By Roy Mabasa
Filipinos travelling to Malta, the European Union’s smallest member-state, may be delighted to visit that country’s central library where they can find Filipino books among its newest collections.
This was made possible after the Philippine Embassy in Italy donated sets of Philippine books to the Multicultural Library Project of Malta Libraries in Floriana, Malta as part of its cultural diplomacy program.
Philippine Ambassador to Italy Domingo Nolasco said the book donation coincided with the commemoration of Libraries Day 2019 by Malta Libraries, the government entity tasked to manage all the public libraries in Malta, including the National Library and the Central Public Library.
Located in the Mediterranean Sea about 81 kilometers south of Sicily, Malta falls under the jurisdiction of the Philippine Embassy in Rome.
Nolasco led the donation of a 12-volume set of the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Encyclopedia of Philippine Art – considered as the most authoritative and comprehensive source of information on Philippine art and culture, architecture, visual arts, films, music, theatre, broadcast arts, and literature.
During the recent turnover event, the Philippine envoy showed Maltese Minister of Education and Employment copies of the trilingual edition of “In the Hour of the Merchant and Felon,” a collection of poems by National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Chairperson and National Artist Virgilio Almario.
The Philippine books, including Almario’s poem collection, were donated by NCCA to Malta’s Multicultural Library Project.
“Given the fast-growing Filipino community in Malta, donating Philippine books to Malta Libraries will not only give access to publications on Philippine culture to Filipinos migrants, but also to interested Maltese readers and researchers. This helps is creating mutual understanding and trust between Filipinos and Maltese,” Nolasco said in his remarks.