The Philippine Embassy in Brasilia's celebration of National Heritage Month culminated in its hosting of an afternoon experience of Philippine culture on May 23 in cooperation with Clube Internacional at the Bahay Pilipino, the Official Residence of the Ambassador in Brasilia.
The Embassy showcased Philippine culture through presentations on Philippine fashion and accessories, and a sampling of Philippine food. Around 85 members of the club composed of Brasilia's elite women and spouses of Ambassadors attended the event.
Clube Internacional is one of the leading organizations of Brasilia comprising a cross-section of the city's top society, with the aim of promoting social integration of women living in Brasília through cultural activities for the promotion of peace, understanding and cultural exchange.
In keeping with the theme “Taoid: Weaving Our Stories, Threading Our Paths,” the Embassy focused on Philippine textiles and fabrics, including piña and abaca as clothing materials in the form of the barong tagalog, mestiza dresses, kimonas and wraps exhibited at the Residence. Philippine handicrafts like jewelry boxes, native bags and slippers, and batik cloth were also prominently displayed, to focus on Philippine craftsmanship and attention to detail. Philippine pearls and quality women's accessories made from mother of pearl material were admired by many of the guests. Dried mangoes were distributed as giveaways.
In her welcome remarks, Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Eva G. Betita highlighted Philippine historical antecedents and the fusion of indigenous and foreign influences caused by the colonization of the Philippines by Spain and the United States of America, which are prevalent in Philippine culture until today.
A short video of "It's More Fun in the Philippines!" was shown, followed by a presentation on Philippine customs, tourist sites and beaches, fabrics, fiestas, Filipino cuisine, world-class furniture, and architecture, among others. A mini fashion show, modeled by the Embassy officers and staff and members of the Filipino community, showcased traditional clothes such as barong tagalogs, kimona, wrap by Dita Sandico-Ong, and formal Filipiniana dresses and gowns. Mrs. Barbara Bomfim, university professor of UNIEURO, explained in Portuguese the notable details of the fashion show. She also explained the concept of merienda cena, the ingredients used for the food that the Embassy prepared for the guests, and the common customs and traditions relating to the importance of food in Filipino culture.
The President of Clube Internacional, Maria Cecília Borgo de Martins expressed great appreciation and gratitude for the experience, which ended with merienda cena of pansit, lumpianita filipina and chicken adobo, as well as cassava cake and turon for dessert. END