17 May 2019 – Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Joseph Del Mar Yap hosted a simple reception to commemorate the 50th anniversary of PH-SG diplomatic relations on 16 May 2019 at the Official Residence, where the commemorative stamp jointly released by the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) and Singapore Post (SingPost) was also officially launched.
Guest of honor during the event was the Permanent Secretary at the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Chee Wee Kiong. He was joined by delegations from PHLPost and SingPost respectively headed by Mr. Norman Fulgencio (Chairman of the Board of Directors of PHLPost) and Ms. Majorie Ooi (Senior Vice President for Post Office Network & Financial Services, SingPost Ltd).
Officers of the Philippine Embassy and POLO, representatives of the Southeast Asia II Directorate and Philippine desk of MFA Singapore, and Ms. Ruth Wong, Deputy Director of Infocomm Media Development Authority, also attended the reception.
“The mutual cooperation and coordination that was involved in this project shows the strength and depth of our bilateral relations. I am honored to be part of this milestone and we look forward to more activities throughout the year that will continue to strengthen the already strong and warm friendly relations between our countries. Like stamps, let us be connectors of our countries and people in order to further strengthen Philippine and Singapore ties,” Ambassador Yap said in his opening remarks.
MFA Permanent Secretary Chee Wee Kiong, meanwhile, highlighted the historical link between the two countries that predates the official establishment of diplomatic relations on 16 May 1969: “Our warm ties actually go back even further. In the late 19th century, Philippine national hero Dr José Rizal left the Philippines for the first time. Singapore was his first port of call. Between 1882 and 1896, Dr Rizal visited Singapore four times and made detailed records of his observations. His writings are now precious and important records of 19th century Singapore.”
The commemorative stamps feature the Luzon Lacewing Butterfly and Common Rose Butterfly that are endemic to the Philippines and Singapore, respectively. The special edition stamps were made available to the public on the day of the anniversary itself on 16 May 2019.