On Tuesday, 14 June 2016, Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Antonio A. Morales and his wife Mdm. Shirlene C. Mananquil hosted a reception at The Clifford Pier, Fullerton Bay Hotel, as part of activities to observe the 118th anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine independence in Singapore.
Singapore Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong was Guest-of-Honour. He was accompanied by Members of the Parliament of Singapore Dr. Chia Shi-lu, Tanjong Pagar GRC and Mr, Vikram Nair, Sembawang GRC.
Almost 400 guests including Singapore officials, Heads of Diplomatic/Consular Mission, members of the diplomatic corps, leaders and representatives of the business community, think-tanks and the academe and the professional Filipino community in Singapore joined the occasion.
In his toast remarks, Ambassador Morales recognized that Minister Wong’s presence and that of his colleagues reflect the importance that Singapore attaches to its relations with the Philippines.
Ambassador Morales noted the significance of PHL-Singapore ties at the bilateral level and as fellow ASEAN founding members. He expressed hope that the excellent state of bilateral relations between the two countries that have flourished under the Aquino administration will be further enhanced under the incoming government of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
Minister Wong responded that the Philippines is one of Singapore’s most important partners in the region. He acknowledged the vital role that Filipinos play in Singapore services, transport, medical, commercial and IT sectors.
Minister Wong said that Singapore looks forward to welcoming officials of the next Philippine administration as he noted high-level exchanges between the two countries provided a strong foundation of PHL-Singapore relations. He gave assurance of Singapore’s full support as the Philippines prepares for its chairmanship of the ASEAN in 2017.
Similar to past diplomatic receptions, last night’s event showcased the excellence of Filipino costume. Officials and personnel of the Philippine Embassy and their spouses as well as guests donned their barongs and elegant gowns.
Filipina soprano Angela Cortez and Filipino Tenor Mark Anthony Canios performed some “kundiman” pieces accompanied by Singaporean pianist Pauline Lee.
A fusion dinner of Western, local and Philippine culinary favourites including the mouth-watering lechon were served to the guests together with the ever popular San Miguel beer.
More importantly, the diplomatic reception served as a good networking platform with the presence of diplomatic officials and important personalities from the Singapore business community. Not lost in the cacophony of voices were discussions on possibilities under the new Philippine administration, South China Sea and investment opportunities in the Philippines.
The diplomatic reception in pictures: