PH-UAE Ties, PH Culture and Cuisine highlighted at the 121st  Independence Day Reception in Abu Dhabi

 Abu Dhabi.Independence.1

Philippine Ambassador to United Arab Emirates Hjayceelyn M. Quintana with guest during the 121st Independence Day Reception in Abu Dhabi. (Abu Dhabi PE photo)


ABU DHABI 28 June 2019 – VIP guests were treated to a well-coordinated display of Filipino culture at the National Day diplomatic event hosted by the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi on 12 June 2019. 

In her speech, Philippine Ambassador to the Unted Arab Emirates (UAE) Hjayceelyn Quintana highlighted the solid political and economic gains of the Duterte administration, as exemplified by the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and President Rodrigo Duterte’s build-build-build development agenda.  

The Ambassador also spoke of the strong ties between the Philippines and the UAE as they celebrate 39 years of diplomatic relations which were established on 17 June 1980.

Ambassador Quintana also paid tribute to the 700,000-strong Filipino community in UAE represented by the members of the Executive Board of the Bayanihan Council, the sole umbrella group of Filipino organizations in Abu Dhabi. 

A three-part montage composed of an art exhibit, a piano/violin concert, and food selection curated by FilFood, a newly-formed Filipino food innovation movement in the UAE, treated the guests, composed of high-level UAE government officials and members of the diplomatic corps, to a memorable evening that was capped by the live streaming of the LED display of Philippine flag at Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. 

A five-foot long special cake depicting the scene in Kawit, Cavite where the first flag of the Philippines was hoisted, was cut by a group of “Emiratinos” (children of mixed Filipino and Emirati parentage) who came to the event.  The cake featured Filipino ingredients such as Davao chocolates, kalamansi, and Philippine mangoes.

The Embassy partners for the event included the National Commission on Culture and the Arts, renowned artist Manuel Baldemor, celebrated musicians Dr. Jose Zuniega and Christian Tan, Fil Food, and various Filipino-owned/run restaurants and businesses in the UAE, and corporate supporters of the Philippine Embassy.

Interviewed after the event, the Bayanihan Council executive board expressed their elation for a well-executed diplomatic event that gave them so much pride as Filipinos.  Attendees from the Diplomatic Corps dubbed the event the best ever national day reception they have seen.  END


Abu Dhabi.Independence.2

Ambassador Quintana during her speech at the the 121st Independence Day Reception in Abu Dhabi. (Abu Dhabi PE photo)


Abu Dhabi.Independence.3

(Left photo) Ribbon- cutting of the exhibition of Manuel Baldemor titled “Islamic Philippines” led by Ambassador Quintana. (right photo) A guest takes a closer look of the paintings. (Abu Dhabi PE photo)


Abu Dhabi.Independence.4

Filipino pianist Professor Josue Greg Zuniega (right photo) and violinist Christian Tan (left photo) serenaded the guests during the reception with classical and Filipino pieces. (Abu Dhabi PE photo)


 Abu Dhabi.Independence.5

Filipino fruits on display (top left), Filipino food curated by FilFood Group (top right, bottom left, FilFood Trade Group photo), Special Cake created by FilFood Group depicting the Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine where the Philippine Independence from Spain was declared on 12 June 1898. (Abu Dhabi PE photo)


Abu Dhabi.Independence.6

Ambassador Quintana with Embassy officials and staff, and officers and staff from POLO, OWWA, SSS and Pag-IBIG (Abu Dhabi PE photo)


For more information, visit or