The Philippine School in Greece (PSG) conducted the 7th Moving Up Ceremonies and 20th Commencement Exercises on 25 June 2022 at the school grounds in Thimaton Polemou 15, Kareas, Vyronas, 16233, Athens, Greece. The theme for this year’s ceremony is “K to 12 Graduates: Pursuing Dreams and Fostering Resilience in the Face of Adversity”.
H.E. Giovanni E. Palec, Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines, congratulated the graduating students of the Philippine School in Greece during his speech as the ceremony’s Commencement Speaker. He recalled the challenges faced by the students as well as their families and the school brought about by the pandemic, and highlighted the Filipino values, such as resilience, commitment and hard work, that allowed them to adapt and overcome the challenges they faced. The parents and the school were commended and also acknowledged as partners of the Philippine Embassy in maintaining and promoting Philippine culture, tradition and values among the students as well as to the community.
During the ceremony, Ambassador Palec joined Mr. Manfred Nickel, PSG Chairman, Ms. Gracia Celia Guieb Nickel, PSG Principal, Ms. Jasmin Imperial, PSG Deputy Principal, and members of the PSG faculty and administration, to confer the certificates of completion to the 45 graduating students.
President of the Republic of Cyprus H.E. Nicos Anastasiades was the Guest of Honor in the commemoration of the 124th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence organized by the Filipino community organizations in Cyprus led the Philippine Honorary Consul in Larnaca Ms. Charmagne Garcia-Laconico at the Panos Solomonides Cultural Center in Limassol, Cyprus on 19 June 2022. The Philippine Embassy was represented by First Secretary and Consul Judy Barbara G. Robianes who delivered the Independence Day message of H.E. Giovanni E. Palec, Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines.
The celebration included a photo exhibit of national heroes and highlights of Philippine history inside the main hall and a Barrio Fiesta with games, performances, and Filipino snacks and delicacies in the small square outside the venue. Video messages of H.E. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and H.E. Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. followed the welcome remarks of Honorary Consul Garcia-Laconico. The Independence Day Message of H.E. Ambassador Giovanni Palec to the Filipinos in Cyprus was read by First Secretary and Consul Robianes. The program also included performances of traditional dances and popular Filipino songs by various Filipino organizations and singers.
In his address that highlighted the event, the President said that the celebration gives another opportunity to reaffirm the excellent relations between Cyprus and the Philippines. He expressed feelings of immense respect and admiration for the Philippines and its people, reaffirming the excellent relations between the two countries that they have enjoyed since 1980 when they established diplomatic relations. He added that "despite the geographical distance that separates our countries, Cyprus and the Philippines share a friendship based on deep roots and long-term ties, always based on their common commitment to democratic values, pluralism and respect for international law.” He further expressed “willingness and readiness to further strengthen our bilateral cooperation in a wide range of areas.”
He noted that the active community of Filipinos in Cyprus is one of the largest foreign communities on the island which enriches the cultural spectrum of Cypriot society. He assured further that he personally "will always stand by you and continue to do our utmost to ensure that all citizens of the Philippines in Cyprus receive the support and assistance they need to enjoy Cypriot hospitality.” He added that over the years the two peoples and countries have formed strong bonds of friendship and close cooperation, based on mutual understanding. There are about 18,000 Filipinos in Cyprus.
In his address, President of the Republic of Cyprus H.E. Nicos Anastasiades reaffirmed the excellent relations between Cyprus and the Philippines and expressed willingness and readiness to further strengthen our bilateral cooperation in a wide range of areas
The Philippine Embassy in Athens, Greece, led by H.E. Giovanni E. Palec, Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines, commemorated the 124th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence by hosting successive events – a diplomatic reception on 10 June 2022 and a flag-raising ceremony and breakfast with the Filipino community in Athens on 12 June 2022. This is the first time the Philippine Embassy was able to hold face-to-face celebrations since 2019 to mark the momentous occasion together with friends and colleagues from the Greek government, the diplomatic and consular corps, businesses and shipping companies as well as the Filipino community in Greece.
In his Independence Day message, Ambassador Palec highlighted the current progress of recovery, which is expected to continue under a new administration that was duly elected in May in fair, transparent and orderly elections. He also acknowledged the valuable contribution of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) worldwide and especially those in Greece. The Ambassador also recognized the support and friendship of the Hellenic Republic over the past 72 years, as the two countries continue to strengthen their relations, particularly in the areas of maritime and shipping, economy and technology, tourism, culture and education.
Filipino culture and talent were showcased at the diplomatic reception on 10 June 2022. The various styles of Filipiniana such as the barong tagalog, baro’t saya, and Maria Clara gowns which are made from unique fabrics woven from piña (pineapple), abaca and Inabel were displayed. Guests were also invited to try the fine-tasting Philippine rum, “Don Papa” along with the “lechon”.
The guests were treated to performances of the Pandanggo sa Ilaw (light dance) and the Subli (worship dance). They were serenaded by Mr. Anthony Kier Carbonel, a finalist in X-Factor Greece 2019, with Filipino songs Bagani and Awitin Mo at Isasayaw Ko, as well as the Greek song An Thimithis To Oneiro Mou (If You Remember My Dream).
The flag-raising ceremony and community breakfast took place in the morning of 12 June at the Philippine Ambassador’s Residence. The event was streamed live on the official Facebook page of the Embassy that allowed Filipinos in other parts of Greece, Cyprus and North Macedonia to virtually join the celebration.
A feast of Filipino and other Asian dishes highlighted both festivities, including the lechon (roast pork) during the diplomatic reception, and popular Filipino breakfast dishes such as pandesal (sweet bread roll), puto (rice cake), dinuguan (savory pork stew), sinangag (garlic fried rice), danggit (dried fish), tapa (cured beef), and longganisa (garlic pork sausage) during the flag-raising ceremony.
Divani Caravel Hotel
10 June 2022