Sunday, June 12, 2011


In conjunction with the 113th Independence Day Anniversary of the Philippines on 12 June, the Philippine Embassy in Brunei Darussalam held a Flag Hoisting Ceremony at its newly opened Philippine Embassy Grounds at Simpang 336, Diplomatic Enclave, Kampong Kianggeh, Jalan Kebangsaan, Bandar Seri Begawan.

Prior to the Flag Hoisting Ceremony at the Philippine Embassy Grounds, a special thanksgiving mass was held at the Church of our Lady Assumption in Bandar Seri Begawan.

With a theme "Kalayaan: Paninindigan ng Bayan," the Independence Day anniversary commemoration was packed with reading of Independence Day Messages. Ambassador Nestor Ochoa shared his Independence Day insights; Minister and Consul Celeste Balatbat read the Independence Day message of His Excellency President Benigno S. Aquino III; Minister and Consul General read the Independence Day message from Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario; Welfare Officer Zenaida Ramos read the Independence Day message of OWWA Administration Carmelita Dimzo; while Labor Attache Ana Dione shared her message as well.
The new Philippine Embassy in Brunei Darussalam

Flag Hoisting Ceremony led by Ambassador Ochoa

Apart from the prayer for the nation which was delivered by different representatives in various religions, Dr. Rommel Curaming delivered an insightful and heart-warming words in commemoration of the 150th birthday and heroism of Dr. Jose Rizal.

After the blessing of the new Philippine Embassy office, a cake cutting ceremony followed and lunch was served among guests.

With Dr. Curaming and his Son
With all the different speeches that I heard in commemoration of the 113th Philippine Independence Day celebration, one composition truly made an impact for me. That is the speech delivered by Dr. Rommel Curaming, a history professor at Universiti Brunei Darussalam and a former Professor at the University of the Philippines Diliman, in commemoration of the 150th Birthday and heroism of Dr. Jose Rizal. Dr. Curaming is a member of UP Circle Brunei and one of my close friends in Brunei.

Starting off with a soothing introduction, Dr. Curaming captured the audience's attention by articulating questions on the relevance of Rizal among the hard working Filipinos who are living inside and outside the country in the present era. The distinguished professor pointed out a slice of Dr. Jose Rizal's life as relevant to the OFW community; the national hero's hardship and joys overseas are similar with what the millions of OFWs experience across the world. While there are some snappy thoughts on the logic of capitalism and cosmopolitanism, Dr. Curaming made a firm string of scholarly composition on how should Filipinos and OFWs live up to Rizal's legacy: to love and serve one's country despite living or working a thousand miles away from the Philippines. Thanks to Dr. Curaming, the speech reminded me (once again) to be proud as a Filipino and imbibe that spirit of service to my fellow countrymen especially in this time of turbo globalization.

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas. Mabuhay ang mga Pilipino!

Here are some of the photo ops I had with some of my friends. Thanks to Ms. Lea, Sir Joey and Toni for capturing the momentous event.
Toni, Me, Ms. Jng and Vhia

The Curaming family (left) and Dr. Joey Santos with Ms. Jing

with the wife of Ambassador Ochoa, Madam Maria Tomasa Ochoa

UP Circle Members and Phil. Embassy Staff with Ambassador Ochoa
Feeling close kami sa Ambassador at kay Madam!

Photo op kahit mainit!

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