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Department of Foreign Affairs-updates

RP Embassy in Abuja celebrates Eid Al-Fitr

Posted: 22 Sep 2009 12:42 AM PDT

PH-155-09, 22 September 2009 – The Philippine Embassy in Abuja celebrated Eid Al-Fitr last 20 September. Guests included members of the Filipino community, Nigerian business people, and the officers and staff of the ASEAN Embassies in Abuja, including the Ambassadors of Thailand and Malaysia and the Charge d’Affaires of Vietnam and Indonesia.

Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Alex V. Lamadrid welcomed the guests on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr. This is the first time that the ASEAN Embassies in Nigeria attended the Eid Al-Fitr celebration in the Philippine Embassy.

Post’s muslim staff Mr. Said Bacolod led the invocation and Alimoden Emam read the Qur’an.

A film on the life of the Prophet Muhammad was also shown during the program. END

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St. Petersburg hosts first Philippine Studies Conference

Posted: 22 Sep 2009 12:20 AM PDT

PR-744-09, 22 September 2009 – A Philippine studies conference was held for the first time ever in St. Petersburg, the former imperial capital and now the cultural capital of Russia, one of the leading countries specializing in the field, the Philippine Embassy in Moscow reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

“Pilipinas Muna! (The Philippines is a Priority!)” was held on September 14-15 at the conference hall of Pavilion 6 in LENEXPO, organized by the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, with the cooperation of the Philippine Embassy and the Philippine Honorary Consulate General in St. Petersburg.

In the opening ceremonies, Philippine Ambassador to Russia Victor G. Garcia III praised the organizers, led by conference chair Dr. Maria V. Stanyukovich, chair of Kunstkamera’s Department of Australia, Oceania and Indonesia, for putting Russia on the map “firmly as one of the poles of research on the Philippines.”

Honorary Consul General Sergey Alexeev remarked on St. Petersburg’s links to the Philippines, noting how the trading ships that eventually made its way to the Far East were built and licensed by the Russian Imperial Court in the former capital. Kunstkamera Director Professor Yury K. Chistov remarked about the new academic milestone achieved by the holding of the conference.

Moscow-based historian and political scientist Victor Sumsky emphasized that the conference took in an impressive range of disciplines represented in Philippine studies: linguistics, literature, folklore, history, anthropology, sociology, political science, economics, geology, visual and graphic arts, performance arts and naval engineering.

The two-day conference, which was also attended by three professors from the University of the Philippines – Drs. Crisanta Flores of the Filipino Department, Jima Umala and Wystan de la Peña of the Center of International Studies – attracted the early support of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during her visit for the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June.

During that visit, President Arroyo took keen interest in early historical references about the Philippines and Russia, such as the Latin translation of Italian chronicler Antonio Pigafetta’s account of Ferdinand Magellan’s circumnavigation of the world in 1522, a copy of which reached Russia and was translated in Russian presumably between 1525 and 1530.

A copy of the translated manuscript was believed to have been among the documents in the Saltykov-Shchedrin State Library in St. Petersburg. The collection from that library became part of the core of what eventually became the Lenin Library or now the Russian State Library.

Apart from UP and Kunstkamera, the institutions represented in the conference were: St. Petersburg State University (SPbSU), Moscow Lomonosov State University (MSU), St. Petersburg Institute of History, Institute of World Economics and International Relations, Russian State Humanitarian University, Northwest Academy of Public Administration and State Russian Museum.

The conference, which is the second ever of its kind in Russia, was dedicated to the 80th birthday of Dr. Gennadiy Evgenyevich Rachkov, a specialist in Tagalog linguistics and the founder of Tagalog Department in SPbSU’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

A side exhibition featuring the oil paintings of Mme. Concepcion G. Garcia and Papo de Asis as well as photos from Philippine daily life taken by Russian photographers Alexandra Romanova and Alexey Stoyda and loaned from the collection of Gennady Grustsya, head of exhibition organizers Golden Dolphin, was opened by Ambassador Garcia, Honorary Consul General Alexeev, Director Chistov and Dr. Elena G. Tsaryova, curator at the Kunstkamera.

The two paintings of Mrs. Garcia entitled “Tres Marias” and “The Making of the First Philippine Flag” were also praised by the conference participants.

Dr. de la Peña said he was impressed with the extent and seriousness of the research presented by the Russian academicians. In particular, he cited papers on the accusativity and ergativity in the Tagalog language, the study of Ilocano Lam-ang epic, the population of the Philippines and the evolution of human groups inhabiting the Pacific and on Francisco Balagtas.

At the end of the conference, Dr. Stanyukovich drew up by acclamation a resolution for the organizers and participants to organize a follow-up conference, possibly in Manila, and to publish the papers and proceedings in both English and Russian.

With the MSU and SPbSU offering undergraduate and post-graduate studies on the Philippines, Russia is one of the leading countries in advancing Philippine studies in Europe if not the world.. Other leading countries are the United States, Australia and Japan. In Europe, Russia and Netherlands lead in scholarships, followed by Spain, Great Britain and Germany.

Russia’s contribution to Philippine studies was acknowledged during President Arroyo’s visit to Moscow in June, where she conferred the Presidential Medal of Merit to Rizalist Dr. Igor Podberezksy for his pioneering work of translating eight volumes of Philippine literature into Russian and penning eight monographs and more than 100 articles on the Philippines in a 55-year career.

The first ever academic conference on the Philippines was held in Moscow in the early 1990s. Organized by the Nusantara Society in Moscow, the one-day “The Philippines in the Malay World” conference gathered specialists from MSU, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Institute of World Economics and International Relations and the Pushkin Institute of World Literature. END

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Lloyd’s opens Davao Gulf Lay-Up Facility to International Shippers

Posted: 22 Sep 2009 12:04 AM PDT

PR-743-09, 22 September 2009 – Philippine Ambassador to the Court of St. James in London Antonio M. Lagdameo reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that the Lloyd’s Joint War Committee (JWC) has decided to delist Davao Gulf from its areas with perceived enhanced risk.

The September 14 decision will make anchorage areas in Davao Gulf – particularly Malalag and Bunawan Bays, Pujada Bay and Mayo Bay – a more attractive option for international shipping companies which intend to lay-up their idle vessels at the facilities opened by the Philippine Government for this purpose.

Ambassador Lagdameo, who is concurrently the Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the International Maritime Organization, welcomed the JWC decision, and said; “London is considered as the maritime capital of the world. The decision taken by the Joint War Committee a few days ago validates the satisfactory efforts undertaken by Philippine government agencies to make Mindanao a stable and peaceful place for international shipping companies to do business.”

Last May, MARINA Administrator Maria Elena Bautista led a delegation of officials from the Philippine Embassy in London and the Philippine Coast Guard to meet with officials of Aegis Defence Services (Aegis), the external security consultant of JWC, to formally brief them on the peace and order situation in Davao Gulf. Administrator Bautista highlighted the peaceful environment in Davao Gulf which is supportive of attracting international shipping companies to lay-up their idle merchant vessels in the area.

A team from Aegis was then invited to the Philippines in mid-August to inspect the measures undertaken by the national and local government agencies to eliminate or minimize any security risk to international merchant vessels that would be availing of the lay-up facilities in Davao Gulf. It was this team that briefed the JWC on the situation prevailing in the Davao Gulf Area.

The JWC is composed of underwriting representatives from both the Lloyd’s and company markets of the International Underwriting Association. It represents the interest of those writing war and related risks within the London market and meets quarterly. END

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RP Embassy in Seoul leads ASEAN Campus Tour

Posted: 21 Sep 2009 10:43 PM PDT

PR-742-09, 22 September 2009 – The Philippine Embassy in Seoul in cooperation with the ASEAN-Korea Center led the first leg of the ASEAN School Tour Program at the Cheongduk Elementary School, Seoul on September 5.

The group accommodated 180 Korean elementary students. Participants had a taste of Philippine culture through the demonstration of festival costumes, photos of famous Philippine tourist spots, crafts, textiles and other cultural items.

Volunteers from the Pilipino Iskolars sa Korea (PIKO) conducted a briefing to the students. Selected students were also entertained by the basic dance steps of the “Tinikling”.

Other ASEAN member countries also showcased their country’s cultural items and other informational materials in their respective booths.

The ASEAN Campus Tour will be brought to nine other elementary schools around Seoul until November 7. It is being organized by the ASEAN-Korea Center and 10 other embassies of the ASEAN member countries in Seoul to raise awareness and understanding on ASEAN member nations and to promote ASEAN culture among the students in Korea.

Ambassador Luis T. Cruz and Secretary-General Young Jai Cho of the ASEAN-Korea Center headed the campus tour. END

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San Diego Padres’ Filipino Heritage Night

Posted: 21 Sep 2009 08:05 PM PDT

PH-154-09, 22 September 2009 – The Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that the San Diego Padres hosted a Filipino Heritage Night at the Petco Park in San Diego, California last September 15.

Photo shows Manny Pacquiao (center) being presented a Proclamation from the City of Chula Vista honoring him for his outstanding achievements. With Pacquiao are (from left) Consul General Mary Jo Bernardo Aragon; Shirley Grasser Horton, California Legislator (2002-2008); and Jeffrey Moorad, San Diego Padres CEO.

During the event, five individuals were also honored for their outstanding contributions to the Filipino-American community namely, Retired Assemblywoman Shirley Horton, Judge Lillian Lim, Captain Cesar Solis, Dr. Barbara Yorobe, and Lucy Gonzales. END

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San Francisco Giants’ Filipino Heritage Night

Posted: 21 Sep 2009 08:00 PM PDT

PH-153-09, 22 September 2009 – The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco attended the Giants Filipino Heritage Night at the AT&T Ball Park in San Francisco last September 16. Newly-crowned International Boxing Association (IBA) Super Bantamweight champion Anna “The Hurricane” Julaton also attended the event.

Photo shows Deputy Consul General Wilfredo C. Santos with Ms. Anna Julaton, together with Trade Commissioner Josephine Romero, Mr. Anthony Cornista of the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo, and Mr. Al Perez of the Bay Area Filipino American community. END

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RP Embassy in Mexico celebrates National Migrant Day

Posted: 21 Sep 2009 07:50 PM PDT

PH-152-09, 22 September 2009 – The Philippine Embassy in Mexico participated in the celebration of the National Migrants Day at the Basilica de Guadalupe on September 6.

The Pastoral Care of Human Mobility (PCHM) of the Mexican Roman Catholic Church and the Scalabrini Fathers and Sisters coordinated the mass and the cultural show that were participated in by a number of countries represented in Mexico City, Charge d’Affaires, a.i. Pedro C. Santizo said.

Minister and Consul Lilybeth R.. Deapera, Sister Leticia Gutierrez Guadarrama of PCHM, and the representative of President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, were the principal readers in the mass.

Members of the Filipino community in Mexico City participated in the event.

Other members of the diplomatic corps in Mexico like Spain, Guatemala, Ecuador, El Salvador, Colombia and Panama also attended the commemoration. END

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Filipino Architect Selected as Finalist in Guggenheim Art Shelter Competition

Posted: 21 Sep 2009 07:31 PM PDT

PR-741-09, 22 September 2009 – Filipino architect Gonzalo “Jun” Raymundo, Jr. was selected as one of the top 10 finalists in the prestigious Guggenheim Art Shelter Competition, the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The Guggenheim Art Shelter Competition is an exhibition contest sponsored by the Guggenheim Museum and Google SketchUp. It is open to both amateur and professional designers who are challenged to come up with various 3D designs inspired from different shelters in any part of the world using Google SketchUp and Google Earth.

Submissions were received from nearly 600 contestants in 68 countries around the world. Ten finalists were then drawn from this pool of contestants for the People’s Prize Award, which will be chosen through an online public voting.

Mr. Raymundo, based in Quezon City, Philippines, is leading the voting polls.

In a statement, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Willy C. Gaa said Mr. Raymundo has exhibited exceptional skill in design and architecture. “Truly, his work best reflects ingenuity, workmanship and culture that the Filipino people can be proud of. I encourage members of the Filipino community to extend their support to Mr. Raymundo by casting their votes for his meritorious piece of art,” he said.

Mr. Raymundo’s work entitled, “A Bamboo Shelter in a Garbage Dump City,” is a bamboo design shelter built on a concrete base situated at a garbage dump in the Philippines. The bamboo wall represents a strong sense camaraderie or “bayanihan” to signify that “where there is unity there is strength.” His work collectively symbolizes “sustainability and hope.”

The voting period will run until 10 October 2009. A link to the voting page can be accessed at: http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/education/sackler-center/design-it-shelter/vote-for-shelters. END

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