By Roy Mabasa
The Municipality of Kreuzlingen in Switzerland has chosen the Philippines as its featured country during the recent celebration of its annual local festival.
With the theme, “Kreuzulingen Fest – We are 100 percent Kreuzlingen,” the event was marked with colorful parade highlighted by an ati-atihan dance that drew hundreds of spectators from the local community as well as the participation of 40 other countries.
Kreuzlingen is a municipality in the canton of Thurgau located some 190 kilometers northeast of the Swiss capital Berne.
Philippine Embassy Minister and Consul General Josephine Reynante thanked Kreuzlingen Mayor Thomas Niederberger, the City Council, and the member of the Foreigners’ Council of Kreuzlingen for selecting the Philippines as the host country for the festivity held on June 15.
“It is truly heart-warming for us to share our distinct Filipino traditions and values with all of you here today not only because it serves as a medium to further enhance our people-to-people links, but more importantly as a means to promote better understanding among nations and peoples,” Reynante said in her remarks.
Minister Reynante also acknowledged Switzerland’s important role in the quest for peace and development in the Philippines by its chairing of the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission in the Bangsamoro Peace Process between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
Moreover, the Philippine Embassy official thanked Switzerland for welcoming Filipinos into its society and noted that Filipinos in Switzerland are well integrated into Swiss society and productively contributing to its economy.
During the event, booths featuring Philippine-made products were set up and a forum about the Philippines was conducted with Kreuzlingen Foreigners Board member Teresita Papa and Kreuzlingen Filipino community leader Liza Tongco who both shared information about their country with the Swiss and other foreign audience.
On the same day at the Philippine Embassy in Berne, renowned Philippine pianist Dr. Raul Sunico organized a lecture recital as part of the Embassy’s commemoration of the 121st anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence.
The lecture-recital was attended by members of the Filipino community in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, together with the Swiss friends of the Embassy.
Sunico discussed Philippine music, including the kundiman, traditional instruments used in Philippine music, and known classical composers and their compositions, among others.
The famed Filipino artist also played three piano pieces during the event, including his emotional arrangement of “Bayan Ko”.