15 July 2016 – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) held a diplomatic reception to celebrate Eid’l Fitr with the diplomatic and consular corps on Wednesday, 13 July 2016, at Samsung Hall, SM Aura Premier, Taguig City.
Secretary of Foreign Affairs Perfecto R. Yasay, Jr. in his message expressed solidarity with Muslims around the world, especially in light of the recent attacks in Turkey, Bangladesh, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. He also spoke of the need to highlight the advocates of peace in the Mindanao and the spirit of brotherhood and solidarity with Filipino Muslims and Muslims around the world.
Ambassador Malai Hajah Halimah Yussof, Dean of Islamic Ambassadors to the Philippines, also gave a message in which she explained the spirit of Ramadan and the celebration of Eid’l Fitr.
This year’s celebration also sought to showcase the richness of Philippine Muslim culture and some of the local industries of Mindanao. The event featured the works of the first National Artist from Mindanao, the late Dr. Abdulmari Imao, curated by his son, artist Toym Imao. These sculptures and paintings, which bring vibrant Maranao legends to life, will continue to be on display at SM Aura Premier some days after the event. Textiles from five major Muslim tribes, courtesy of the Magbassa Kita Foundation Inc. (MKFI), were likewise displayed around the hall.
National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Secretary Yasmin Busran-Lao led the ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the exhibit with Ambassadors from Egypt, Iran, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, representatives of the DFA, National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Magbassa Kita Foundation, Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Imao Family, and the Philippines Coffee Board.
The Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group delighted the guests with a stunning performance of traditional dances from Muslim Mindanao while the DFA Angklung Ensemble provided live music throughout the event.
After the program, Secretary Yasay toured the mini exhibits of the embassies of Egypt, Iran, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. The Coffee Board of the Philippines provided guests with samples of Robusta coffee from Sulu. The DFA is also grateful for the collaboration of SM Aura Premier Management.