Philippine Embassy in Tokyo Celebrates 113th Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence

Amb. Manuel M. Lopez and Madame Maria Teresa L. Lopez with the officers and staff of the Philippine Embassy, Tokyo.

Amb. Manuel M. Lopez and Madame Maria Teresa L. Lopez with the officers and staff of the Philippine Embassy, Tokyo.

The Philippine Embassy in Tokyo celebrated the 113th anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence on 13 June 2011 with simple ceremonies held at the Embassy, as a mark of respect to the victims of the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011.

A flag raising ceremony was held in the morning at the Embassy grounds led by Ambassador Manuel M. Lopez and Madame Maria Teresa L. Lopez. The Independence Day messages of President Benigno S. Aquino III and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. del Rosario were read by Ambassador Lopez and Minister Gina A. Jamoralin, respectively.

Amb. and Mme. Manuel M. Lopez leads the personnel of the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo in singing the Philippine National Anthem.

Amb. and Mme. Manuel M. Lopez leads the personnel of the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo in singing the Philippine National Anthem.

The flag raising was later followed by a luncheon hosted by Ambassador Lopez to show appreciation to the donors and volunteers who collaborated with the Embassy in providing relief and assistance to disaster victims, particularly Filipinos affected by the earthquake, tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident. These include organizations which offered food, relief goods and shelter to evacuees, volunteers who assisted in the Embassy’s consular missions to devastated areas, and those who helped man the Embassy’s 24-hour telephone hotline numbers.

Amb. and Mme. Manuel M. Lopez receiving guests at the luncheon to thank donors and volunteers who collaborated with the Philippine Embassy in providing relief and assistance to victims of the Great East Japan earthquake

Amb. and Mme. Manuel M. Lopez receiving guests at the luncheon to thank donors and volunteers who collaborated with the Philippine Embassy in providing relief and assistance to victims of the Great East Japan earthquake

In his speech thanking the donors and volunteers, Ambassador Lopez said they played an important role in enabling that the Embassy to respond to the inquiries and requests for assistance coming from the large number of Filipinos in Japan as well as their families back in the Philippines. The Ambassador noted that there are around 300,000 Filipino nationals in Japan.

Amb. Manuel M. Lopez delivering his speech thanking donors and volunteers who collaborated with the Philippine Embassy to assist victims of the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami.

Amb. Manuel M. Lopez delivering his speech thanking donors and volunteers who collaborated with the Philippine Embassy to assist victims of the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami.

In the evening, Ambassador Lopez hosted an informal reception for more than 100 members of the Filipino community. In his message to the community, Ambassador Lopez said that the simplicity of this year’s Independence Day celebration was a result of the Philippines’ solidarity with the people of Japan. The Ambassador encouraged the members of the Filipino community to continue to help those in need within their capabilities, and sought the community’s collaboration on future activities.

The reception was capped by a well-received musical performance by two talented Filipino performers based in Japan, Ms. Marlene dela Peña and Mr. Jay Vergara. Ms. dela Peña, a jazz singer who is known by the name of “Marene” in Japan, is considered a superstar in the Japanese jazz and fusion music industry. She has released almost 30 albums under Japan’s biggest music labels. Mr. Vergara, an R&B artist, has worked with many famous Japanese artists and has several CDs under his name.