The Embassy of the Philippines, along with the KALOOB Philippine Music and Dance Ministry, hosted an event at the Aula Theatre at the University of Pretoria on November 26, 2023.

H.E. Ms Noralyn Jubaira-Baja welcomed Members of the Diplomatic Corp, honorable guests, and friends, thanking everyone for their attendance.

South Africa established diplomatic relations with the Philippines on November 1, 1993. Sharing common values such as a commitment to democracy, the rule of common law, and bonds of friendship and solidarity, former President Nelson Mandela aptly described it as ‘forged in blood’.

South Africa and the Philippines closely collaborate through multilateral institutions and organizations such as the Non-Aligned Movement, aiming to build a more inclusive, just, prosperous, and safer world. South Africa’s recent status as a sectorial dialogue partner with Asian countries will pave the way for enhanced cooperation between the two nations. Significant developments in bilateral ties include the South African government’s hosting of the 5th bilateral consultancy forum at the deputy minister level in February of this year.

The cultural performance by the KALOOB (meaning ‘gift’) Philippine Music and Dance Ministry showcased their advocacy for documenting, preserving, and promoting Philippine indigenous music, dance, and rituals. The event aligned with the embassy’s efforts to harness the transformative power of cultural diplomacy, bridging cultural gaps, and fostering greater people-to-people understanding.

Ms Sindi Mququ, Chief Director of Central, South, and South East Asia from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), expressed gratitude for everyone’s support. Commenting on the close collaboration of arts and culture between the two countries, Ms. Mququ emphasized that this event was a testament to their cultural richness, unique identities, histories, and vibrant artistic expressions.

Following the speeches, guests were treated to an entirely authentic performance by KALOOB, reproducing indigenous music solely with native instruments. Filipino gongs, drums, strings, and wind instruments recreated rhythms and sounds resonating from the ears of ancestors. Colourful, vivid costumes designed based on authentic clothing further enhanced the vitality of the presentations.

Guests were mesmerized and left feeling inspired by the outstanding performance.

by Marion Kate