LISBON 18 November 2019 — The Philippine Embassy in Lisbon was a crowd favorite during the 2019 Diplomatic Bazaar organized by the Association of Families of Portuguese Diplomats in Lisbon from 15 to 16 November 2019 at the Lisbon Congress Center.
The Philippine Embassy’s three-meter high Sinulog backdrop, with a large eye-catching colorful photo depicting the annual Sinulog Festival in Cebu to complement the high quality, handmade Philippine products displayed, stood out from among the 40 other embassy booths.
The Philippine Embassy’s participation in the Diplomatic Bazaar is part of its efforts to promote Philippine cultural and economic diplomacy in Portugal by showcasing the best of Philippine-made products.
The Philippine Embassy’s “destination tourism branding” of its colorful booth also attracted the attention of many passersby who made positive comments about the beauty of the Philippines, which ranged from their fond recollections of their travels to the Philippines to important life events that occurred while visiting the country.
The Philippine Embassy invited Lisbon-based Filipina entrepreneurs, co-owners of GustoKo, Paula Figueras and Queenie Guzman, who provided colorful native bags, high-end fashion accessories, and home décor made from natural indigenous materials from the provinces of Laguna and Palawan. Both Figueras and Guzman have supported and contributed greatly to the Embassy’s various cultural and economic diplomacy activities as “cultural entrepreneurs,” where they have not only created economic value to Philippine-made products but also have committed themselves to preserve and promote Philippine culture and heritage in Portugal.
Also featured at the Philippine booth were assorted pandan baskets from Bacolod based ARTISANA, whose products stood out for their fine craftsmanship and innovative designs.
“It is a great honor to participate in this solidarity event, we are not only helping a charitable cause, but we are also helping support the promotion of Philippine products made by Filipina weavers. It is also an honor for the Embassy to bring these things to the Bazaar as it promotes intercultural exchanges between the Philippines and Portugal” said Philippine Ambassador to Portugal Celia Anna Feria during her live interview on a morning show by RTP1, a Portuguese national television station.
During the interview, Ambassador Feria showed a banig basket made out of pandan by rural Filipina weavers, exhibiting the creativity and resourcefulness of the Filipino artisan. She further explained that the advocacy of preserving, developing and modernizing the use of indigenous fabrics not only helps the rural economy in the Philippines but also empowers the women weavers.
The highlight of the Diplomatic Bazaar was the presence of President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa of the Portuguese Republic who opened the Bazaar and had the opportunity to drop by the Philippine booth. Ambassador Feria gifted the Portuguese President with a banig bag filled with dried mangoes and pineapples, and various handicrafts. President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa received the gifts with admiration for the remarkable artistry and ingenuity of the Filipino people.
The annual Diplomatic Bazaar is a charity event organized every year by the Association of Families of the Portuguese Diplomats with the participation of the embassies accredited in Lisbon. The embassies have year after year recognized the event as an opportunity to support the much-valued social causes and to showcase the products and traditions of their respective countries.