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03/05/2009: Embassy Recognized for Contribution to Stronger Ties with the Hispanic World

03 May 2009, WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Organization of American States (OAS), which is based in Washington, D.C., today lauded the Embassy’s participation in its Annual Festival of the Americas.

By participating in the Annual Festival, the Philippine Embassy further strengthened ties with the Hispanic world, according to OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza. The Philippines Embassy's contribution to the Annual Festival here “opened opportunities for greater understanding and interaction,” Secretary General Insulza added. The Philippines is an observer mission at the OAS.

At the opening ceremonies of the Festival of the Americas at the Aztec Garden of the OAS, Secretary General Insulza recognized the Embassy’s participation and underscored the Philippines’ shared history and tradition with Latin America.  He also acknowledged that this is the first time the Philippine Embassy was participating.  The Festival of the Americas is an annual event that began in 1998.

“We welcome the Philippines’ participation in the Festival.  The Philippines is one of only two countries from Asia who joined us today and we hope to see the Philippines again in future events,” Secretary General Insulza said.

Ambassador Willy C. Gaa, who attended the ceremonies and was acknowledged twice over the radio, said the Philippines was pleased to participate in the Festival as it was a “reaffirmation of ties.”

Ambassador Gaa said “the Festival is an important opportunity to showcase the Philippines’ best to the Hispanic world and to renew long-standing affinity with friends in Latin America.”  Ambassador Gaa also thanked the volunteers from the Filipino American community who formed an integral part of the Philippine Embassy team that participated in the Annual Festival.

The Philippine booth, adorned with native ornaments depicting a fiesta atmosphere, featured prime tourism destinations in the country as well as traditional Filipino cuisine.

Dance performances from Club Filipino of the Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and Filipino Ministry of All Saints in Manassas, VA showed the diversity of Filipino culture, as well as commonalities with the Hispanic world. END.

Embassy staff Remy Landicho serves Filipino food to guests

Spouse of Embassy staff and volunteer Cora Logarta encourages a visitor to know more about the Philippines

The Georgetown Club Filipino dances the Tinikling in front of the observing crowd

Ambassador Gaa being interviewed by a Telemundo staff