Warm Dagupéno hospitality greeted members of the Diplomatic Corps in Dagupan City on April 30 as part of the celebration of Bangus Festival 2023 and the Filipino Food Month in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs – Office of Public and Cultural Diplomacy.
Dubbed as Bangus Festival: Philippine History and Cuisine, the visit started with a special luncheon at the CSI Stadia complete with serenade and cultural dance performances by the Universidad de Dagupan’s Koro Universidad and the Dagupan City National High School’s Ubol Dance Troupe.
Mayor Belen Fernandez briefed the diplomats on Dagupan’s status as an agro-fisheries and business center north of Luzon.
“We invite you to experience our community’s hopes and aspirations and share your own as well… Dagupan is the place of choice, ” she said.
Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Charles John Brown, who is the dean of the diplomatic corps, expressed his ‘admiration of Dagupan’s beauty, lively character of the people and the famous bangus’.
Mayor Fernandez was also joined by Archbishop Brown, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, and Vice Mayor Bryan Kua for the presentation of the symbolic key of the city.
The visiting diplomatic community later visited the Kadiwa ng Pangulo trade fair at the CSI Atrium and proceeded to the MacArthur Building at the West Central Elementary School, Franklin Bridge in Barangay Poblacion Oeste and Bonuan Blue Beach and Alimango Restaurant in Bonuan Gueset with Congressman Christopher de Venecia and Barangay Health Wellness Party List Congresswoman Angelica Natasha Co.
Archbishop Socrates Villegas also hosted the diplomats at the Archbishop’s Palace with sumptuous Filipino dishes, drum and lyre corps, angklung and rondalla ensemble and national costume-clad children who welcomed the dignitaries.
The diplomats later joined the historic ceremonial lighting of the Bangusan Street Party or Kalutan ed Dalan that signalled the start of the biggest party for Dagupeños.
The rest of the members of Diplomatic Corps are Ambassador Folakemi Akinleye (Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria), Chargé D’Affaires Jarosław Roman Szczepankiewicz (Embassy of the Republic of Poland), Ambassador Tull Traisorat (Royal Thai Embassy), Chargé d’Affaires/Minister Counsellor San Yu Kyaw (Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar), Ambassador Răduta Dana Matache and Spouse Constantin Matache (Embassy of Romania), Ambassador Dato’ Abdul Malik Melvin Castelino (Embassy of Malaysia), Ambassador Betty Palaso (Embassy of Papua New Guinea), Ambassador Sonexay Vannaxay (Embassy of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic), First Secretary Obaid Abbood Alshehhi (Embassy of the United Arab Emirates), Ambassador Hoang Huy Chung (Embassy of Vietnam), Ambassador Marat Ignatyevich Pavlov and Spouse Irina Pavlov (Embassy of the Russian Federation).
(Dagupan CIO News with report from DFA)