The Permanent Mission of the Philippines to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was proudly represented by the Bayanihan National Folk Dance Company in the 9th Best of ASEAN Performing Arts series to a jam-packed audience at the Gedung Kesenian Jakarta.
The Mission joined hands with the ASEAN Secretariat, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Philippine Embassy in Indonesia, Shangrila Hotel, and the Philippine Airlines to feature “Philippinescape: Showcasing the Beauty of the Philippines through Dance and Music.”
The theater was overflowing with more than 450 guests, including members of the diplomatic corps, the Filipino community, Indonesian students, the media and representatives of government and international organizations.
ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to ASEAN Elizabeth P. Buensuceso, NCCA Chairman Felipe M. de Leon, Jr., and Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia Maria Rosario Aguinaldo graced the occasion.
“Culture helps to shape and build a community, and as we build an ASEAN Community, we will bridge the divide through culture and come together as one, with one common identity and one shared vision,” ASEAN Secretary-General Le said.
“The Best of ASEAN Performing Arts celebrates ASEAN’s unity in diversity, showcasing ASEAN to the world,” he added.
In her remarks, Ambassador Buensuceso underscored the common dream of ASEAN to achieve one Vision, one Identity, and one Community in the midst of their rich and diverse cultures. She recalled the common objective of ASEAN to bring dignity, prosperity and freedom for their people under a canopy of a caring and sharing community.
“I enjoin you who are with us tonight to tell others what you have witnessed of ASEAN and hopefully, you will be inspired enough to want to know more about it and later on, contribute directly in making ASEAN serve the purpose for which it was created- you,” Ambassador Buensuceso said.
“The Philippines shares with her ASEAN brothers and sisters, the same love for life, the same ability to endure and triumph and the same traditions that speak of hospitality, perseverance, industry and faith. From the pulsating rhythms of the music and the dances to the rich costumes and sceneries, this show endeavors to bring out from you an exclamation that indeed, “it is more fun in the Philippines!” Ambassador Buensuceso added.
For his part, NCCA Chairman De Leon said that one of the most effective ways of strengthening the cultural identity is through the arts.
"Art showcases the life of one’s nation – a mirror that faithfully shows the deepest feelings of hopes and dreams, joys and sorrows, objects of affection and devotion, character and temperament and gems of insight and wisdom."
He added that true to the theme of the program, the Bayanihan performance served as a Filipino cultural tour for everyone through dance and music. “It is a journey of bringing the best pieces our country in the field of performing arts to the ASEAN community,” he said.
The Best of ASEAN Performing Arts aims to promote ASEAN awareness by showcasing the 10 Member States’ rich and diverse cultures and arts. (www.dfa.gov.ph)