Philippine Ambassador to Kenya Marie Charlotte G. Tang (rightmost) accompanies Guest of Honor Mr. Stanley Mwangi of the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs at the Philippine booth at the ASEAN Festival in this undated photo. The Philippine culture and food were put on spotlight during the event. (Nairobi PE photo)

MANILA – The Philippine culture and food were put on spotlight at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Festival in Kenya last week.

The Philippine Embassy in Nairobi, as part of the ASEAN Nairobi Committee (ANC), joined the Embassies/High Commission of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand in organizing the 5th ASEAN Festival in Kenya at the Two Rivers Mall in Nairobi.

The ASEAN Festival is among the flagship activities of the four-member ANC aimed at increasing ASEAN visibility and awareness among the Kenyan public.

The Philippines showcased a jeepney-themed booth, based on the iconic passenger vehicle that has become a Filipino symbol domestically and abroad.

The booth featured various Philippine accessories, dining ware, food products including “Oozies” snack from Oishi South Africa (known as “Pillows” in the Philippines), and other souvenir items.


The Embassy’s jeepney-themed booth featuring various Philippine accessories and handicrafts, dining ware, food products, Fiesta Filipinas Pintados-Kasadyaan kits, and other souvenir items. (Nairobi PE photo)

Also incorporated were Philippine tourism destinations and festivities.

The ASEAN Festival this year hosted a trove of cultural performances, cooking demonstrations and exhibits by ASEAN embassies, companies and nationals based in Kenya.

Kenyan and other foreign students, under the tutelage of Filipino artistic director Arnie Umayam of the Academy of Dance and Art-Kenya, also performed kappa malong malong, tinikling, arnis exhibition and an original interpretation of the Filipino myth of “Malakas at Maganda”, which all drew an enthusiastic response from the audience.

In addition, the Philippine Embassy organized a fashion show with the students of the Department of Fashion Design and Marketing of Kenyatta University, who presented their original creations that mixed Southeast Asian fabrics with traditional Kenyan attires and designs, such as piña cloth paired with Kenyan kitenge fabric.

The Filipino community in Kenya also participated in the ASEAN Festival and offered visitors a taste of Filipino delicacies including adobo, pinakbet, pancit, kutsinta, sapin-sapin, and siopao.

Guest of Honor Stanley Mwangi, Deputy Director for Asia, Australasia and Pacific Islands of the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, commended the ANC for organizing the festival.

He cited the huge potential for further trade and investments, as well as people-to-people and cultural exchanges between Kenya and ASEAN. (PNA)