17 July 2019 – The Philippine Embassy in Singapore successfully hosted the culminating activity for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of PH-SG relations on 14 December 2019 at the Mandarin Oriental, which was capped by an exclusive concert performance by the internationally acclaimed Loboc Children’s Choir.
The Guest of Honor was Dr. Mohamad Maliki Osman, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defense & Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mayor, South East District. Also in attendance were members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, and other Singaporean partners, Filipino community members, and other friends and partners from the private sector, academe and the cultural sector.
The event officially closes the yearlong celebration of the golden jubilee of diplomatic relations that saw more than 25 events and projects successfully implemented. It also served as the Embassy’s way of saying thank you to all the Singaporean and Filipino partners from the government, private sector, academe, and culture/arts sector that made it all possible.
“This is a milestone that truly sums up what we have achieved so far and what we hope to achieve in the next 50 years and beyond. Through the collective efforts of my team at the embassy, we have managed to implement the herculean task of organizing a series of activities and projects that effectively conveys the breadth and depth of our relations and gives meaning and substance to our celebrations,” Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Joseph del Mar Yap said in his welcome remarks.
Ambassador Yap added that the convening of the 4th Informal Consultations of the Philippines-Singapore Action Plan (IC-PSAP) in Manila in December 2018 was an opportune time to kickstart the celebration as it provided a platform upon which to review and assess the status of our bilateral relations.
He cited as the centrepieces of the golden jubilee celebration two iconic events that show the steadfastness of PH-SG bilateral cooperation: the restoration of the artwork by the late Filipina artists Pacita Abad on Alkaff Bridge at Robertson Quay and the loaning of a pair of Philippine Eagles, Sambisig and Geothermica, to Jurong Bird Park in line with conservation and breeding efforts.
However, the highlight of the golden jubilee celebration was the successful State Visit to the Philippines of Singapore President Halimah Yacob in September 2019. Eight MOUs were signed during the State Visit.
“Being a country with a proud legacy of female Heads of State, it was indeed an honor for the Philippines to host President Yacob as she blazes the trail as Singapore’s first female Muslim head of State. We eagerly anticipate how our countries could cooperate on President Yacob’s advocacies and interests on interfaith cooperation and multiculturalism,” Ambassador Yap said.
This ambitious year-long celebration of the PH-SG golden jubilee cuts across various areas that span the wide scope of their common interests – investments, performing arts, food, film, textiles and most recently academic research cooperation with the recent signing of an Agreement with ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute to promote the pur suit of Philippine Studies.
To convey its appreciation, the Embassy, in coordination with Mandarin Orchard Hotel and the Philippine Bayanihan Society Singapore, brought to Singapore the world-renowned Loboc Children’s Choir for an exclusive concert performance.
Founded in 1980 in the island of Bohol, the Loboc Children’s Choir, composed of thirty public school children between nine and thirteen years old, has blossomed into one of the most outstanding choirs in the Philippines today.
The Choir has won in many national and international music competitions and has performed in many parts of the world, including China, Hong Kong, Europe and the US. Considered a ‘cultural treasure’ of the Philippines, the choir’s repertoire of classical, folk, modern and children’s songs has enthralled visiting dignitaries, as well as local and foreign tourists.
The Loboc Children’s Choir sang a repertoire of Tagalog, Bisayan, and English songs, as well as Christmas carols. END