Over 500 people participated in the Pistang Pinoy (Philippine Fiesta) as the Philippine Embassy in Brunei Darussalam and the Filipino community in the country celebrated the 123rd Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence at the embassy grounds in the Diplomatic Enclave in Jalan Kebangsaan yesterday.
A flag hoisting ceremony led by Philippine Ambassador Christopher B Montero initiated the colourful event followed by the reading of Independence Day messages from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and other high-ranking officials of the Philippine government.
Ambassador Montero praised the outstanding way Brunei has managed the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasising that the excellent situation in the Sultanate is the main factor that enabled a physical celebration of the event this year.
He said the celebration, featuring Filipino traditions such as foods, songs and dances helps bring a taste of their home country with travel restrictions in force due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ambassador also highlighted the strong bilateral relations between Brunei and the Philippines.
He said, “The bilateral relations continue to be enhanced with renewed cooperation. We are grateful for Brunei military contingent sent to assist the peace process in Mindanao, despite the pandemic.
“We are thankful to the Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for the generosity in taking care of the Filipinos in the country and hope will continue in the future.”
The fiesta featured festive music and fun Palarong Pinoy games such as pabitin and basagang palayok, as well as a culinary booth fair by 17 Filipino community organisations.
A prize presentation and cultural performances by the Filipino community were also held.