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Philippines Welcomes the Asia-Pacific Ladies Friendship Society (ALFS) to the Historical Kudan Residence with a Feature on Philippine Cuisine in Celebration of Women’s Month

The Philippine Embassy hosted the Asia-Pacific Ladies Friendship Society (ALFS) Joint Meeting at the historical Kudan Residence on 13 March 2024.

Philippine Ambassador Mylene J. Garcia-Albano welcomed the members of the ALFS board and its officers, spouses of Ambassadors, and lady diplomats from the various embassies of the Asia-Pacific region represented in Tokyo. Ambassador Garcia-Albano shared how it was such an opportune time to hold the gathering of ALFS this March, which the Philippines celebrates National Women’s Month.

ALFS President, Madame Haruko Komura, expressed her appreciation to the Philippine Ambassador for the thoughtful offer of hosting the Joint Meeting at the Ambassador’s Residence. This Joint Meeting was particularly important since it was the last meeting before the most anticipated ALFS Annual Charity Bazaar scheduled on 26 March 2024 at Meiji Kinenkan in Tokyo. The proceeds of this annual bazaar will be donated to beneficiaries to be identified by ALFS and the member embassies.

This is the first time after the pandemic that a Joint Meeting was hosted by one of the members of ALFS. As such, the event also served as a venue to continue ALFS’ “Know My Country” program which was previously done online.

The ladies were treated to a short food demonstration by Chef Melissa Revilla, a Davao-based Philippine Chef. Chef Revilla prepared one of the Filipinos’ favorite snack “Turon”, a pan-fried Filipino spring roll with saba banana and purple yam jam. “Banana and Ube Turon” were part of the food served to the guests. Chef Revilla, joined by her husband, Chef David Thien-Chow-Kang, prepared the dishes using both Philippine and Japanese ingredients that can be purchased in Japan. The special Philippine food reception after the meeting was made possible with the support of the ASEAN Japan Centre in Japan.

As the guests enjoyed the food, Japan-based classical pianist Carell Ethilca Belandres-Henry entertained them with her rendition of some of the famous Original Pilipino Music (OPM). After the program, everyone went home with Philippine pineapples and frames made of T’nalak cloth as an “omiyage” from the host.

ALFS is a non-profit and non-government organization established in 1968 to promote peace and camaraderie between Japan and its neighboring countries in the Asian region. As of 2023, twenty-five (25) embassies from the Asia Pacific region are members of ALFS. The ALFS undertakes various activities including the annual charity bazaar where proceeds are donated to various organizations in member countries.