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(23 August 2023, Singapore) – The Filipino Ladies’ Group in Singapore (FLAGS), in cooperation with the Philippine Embassy in Singapore’s Cultural and FIlipino Community Relations Section, successfully held the highly-anticipated “Maria Clara & Ibarra Ball” on 12 August 2023 at the Raffles Town Club, as part of the celebrations of the 125th Anniversary of Philippine Independence.

The ball  was also one of the major community events where Filipinos and foreigners alike gathered for a night of culture, highlighting  two (2) of the most iconic Philippine literary characters – Maria Clara and Crisostomo Ibarra from Dr. Jose Rizal’s novel, “Noli Me Tangere.” The event also featured the weaving tradition of the Philippines, particularly, the Badian banig and the Ilocos Inabel

In his opening remarks, Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Medardo G. Macaraig thanked the Filipino community for continuing to expand participation and inclusivity for people of all races and making room for people of different races – a testament that the Embassy’s efforts in promoting cultural diplomacy are paying off. Ambassador Macaraig also expressed his appreciation to FLAGS for heeding his call for the organization to spearhead a major community gathering post-pandemic.

The event also showcased the talents of Singapore-based Filipinos for singing, dancing the cariňosa, a Philippine dance from the colonial era, which is the backdrop of the story of Maria Clara and Crisostomo Ibarra, and playing of musical instruments by violinist Joseph Angelo Uichanco. Guests who came in their best Filipiniana outfits, reminiscent of the wardrobes of Maria Clara and Crisostomo Ibarra, likewise participated in an impromptu fashion show and contest.

Part of the event’s proceeds will be donated to an inabel weaving community and a mat weaving community in the Philippines.

The Maria Clara & Ibarra Ball was the second activity this year which prominently featured indigenous Philippine weaves, the first being the fashion show called Hibla Mindanao) which was supported by the Philippine Embassy, to commemorate the National Indigenous People’s Day which happens every 9th of August, in accordance with Republic Act No. 10689. (END)

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