Philippine Embassy in Athens celebrates Independence DayJun 17th, 2008 | By pam | Category: News
(DFA Press Release, 17 June 2008)
The Philippine Embassy marked the 110th anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine independence with two major, well-attended events in Athens: a Diplomatic Reception for the corps diplomatique at prestigious Athenaeum Intercontinental and, a few days, later on 15 June 2008 a fiesta-type celebration with the Filipino community at the Fokianos basketball court at Zappeio.
At the Diplomatic Reception hosted by the Ambassador and Mrs. Getsy Tiglao, prominent members of Greek officialdom led by Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyanni’s personal representative Ambassador Aristides Agathocles, Secretary General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representatives of the various chambers of commerce in Greece and shipping industry attended the reception.The Greek ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Georges-Chrysostomos Nicolaidis with his wife Alcmene also attended the reception.
The Embassy also invited the officers and leaders of the Filipino community who came in big numbers.
The guests were given a treat of Filipino cuisine and beverage which were very much liked and appreciated by the embassy’s foreign visitors especially. The delighted guests partook of the sumptuous feast of native Filipino dishes such as adobo, lumpiang shanghai (spring rolls), escabeche, buchi, and siopao.
Filipino music played throughout the night and a video presentation on Philippine culture and economy ran for the duration of the reception. Tourism brochures and other information materials were also given to the guests.
On June 15, the Philippine Embassy in cooperation with Filipino community organizations in Athens, held a whole-day Independence Day celebration for Filipinos in Greece at the Fokianos National Gymnasium in Zappeio near downtown Athens .
For the first time in the many years that this event was held, the venue was covered with a huge marquee and more than two dozen big sunshade-umbrellas in order to shield the participants from the hot near-summer sun. Representatives from Athens News, which is the Philippine Embassy’s Communications Sponsor for this event, distributed free newspapers and flyers at the scene.
The day-long event kicked-off with the parade of banners of various Filipino community associations in Athens and the singing of the Philippine national anthem. Officials of the Philippine Embassy led by Ambassador Tiglao, read the Independence Day messages of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and other Philippine officials. For the first time, the Philippine Embassy honored outstanding Filipino individuals in Greece who have excelled in sports and education.
Contestants vying for “Best in Philippine Costume” showed off their rich and colorful costumes made in the Philippines. Competitions in dancing, singing, and band music were held, as well as many games for children.
The occasion was highlighted by superb cultural performances from students of the Philippine School in Greece (formerly known as KAPHILCA or Katipunan Philippines Cultural Academy) and representatives of various Filipino organizations.
Over 1,000 people participated in this year’s Independence Day celebration in Zappeio, the biggest ever attendance in such event so far.