France, PH highlight 'diversity' in 75th year of diplomatic ties

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

October 18, 2022, 8:32 pm

MANILA – France and the Philippines are set to feature arts, culture, and cuisine as they highlight the "diversity" of their 75-year-old relations from October to January 2023.

In a presser on Tuesday, French Ambassador to the Philippines Michèle Boccoz and Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Jaime Victor Ledda presented the lineup of activities that highlight French and Filipino collaboration, talent and creativity in celebration of the 75th year since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The celebration will reach its peak this October, with four major events planned to inspire the public, such as the Marcel Proust-inspired art exhibit called, "In Search of Lost Time" by Stéphane Heuet that opened on Oct. 16.

Other events will be held in November and December, with a closing ceremony to be conducted around the middle of January, in line with the Sinulog Festival.

With the highlighted events, France and the Philippines also hope to showcase their continuing commitment to boost and expand their partnership on various fronts, most notably in trade and investment, defense and maritime cooperation, industrial development, climate action, and culture and people-to-people exchanges.

"We're trying to feature the diversity of our relationship," Boccoz said. "We share so much and it's arts, it's culture, but it's also economy, and sports-- all kinds of disciplines and all kinds of areas, so it's broad."

The lineup of these upcoming events includes:

-- In Search of Lost Time, a Marcel Proust-inspired cartoon art exhibit by Stéphane Heuet

-- Alliance Française de Manille presents a series of exhibitions to include the outcome of the Philippine Artist Residency Program PARP, a Louis Guillaume exhibit, 75 Faces of French-Phil Connections, and the Escape Exhibit

-- The 25th French Film Festival

-- 3-star Michelin Chef Alain Passard collaborates with renowned Filipino chefs to create dishes that bring together French and Filipino flavors

-- Premières et Encores, a modern ballet collaboration between Alice Reyes Dance Philippines and French choreographer, Redha Benteifour.

-- Street Art Mural

-- France Alumni Award

-- French Christmas Market

-- The Little Paris Singers perform back-to-back with the Loboc Children's Choir in a series of concerts from Loboc to Manila and Paoay

-- Free to Play Decathlon sports event

-- "Breakthrough," a circus show at Ateneo de lloilo performed by the Cirquero de Cameleon

Diplomatic relations between France and the Philippines were first established in 1947 when both countries signed the Treaty of Amity in Paris.

Since then, both countries have taken significant steps to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific area and upholding of international law, joint action in the fight against climate change, and promoting cultural exchanges between the French and Filipino people.

The embassy said this year-long celebrations aims to highlight the "strong and vibrant relations" between the two countries, from gastronomy to art, basketball to cinema, education to dance, and everything in between.

"The enthusiasm of both people in working together, creating together, playing together, performing together is a significant and meaningful promise for a bright future for the next 75 years," it said. (PNA)