THE Philippines and France mark the 75th anniversary of their two-way relations with a stronger commitment to boost and expand their partnership in various fronts.
This year both countries will witness Franco-Philippine cooperation that developed throughout the two countries’ shared history heightened further, most notably in trade and investments, defense and maritime cooperation, development, climate action, as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
To celebrate this significant milestone, several events will be organized throughout the second half of 2022 to illustrate the historic friendship between France and the Philippines, while offering new opportunities to bring their people closer.
At a press conference, Ambassador Michèle Boccoz and Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Jaime Victor Ledda presented the line-up of activities that highlight French and Filipino collaboration, talent, and creativity.
“This year-long [festivity] is an opportunity for all Filipinos to experience the friendship between our two countries in all aspects,” said Boccoz. “There is so much more to discover and learn from each other as we grow as a community. We invite everyone to take part in these exciting events we’ve lined up for our anniversary…”
The 75th year of Philippine-French diplomatic relations kicked off on June 26 with the inauguration of the “Diamond in the Rough” exhibition at the Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo City, Rizal. The exhibit features art pieces by French artists who have lived in the Philippines, and Filipinos who have resided in France. The French-Philippine art exhibit will be open for public viewing until August 7, 2022.
Commemorating the bilateral ties between France and the Philippines, as well as marking the 30th anniversary of the Together-Ensemble Foundation, the France- Philippines Friendship Park will also be inaugurated at the Las Piñas-Parañaque Wetland Park on June 26. The inauguration of this symbol of both nations’ commitment to protect the environment and biodiversity was made possible in partnership with Senator Cynthia Villar and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The diamond anniversary will also be marked by notable events such as:
Fête de la Musique: “Tara, Allez !” – organized by the Alliance française de Manille and B-Side Productions, with support from the French Embassy and the Department of Tourism, this 26th edition of the “Fête…” in the Philippines is a showcase of both nations’ musical talents. French musical artists Marc Fichel, DJ Blutch and Maxime Cozic will collaborate with Filipino artists to produce original co-creations and perform in several stages in Siargao, Cebu, El Nido, and Baguio until June 28.
On July 10 French conductor Michael Cousteau will return to Manila to perform with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra for a concert as tribute to the works of great French composers César Franck, Camille Saint-Saëns and Claude Debussy.
In August, French director Frédéric Auburtin will join the jury of the 2022 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival.
Focusing on a shared love for sports in view of the 2024 Paris Olympics, members of the Lyon-Villeurbanne Basketball Team will arrive to participate in exhibition games organized in partnership with the Philippine Basketball Association in August and September.
A series of meetings and events to promote economic and trade relations between France and the Philippines, such as a French-Filipino Gala Dinner organized by the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines, as well as the Joint Economic Committee meeting and other related conferences between the Philippine business community and France’s MEDEF International.
Highly anticipated events, including the French Film Festival and the Goût de France culinary festival, as well as other events in the field of the visual arts, music, poetry, and theater, will also form part of the 75th anniversary.
Diplomatic relations between France and the Philippines were first established in 1947 when both countries signed the Treaty of Amity in Paris. Since then and in the wake of a strong momentum in the deepening of ties following the historic state visit of former French president François Hollande in 2015, French-Philippine relations continue to be marked by a commitment to ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific region and upholding international law, joint action in the fight against climate change, plus promoting cultural exchanges between the French and Filipinos.
Image credits: Embassy of France