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01/09/2011: Memphis in May International Festival 2012 to Honor the Philippines

01 September 2011, Washington, DC – The Philippines will be the honored country in the 2012 Memphis in May International Festival (MIMIF), a series of award-winning events and programs that are held in Memphis during the month of May, and a year-round educational focus on an honored country. The festival has been held annually for the past 35 years and has honored at least 30 countries.

Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. expressed pride on this honor and is leading Embassy efforts to advise MIMIF in planning its 2012 program.

MIMIF organizes the famous Beale Street Music Festival and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. In honoring the Philippines, MIMIF will distribute a curriculum guide on the Philippines to schools in Memphis City, administer student exchange program between the Philippines and Memphis, lead a tourist delegation to the Philippines, host exhibits about the Philippines in several museums in Memphis City, showcase Filipino performers in different venues including the Orpheum Theater and organize economic and business fora with focus on the Philippines.

In preparation for the festival that attracts at least 300,000 people from all over the US and other countries, officers of the Embassy of the Philippines went to Memphis, met with festival officials and visited festival sites last August 25-26. The major industrial sites of Memphis were also visited such as the Memphis Port Authority, Pigeon Industrial Park and Agricenter International and Memphis Bioworks to explore possible business matching between Memphis and Philippine companies. FedEx is headquartered in Memphis.

The Embassy’s Second Secretary Angelito Nayan of the Economic Section and Third Secretary Corina Apostol-Reyes of the Cultural Section and Tourism Director Vernie Morales from Chicago also paid a courtesy call on Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell. Mayor Luttrell said that he looks forward to the forthcoming events that will strengthen the friendship between the people of Memphis and the Mid-South region and the Philippines.

Economic Officer Angelito Nayan, Cultural Officer Corina Apostol-Reyes and Tourism Director Vernie Morales call on Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell on August 25. They were joined by MIMIF President and CEO James Holt.

The group also took the opportunity to meet with the Filipino community in Memphis, Millington, Jackson and nearby Arkansas in a town hall meeting held on August 25. The Filipino community, leaders of which were invited during the public announcement of MIMIF to honor the Philippines, will work with the organizers through the various volunteer committees. -- END