PH Embassy in Vienna Commemorates PH Independence Day with Pundaquit Virtuosi


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 Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chief of Protocol Ambassador Enno Drofenik (left) together with Philippine Ambassador to Austria Maria Cleofe R. Natividad during the diplomatic reception in commemoration of the 121st Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence. (Vienna PE photo)


VIENNA 08 July 2019 — In commemoration of the 121st Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence, the Philippine Embassy and Permanent Mission in Vienna hosted a diplomatic reception on 13 June 2019 that featured the performance of the Pundaquit Virtuosi youth string ensemble.

In her Independence Day message, Ambassador to Austria Maria Cleofe R. Natividad touched on this year’s theme, “Tapang ng Bayan, Malasakit sa Mamamayan” (Courage of the Nation, Compassion for the People) as the underlying values that drive President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the Philippine government’s commitment to further improving the lives of Filipinos in the country and elsewhere in the world.

She also echoed the sentiments of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. on the commitment  of the Philippine Foreign Service to fulfil its mandate to advance the national interest in the world stage. The Ambassador stressed that courage must be tempered with compassion in order for the nation to surmount its struggles, uplift its citizens, and unite the country towards progress.

The evening was capped by a concert by Zambales-based string quartet Pundaquit Virtuosi that drew admiration and praise from the guests, which included officials from the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (BMEIA), United Nations agencies headquartered in Vienna, Ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps, and the Filipino community.

The Zambales-based ensemble, which was founded by Julliard School violin protégé Alfonso “Coke” Bolipata, played under the baton of former Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra music director and primary conductor, and the ensemble’s incoming conductor Maestro Ruggero Barbieri.

Organized in 1996, Pundaquit Virtuosi is composed of 28 gifted underprivileged students trained in Casa San Miguel in San Antonio, Zambales. The performance in Vienna is part of the Ensemble’s European concert tour which includes performances in Berlin,  Brussels, The Holy See, Frankfurt, Lisbon,  Madrid and Paris.

Their repertoire included classic pieces such as Habanera, Cancan, La Cumparcita and Por Una Cabeza by European composers. They then serenaded the audience with original Filipino music such as Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas, Buwan, Ugoy ng Duyan and Kalesa as well as a medley of traditional Philippine folk songs (Bahay Kubo, Tinikling, Ti Ayat Ti maysa Nga Ubing, Dan Dan Soy, Magtanim ay ‘Di Biro, and Itik-itik).

For their finale, the group paid homage to the host country by playing a section of Johann Strauss’ Blue Danube and the Radetzky March.

Ambassador Natividad extended the Independence Day greeting to all Filipinos in the four countries under the Embassy’s jurisdiction, namely Austria, Croatia, Slovenia and the Slovak Republic. END


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 Ambassador Natividad pose for a photo together with the Pundaquit Ensemble with Maestro Rugerro Barbierri. (Vienna PE photo)

 Vienna.Pundaquit.3.Maria Cleofe

 Guest enjoys the performance of Pundaquit Virtuosi. (Vienna PE photo)


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