Grand parade to cap Asean’s 50th anniversary rites
The Asean foreign ministers’ meeting and other related meetings this week will culminate in a landmark lighting ceremony of the Asean lantern next week as the Philippines plays host to this year’s Asean summit.
In a press briefing at Malacañang on Tuesday, Presidential Communications Office Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan said the foreign ministers and senior officials’ meetings starting Aug. 2 will culminate in a grand cultural parade on Aug. 8.
The Aug. 8 parade will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Asean, Ablan said.
The parade will start at 3 p.m. with a blowing of the horn in Manila bay and other select ports, Ablan said, urging the public not to be alarmed at the sound, which would only signal the grand celebration of Asean’s 50 years.
“There will be a blowing of horns all over the Philippines. So don’t be alarmed, that’s all I’m trying to say. When Aug. 8, you’ll hear blowing of horns, it’s not the end of the world. It’s the celebration of the 50th Association of Southeast Asian Nations or Asean,” Ablan said.
The Asean day grand parade to be led by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts will start at Luneta and end at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
The Asean lantern will be lighted at the CCP complex graced with cultural shows and fireworks display, Ablan said.
In an Asean 2017 program aired over RTVM at the Asean International Media Center in Pasay city, Zaldy Patron, executive director of the Department of Foreign Affairs Office of Asean Affairs, said the Asean lantern was crafted in Pampanga and adorned with vinta and sampaguita flowers.
The 20-foot lantern will also be adorned by six more feet of smaller lanterns, Patron said.
Patron said other activities in Metro Manila, Regions 1 and 2, and the Caraga region will also commemorate the 50th anniversary with its own lighting ceremonies, food festivals, street parties, and chorals.
The grand events seek to inform the public about the benefits of the harmonious relationship of member countries in the Asean region, Patron said.
“Gusto ko samantalahin ang pagkakataon na ito para itaas ang kamalayan ng ating kababayan tungkol sa Asean, para magkaroon ng interes at para marealize nila ang malaking benepisyong nakukuha sa Asean (I want to take this opportunity to raise the awareness of our countrymen about Asean, in order for them to have interest and realization about the huge benefits we get from the Asean),” Patron said.
Before the grand parade, the Asean foreign ministers and other delegates will attend a grand celebration in the morning on Aug. 8 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to deliver the keynote message at the PICC event, which will be graced with video messages of the Asean leaders, tribute to the Asean founding fathers, and a recognition of the Asean special awardees.
Patron said the landmark lighting parade is open to the public, but the grand celebration at the PICC is by invitation only due to the limited capacity of the convention center.
The 50th anniversary celebration will end with an Asean pop concert at the Bonifacio Global City High Street in Taguig starting at 7 p.m., Ablan said.
During the week from Aug. 2 to 8, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano will lead the 50th Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meetings, the 18th Asean Plus Three Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (with Japan, China and Korea), the 7th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, and the 24th Asean Regional Forum (ARF).
During the ARF, Cayetano will lead the 10 Asean foreign ministers, as well as 17 foreign ministers from participating countries, including US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The foreign ministers are expected to discuss measures on counterterrorism and violent extremism, which are on the top priority topics in the main ministers’ meetings. JPV
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