The Philippine Embassy in Brunei Darussalam hosted a diplomatic reception back-to-back with an exhibition of Philippine woven crafts to commemorate the 118th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence at The Empire Hotel & Country Club on 04 June 2016 in Bandar Seri Begawan. The momentous occasion was attended by close to 250 guests coming from the government of Brunei Darussalam, the diplomatic corps, the local business sector, and members of the Filipino community.
The event was graced by Guest of Honor, Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr.) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar, Minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) of Brunei Darussalam, on behalf of the Government of His Majesty, The Sultan.
In his remarks, Philippine Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Meynardo LB. Montealegre lauded the close friendship between the Philippines and Brunei Darussalam, particularly, Brunei’s strong support to the peace process in Mindanao. He also conveyed the Philippine Government’s appreciation to the Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, for the excellent arrangements during the successful visit of Foreign Affairs Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras to Brunei on 29-30 May 2016.
Ambassador Montealegre also underscored the positive economic achievements of the Aquino administration. He likewise mentioned that with a strong foundation of bilateral ties since the formal establishment of diplomatic relations in 1984, the two countries are poised to reach greater heights in the areas of political cooperation, in increasing the volume of trade and investment, in people-to-people exchanges, and other areas of mutual concern, both bilaterally and within the context of the ASEAN.
Ambassador Montealegre likewise thanked His Majesty, The Sultan, and the people of Brunei Darussalam for the hospitality accorded to the 23,000-strong Filipinos in the Sultanate.
Following Ambassador Montealegre’s remarks, the Guest of Honor, Pehin Yasmin, the Ambassador’s sister, Ms. Elsa Montealegre, and Heads of ASEAN Missions in Bandar Seri Begawan, in the spirit of ASEAN solidarity, took part in the cake-cutting ceremony. Special tokens of appreciation (a framed Tepo “banig” and a native/woven table runner) were also presented by Ambassador Montealegre to the Guest of Honor.
Another highlight of the evening was the Philippine Embassy’s exhibition titled “Habi: Glimpses of Philippine Woven Art and Heritage,” which featured the best of Philippine woven crafts. Said exhibition not only celebrates the Filipino creative spirit, but also illustrates the glimpses of the nation’s outlook, characterized by beauty, optimism and noble aspirations.
The guests admired the intricate and artistic designs of the featured woven crafts particularly the mats (banig) which came from Bukidnon, Palawan, Samar, Tawi-Tawi and other regions in the Philippines. Some of the banig, big and small, were framed and displayed prominently in the venue.
The occasion also showcased video presentations on Philippine economic developments and tourism. Filipino cuisine such as beef caldereta and chicken embotido, and Filipino desserts such as puto, sapin-sapin, and ice cream from Magnolia and FIC were also offered as part of the buffet. Small woven bags (bayong) containing capiz jewelry boxes, shell paperweights and Philippine tourism materials were the giveaways for the guests. END