The Philippine Embassy in Singapore hosted a grand Diplomatic Reception at the ParkRoyal Hotel, marking the 126th Anniversary of Philippine Independence and celebrating 55 years of diplomatic relations with Singapore.

SINGAPORE – In celebration of the 126th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence and Nationhood, the Philippine Embassy in Singapore hosted a Diplomatic Reception at the ParkRoyal Hotel on Beach Road on Friday, 14 June 2024. Singapore’s Minister for Health, Mr. Ong Ye Kung, served as the Guest of Honor, accompanied by two Members of Parliament, Mr. Liang Eng Hwa for Bukit Panjang and Mr. Murali Pillai SC for Bukit Batok.

The event drew a large crowd of over 400 attendees from various sectors, including the diplomatic corps, international organizations, Singapore government agencies, the business community, academia, and partners of the Philippine Embassy. Guests were greeted at the foyer with an exhibit by award-winning Filipino photographer Joel Forte, marking his first solo exhibition in Singapore.

This year’s National Day Diplomatic Reception held special significance as the Philippines and Singapore celebrate 55 years of diplomatic relations, formally established on 16 May 1969.

In his remarks, Ambassador Macaraig expressed appreciation for the leadership of former Prime Minister and now Senior Minister Lee Hsien Loong and looked forward to continuing the strong and fruitful partnership with Prime Minister Lawrence Wong. He highlighted the robust bilateral relations between the Philippines and Singapore, encompassing trade, investment, defense, security, and cultural ties. He also noted recent high-level visits, including Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan’s visit to the Philippines in April 2024 and President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s visit to Singapore in May 2024, where he delivered the Keynote Address at the 21st IISS Shangri-La Dialogue.

Ambassador Macaraig shared President Marcos’ emphasis on the importance of a rules-based international order, multilateralism, and adherence to the ideals of the United Nations and ASEAN for the peaceful settlement of international disputes.

Minister Ong conveyed his warmest congratulations to the Philippines, a close neighbor and partner of Singapore, and a founding member of ASEAN. He praised the strong and multifaceted relationship between the two countries, anchored on regular high-level exchanges and strong economic and people-to-people links. Minister Ong thanked the Filipino community in Singapore, particularly healthcare workers who have been vital to Singapore’s healthcare system during the pandemic. He expressed Singapore’s commitment to enhancing bilateral cooperation with the Philippines in various areas, including trade, investment, energy, defense, and healthcare.

Ambassador Macaraig and Minister Ong toasted the excellent bilateral relationship between the Philippines and Singapore and the continued health and well-being of President Marcos Jr. and President Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

Guests enjoyed performances of modern interpretations of Filipino folk dances such as tinikling by the Filipino Dance Club Singapore and DMI Studio. Ambassador Macaraig also serenaded the audience with the songs “Hanggang” by Wency Cornejo and “With a Smile” by Eraserheads. The all-Filipino singing group DEJAVU, based in Singapore, entertained the guests throughout the evening.

Attendees were treated to a delightful array of Filipino food and beverages from the Embassy’s Food Trek 2024 partners, featuring lechon from Lechon Republic, Don Lechon, and Iskina Cebu; Filipino favorites from Max’s Restaurant, Alegria, Octapas by El Mesa, Esquinita by Konyo, Kuya’s Kusinang Pinoy, and Second Serving; halal food from Nanay’s Kitchen and Avocadoria; and beverages from Emperador Inc., the Philippines’ largest liquor company and the world’s largest brandy producer.

The multi-year Philippine Independence Day commemoration (2023-2026), themed “Kalayaan (Freedom), Kinabukasan (Future), Kasaysayan (History),” aims to highlight the birth of the Filipino nation from the proclamation of Philippine independence on 12 June 1898 in Kawit, Cavite, to the end of the first Filipino government with the capture of President Emilio Aguinaldo on 23 March 1901. The theme seeks to raise awareness among Filipinos about their place in history as the earliest modern democracy and republic in Asia.

Source: Philippine Embassy in Singapore