Upper left photo: (From L-R: Ms. Cristy Vicentina, Country Manager, Philippine National Bank; Ms. Lorah Luah Sy, General Manager, BDO Unibank Inc. Singapore; Ms. Constance See, Director-General, Southeast Asia II Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Wilford Wil Ong, Chief of Staff of Amb. Yap; H.E. Joseph del Mar Yap, Philippine Ambassador to Singapore; Atty. Ranvir Kumar Singh, Honorary President of the Philippine Bayanihan Society (Singapore); Dr. Luis Neves, Vice President of Animal Care at Mandai Wildlife Group (MWG); Ms. Margarita Locsin-Chan,consultant, business development and strategic communications; Mr. Darius Lim, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Business Federation; Mr. Jose Isidro “Lito” Camacho, Vice Chairperson, Asia Pacific, Credit Suisse AG)
Middle photo: Ambassador Joseph del Mar Yap signs a copy of the coffee table book for Ms. Constance See, Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Singapore.
Upper right photo: Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan of Singapore delivers his message with the Alkaff Bridge as a background, which is featured on the cover of the book as the iconic representation of the friendship between the Philippines and Singapore.
Bottom photo: Copies of the actual coffee table book with the front cover of the restored Alkaff Bridge – an iconic symbol of the close relationship and cooperation between the Philippines and Singapore, and the loaned Philippine eagle staying at Singapore’s Jurong Bird Park
(22 December 2021, Singapore) — The Philippine Embassy in Singapore recently launched (26 November 2021) the coffee table book on 50 years of Golden Friendship between the Philippines and Singapore at the Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium of the National Gallery of Singapore. It was an in-person event as Singapore started easing restrictions on social gathering.
The coffee table book highlights the 27 events and activities in 2019 in commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Singapore. The two countries established full diplomatic relations on 16 May 1969.
H.E. Joseph del Mar Yap, Philippine Ambassador to Singapore, emphasized that the official launch of the coffee table book also marked the twenty-eighth (28th) commemorative activity highlighting the deep and robust friendship between the Philippines and Singapore.
The cover of the coffee table book features Singapore’s Alkaff Bridge whose vibrant colors were painted by internationally acclaimed Filipino visual artist Pacita Abad.
Abad completed her artwork in 2004 with the help of various individuals and institutions in Singapore, including the artists of the Professional Industrial Rope Access Services Private Limited (PIRAS), the Land Transport Authority, Singapore Tourism Board, the City Development Limited; Nippon Paint, and Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI), where Abad was an artist-in-residence at that time. Abad dedicated her artwork to the Singaporean people.
Alkaff Bridge is now considered the first ArtBridge in Singapore.
In 2019, as one of the commemorative activities for the 50 years of friendship between the Philippines and Singapore, Abad’s artwork on Alkaff Bridge, which was then fading due to long exposure to natural elements, was fully restored through the joint efforts of the Philippine Embassy and the Singaporean government, with the support of private sectors from both countries.
In his video message for the book launch with the Alkaff Bridge as the background, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan of Singapore congratulated the Philippine Embassy for the book project and highlighted the enduring and multi-faceted relationship between the Philippines and Singapore.
Former Philippine Secretary of Finance and Energy Mr. Jose Isidro Camacho and Ms. Margarita Locsin-Chan also shared their experiences as part of the Filipino diaspora in Singapore, emphasizing the deep friendship between the peoples of the Philippines and Singapore.
The event’s guests, contributors, and corporate partners also took the opportunity to have copies of their books signed by Ambassador Yap towards the end of the program .