29 June 2019, LISBON, In commemoration of the 121st Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence, the Philippine Embassy in Lisbon hosted a Diplomatic Reception at the Altis Belém Hotel in Lisbon on 27 June 2019. 

In this year’s diplomatic reception, the Philippine Embassy provided an opportunity to promote Philippine cultural and economic diplomacy by showcasing Philippine gastronomy, music, tourism as well as Philippine manufactured food and beverage products with the goal not only presenting the best of the Philippines, but also creating a festive and lively “Fiesta Filipino” ambiance at the outdoor reception area of Altis Belem Hotel, a 5-star hotel overlooking the Tagus (Tejo) River. 

Guests were welcomed by Philippine Ambassador to Portugal Celia Anna M. Feria and greeted with a series of musical medleys by the Pundaquit Virtuosi, a Philippine youth string ensemble from San Antonio, Zambales led by Musical Director Alfonso “Coke” Bolipata.  The group was in Portugal as part of their 2019 European tour, a Cultural Diplomacy initiative of the Cultural Diplomacy Division of the Office of the Undersecretary for Strategic Communications and Research of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.

A flair bartending show care of the Philippine Department of Tourism by multi-awarded Filipino bartender Dennis Barela also entertained guests through his unique way of preparing cocktails using Philippine made Don Papa Rum. 

The music and bartending entertainment provided by Pundaquit Virtuosi and Filipino bartender Dennis Barela respectively at the Diplomatic reception became a platform to show the creativity and ingenuity of Filipino talent at its best.

Large high resolution tarpaulins showing an array of images of the Philippines ranging from the white sand beaches of Boracay to the colorful MassKara festival of Bacolod were displayed throughout the reception venue to give guests a feel of the beauty and diversity of the Philippine’s natural and tourist attractions.

Filipino style chicken and pork barbeque and sisig prepared with Mama Sita’s sauces were served giving the guests an authentic taste of Filipino street food.

As tokens of appreciation, guests were gifted with dried mangoes from Cebu and fans woven out of anahaw leaves, one of the iconic native products of Quezon province woven by women weavers.

“A beautiful day, beautiful music, wonderful people and we are celebrating freedom and independence, what more can we ask for…..we are bringing in the best of the Philippines, we brought in the best of our Philippine youth, Philippine food and Philippine music said Ambassador Feria during an interview with Portuguese video blogger, Carlos Sampaio who covered the event.

The Philippine National Day reception was attended by the Portuguese government officials, Diplomatic Corps, members of the academe and business communities, the Filipino community and friends of the Embassy. END.