The Philippine Embassy in Brunei Darussalam, led by Ambassador Meynardo LB. Montealegre, participated in the ASEAN@50 Celebrations held from 12 to 13 August 2017 at the International Convention Center (ICC) organized by Brunei’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT).
The ASEAN@50 Celebrations kicked off with a ribbon cutting ceremony on 12 August 2017. The event was led by the Guest of Honor, Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd Yusof, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and participated by all ASEAN Heads of Missions in Brunei. Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism were also in attendance during the official launch.
Highlighted activities during the celebrations include the ASEAN@50 Exhibition, the ASEAN Makan (Food) Fair, and the ASEAN Cultural Performances.
At the ASEAN@50 Exhibition, Embassies and High Commissions of the ASEAN Member States and ASEAN Dialogue Partners had booths highlighting country information and showcasing tourism attractions and native products. The PHL Embassy’s booth featured a colorful and vibrant jeepney, and was decorated with festive hot air balloons representing the Hot Air Balloon Festival of Clark, Pampanga. PHL decorative items made of indigenous materials such as capiz, nito, and bamboo, and t’nalak fabrics were also showcased in the booth while the tourism promotion videos from the Department of Tourism were played in loop. PHL tourism brochures, as well as ASEAN brochures, ASEAN@50 ballers and ASEAN commemorative coins were distributed to guests who visited the booth.
Following the tour of the ASEAN@50 Exhibition, Deputy Minister Dato Erywan also opened the ASEAN Makan Fair, a showcase of native delicacies of ASEAN Missions in Brunei and of ASEAN Dialogue Partners at the Press Room of the ICC. The Embassy was represented at the event by Filipino entrepreneurs in Brunei who showcased PHL native delicacies including kakanin (biko, cassava cake, maja blanca, kutsinta, puto, sapin-sapin), tapsilog, and PHL ice cream (FIC and Magnolia).
In the afternoon of 12 August 2017, the two-day ASEAN Cultural Performances commenced at the central concourse of the ICC. First to perform was the Embassy’s performers, the Aquinas University of Legazpi Dance Troupe, whose repertoire included Maria Clara, Rural dances, Bicol and Mindanao dances. The audience, numbering to around 150, composed of Brunei’s officials, members of the Diplomatic Corps, and members of the Filipino Community, were charmed by the beautiful renditions of the group. Among the dances, the audience was most impressed with the group’s Tinikling, Maglalatik and Singkil.
The Embassy fully supports ASEAN-related activities hosted by the Brunei government in view of promoting the Philippine’s ASEAN Chairmanship and the 50th Founding Anniversary of ASEAN this year. END