Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Joseph Del Mar Yap hosted a diplomatic reception at the John Jacob Ballroom of the St. Regis Singapore on 14 June 2019 to jointly commemorate the 121st Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine independence and the 50th Anniversary of Philippines-Singapore Diplomatic relations.
The reception was graced by 300 guests including Singapore officials, members of the diplomatic corps, leaders and representatives of the business community, academe and the Filipino community in Singapore.
Singapore’s Minister for National Development, Mr. Lawrence Wong, was the Guest of Honour. Minister Wong was joined by Mr Teo Ser Luck, Member of Parliament for Pasir Ris-Punggol Group Representation Constituency (GRC), and Mr Darryl David, Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC.
In his speech, Ambassador Yap highlighted the bright prospects and performance of the Philippine economy, despite the unfavourable global economic outlook, fuelled largely by domestic consumption, government spending and a robust services sector.
“A dramatic rebalancing of our foreign relations initiated by President Duterte has opened great opportunities for the country to obtain support for its quest for rapid and inclusive growth. We believe that goodwill begets friendship, friendship builds trust, and trust drives cooperation,” Ambassador Yap said.
Ambassador Yap also announced the successful projects and highly-anticipated events to celebrate the golden anniversary of PH-SG diplomatic relations. Among the projects successfully implemented so far are the joint issuance of stamps by PhilPost and SingPost featuring endemic butterflies to the two countries, the Wildlife Loan Agreement between the PH government and the Wildlife Reserves Singapore for the conservation of the highly endangered Philippine Eagles, and the successful restoration of Pacita Abad’s artwork on Alkaff Bridge.
“This year, we are eagerly anticipating the State Visit of the President, Her Excellency Madame Halimah Yacob, to the Philippines late this year,“ Ambassador Yap added.
Minister Wong reiterated the statement of Ambassador Yap regarding the outstanding bilateral relations between the Philippines and Singapore and looked forward to a continued friendship even beyond its 50th anniversary bilateral relations.
In line with the Embassy’s economic diplomacy thrust, the reception showcased various Philippine brands such as Arc Gin, Churreria La Lola Francesca Tan Ventures, Whyte and Mackay Whiskey, Jollibee, Ayala Land International, BDO Unibank, Excent One, LBC Express, Manulife Singapore, Metro Remittance Singapore, Philippine Airlines, PNB, PLDT and QuadX.
Vocablends, a Singapore-based a cappella group composed of Filipino professionals, serenaded the guests with Filipino songs. The officers and staff of the Philippine Embassy, as well as members of the Filipino community, showcased their elegant Filipinianas that fascinated the foreign guests.