cooperation and last year’s “Kulinarya,” the Embassy’s culinary event that showcased the unique Filipino cuisine amidst Dutch’s own cookery. Both officials looked forward to further deepen Philippine-Dutch bilateral relations. 

A cultural performance by The Nightingales charmed the audience with their exemplary performance of select musical pieces that included a medley of Philippine folksongs in eight languages. END


A toast to the strength and vibrancy of Philippine-Dutch political, economic, socio-cultural relations by Ambassador Jaime Victor B. Ledda and Deputy Director Marten Van Den Berg, Asia and Oceania Department, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (The Hague PE photo)

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