Philippine Embassy in Greece Celebrates 111th Philippine Independence Day with Two Big EventsJul 15th, 2009 | By admin | Category: Events, Features
In the evening of June 12, Ambassador Tiglao and Mrs. Getsy Tiglao hosted a well-attended diplomatic reception at the Ambassador’s residence at Paleo Psychico.
Ambassador and Mrs. Tiglao welcomed some 300 guests from the Greek government, the diplomatic corps, representatives from the Greek business sector, and leaders of the Filipino Community in Greece and members of Greek media.
Capt. Panagiotis Tsakos, who is one of Greece’s biggest ship owners, Olympic Gulf Tankers owner Adonis Antoniou, and Elvictor Group owner Stavros Galanakis were among the many shipping-industry magnates and executives at the celebration of the national day of the Philippines, whose nationals now make up about thirty per cent of the total officers and seamen in Greek-owned and managed ships. Some fifty resident ambassadors from Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Africa enjoyed Filipino food at the reception together with honorary consuls, officials of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government institutions.
Two top-rating television channels in Greece, Star Channel and Antenna (ANT1) covered the event and interviewed Ambassador Tiglao together with Ilias Psinakis, a popular television personality. Ilias’ uncle, Steve Psinakis, is a prominent Greek corporate executive in Manila married into the country’s richest families and renowned as an anti-dictatorship fighter in the 1980s in the Philippines.
The guests were treated to servings of Filipino dishes such as pancit bihon, chicken adobo, spring rolls, pork barbecue and spicy chicken wings. The world-famous Philippine beer, San Miguel, in its original brew and in modern low-calorie and single-malt brews, became a favorite drink at the party, as well as the Coco Magic, virgin coconut juice produced and manufactured by Consolidated Dairy. “Best seller” of the evening was also the Filipino concoction called the halo-halo, with almost everyone lining up to sample a taste of the hugely popular Filipino summer dessert.
A video presentation about the Philippines and all-Filipino music put together by Philippine Embassy played all night.
In a separate celebration held on 21 June, the Philippine Embassy in cooperation with Filipino community organizations in Athens, held day-long festivities for the Filipino community at the Fokianos National Gymnasium in Zappeio.
For the second straight year, the stage and venue were covered with a huge marquee and four big tents to shade people from the hot summer sun. Athens News, once again the Philippine Embassy’s Communications Sponsor, distributed free newspapers and flyers at the event and beverages and other products provided by Coca Cola, San Miguel Beer and Coco Magic from Consolidated Dairy. Prizes for the raffle and other contests were provided by various companies in Greece.
The day-long event kicked-off with the parade of various Filipino community associations in Greece. Prior to the singing of the national anthem, selected students from the Philippine School in Greece (PSG) and (formerly known as KAPHILCA or Katipunan Philippines Cultural Academy), presented a biorama or a “living diorama” titled “Balik Silip sa Landas Tungo Sa Kalayaan”. It consisted of three parts: the cry of Balintawak, execution of Dr. Jose Rizal in Bagumbayan, and the proclamation of Philippine independence in Kawit, Cavite.
Officials of the Philippine Embassy led by the ambassador, read the Independence Day messages of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and other Philippine officials.
The occasion was highlighted by singing, dance and national costume competitions and superb cultural performances from PSG students and representatives of various Filipino organizations.
PSG students in colorful costumes wowed the crowd with their impressive performance of Singkil. PAMANA, a group of young Filipino children playing string instruments – mandolinata and guitar — under the watch of Atty. Humabon Orlanes, a long-time Filipino resident in Greece, delighted the audience with their rendition of Bayan Ko Tanging Ikaw, Hotel California and Faithful Love. The children’s parlor games and the modern dance contest also gave the event a very festive mood as the crowd continued to increase even towards the afternoon.
Various kinds of Filipino food like siopao, barbecue, caldereta, adobo, goto and halo-halo were available and sold from more than 30 food stalls set up by Filcom co-organizers especially for the event.
About 1,200 Filipinos, Greeks and other nationalities and even tourists attended this year’s celebration at Zappeio.