Ambassador Celia Anna M. Feria and the 21 AWA Ambassadors in a screen shot of the video greeting to the Portuguese President and nation, on the occasion of Dia de Portugal Camões e das Comunidades Portuguesas, last 10 June 2020.
10 June 2020 - The Philippine Ambassador to Portugal Celia Anna M. Feria, the current President of the Association of Women Ambassadors (AWA) in Portugal, led the 22 women Ambassadors in Portugal in preparing a taped video greeting, in their respective official and national languages, as they each wished President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and the people of Portugal a Feliz Dia de Portugal, Camoes e das Comunidades Portuguesas, on 10 June 2020.
The Portuguese national day honors the life and legacy of Portugal’s national poet, Luis de Camões, who died in Lisbon on 10 June 1580. Camões is best known for his work “Os Lusiadas”, the epic Portuguese poem published in 1572, which speaks of Portugal’s great world voyages in the 16th century when the country was a major force for world exploration. It also honors the five (5) million Portuguese emigrants and their descendants living all over the world. The Portuguese government considers these Portuguese communities abroad as “one of the most strategic assets of Portuguese Foreign Policy and are the most significant display of a global Portugal.”
Since the start of his Presidency in 2016, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has invited the entire Diplomatic Corps accredited to Portugal to attend the 10 June Dia de Portugal celebrations held in different cities around the country, followed by his overseas visit to the various cities of the Portuguese diaspora. In 2016 the celebrations were held in Lisbon and then Paris; in 2017 Porto and Brazil; in 2018 Ponta Delgada and USA; and 2019 Porta Alegre and Cape Verde. The 2020 celebrations would have been held in Funchal, Madeira followed by the Portuguese President’s visit to the Portuguese communities in South Africa.
With the cancellation of this year’s planned celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ambassador Feria broached the idea to AWA of preparing a video composed of greetings from the Women Ambassadors to the Portuguese President, which was unanimously approved by the group. The result was a 8-minute video by the 22 women ambassadors in their respective national and official languages.
The AWA video greeting was uploaded by each AWA Ambassador in their respective Embassy social media accounts. It reached a wider audience when it was featured in the front page of Diario de Noticias, Portugal’s oldest daily newspaper (now in digital format), and later was reported on the TV program “Europa Minha” on RTP3, the 24-hour public service news channel owned and operated by Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP).
A screenshot of the Diario de Noticias digital newspaper featuring the AWA video greeting.