The Ambassador of the Philippines Lamberto Monsanto spearheaded the celebration of the commemoration of 150th anniversary of birthday of Filipino Hero Andres Bonifacio which commenced with the raising of the Philippine flag to mark the occasion. An open forum followed participated by three local journalists with religious leader Pastor Gil Bantugan.
The remarkable event commenced with the reading of brief tribute of Philippine hero Andres Bonifacio, followed by the singing of the Philippine National Anthem and pledge to the flag. Philippine and labor staffs were invited to join in prayers to start the occasion, followed by a brief recount of Bonifacio’s life and heroic works by the Embassy Administrative Officer Antonia Caba. Charges D’ Affaires Lamberto Monsanto delivered a brief remark on the significance of the occasion and relevance of Bonifacio in these times. After a brief break, a forum slated “Kapihan sa Pasuguan or “Coffee break at the Embassy” was introduced that consisted of panel of three members of the Philippine local media namely Ben Garcia of Kuwait Times, Michelle Santiago of The Arab Times and Sand ABS CBN and Ricky Laxa of The Times, Al Watan and GMA 7 News with a religious leader pastor Gil Bantugan. The forum was moderated by the Consul General, Cultural Attaché Maria Alethea Nabo-Rana and Political Attaché Remee Alcazar.
Sets of questions have been raised addressed to the panel. Role of media in partnership with the embassy and labor sections, reactions and suggestions were among the topics discussed and shared among the panel and those who were present in the discussion. Towards the end of the event, visiting officer form the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs Atty. Dyan Christine Pastrana raised the question to the media on what were the differences between the past and current tenures in the embassies. Media panel lauded the present team in particular the Consul General for his tireless effort in providing assistance to the nationals, the consular section, which provides fast and efficient services, Assistant to the nationals Head who nationals find approachable and willing to always help those facing disparities with employers and companies and a labor section which is quick in aiding distressed house helpers.
The remarkable event ended with a message from the Consul General asking the media to continuously partner the embassy and labor in their mission to uplift the status of Filipinos in the country. The media in turn requested both sectors to keep the open communication and sharing of information with the media. In a brief interview with Atty. Pastrana, she told The Times that the forum is an ideal avenue for both the nationals and embassies to keep in touch and form solutions to resolve issues.