19 June 2012 – The Philippine Embassy in Madrid reported that Ambassador Carlos C. Salinas hosted a diplomatic reception on 18 June 2012 at the Hotel InterContinental Madrid to commemorate the 114th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence and 10th Philippines-Spain Friendship Day.
An estimated 420 guests, comprised of representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, members of diplomatic corps, business and tourism contacts and friends of the Embassy, were present during the reception which proudly featured a buffet of Filipino food prepared by chefs from Via Mare and Hotel InterContinental Manila. The bar featured mango mojitos and vodka martinis made from mango rhum and coconut vodka from the Philippines. Samples of the latter were also given to the guests as gifts.
Senator Edgardo J. Angara, co-author of the Philippines-Spain Friendship Day Act (Republic Act 9187), was the event´s Guest of Honor. R.A. 9187 celebrates every 30th of June the magnanimous act of President Emilio Aguinaldo that decreed the Spanish survivors of the Siege of Baler as friends and allowed them safe passage back to Spain.
In his National Day remarks, Ambassador Salinas echoed the President´s message for clean, transparent, and good governance and called on every Filipino present to continue to work towards the good of the country. He also highlighted the enduring friendship between the Philippines and Spain and noted that the annual celebration of Philippines-Spain Friendship Day is not just a celebration of friendship but also of trust and family.
As guest of honor, Senator Angara recalled the Siege of Baler which culminated in President Aguinaldo´s generous act in 1899. Said act highlights the “best qualities of our races – the nobility of character, chivalry, and generosity of spirit of the Filipino and the valor and loyalty of Spain.” He also mentioned the many great strides made in terms of cooperation between the Philippines and Spain – in policy and legislation, in economic aid and partnership, in the promotion culture, arts, and sports – because of the stronger ties brought about by the institution of Philippines-Spain Friendship Day.
To end the evening´s program, the UST Singers performed two songs to the delight of the crowd. The UST Singers are currently in Spain for a concert tour upon the invitation of the Ambassador.
In addition to the official Kalayaan theme, the Embassy also showcased the Department of Tourism´s (DOT) new campaign – It´s More Fun in the Philippines. The DOT campaign was the unifying theme for the evening´s decor. It´s More Fun in the Philippines banners were placed around the venue and a photo wall with the official logo of the campaign was erected to generate more publicity for the campaign. It was also the subject of the video projections for the duration of the reception.