A gala reception to celebrate the 32nd Anniversary of Brunei Darussalam was held at Rizal Ballroom in Makati Shangri-La Hotel on Feb 23. Bruneian Ambassador Malai Halimah Yussof together with Pengiran Yusof Jeludin hosted the auspicious occasion that highlighted Brunei’s cuisine, culture, and camaraderie with the Filipino community which also commemorated the establishment of Brunei Darussalam’s 32 years of full independence from the United Kingdom. Today, Brunei Darussalam continues to develop and enjoy stability and social harmony; and is determined to intensify its economy in line with its mission that aims for a sustainable economy in the interest of its people.
“Our relation [with the Philippines] has gone on for centuries and we share ties between our people. And today, more than 20,000 Filipinos are in Brunei. Many of whom became part of an important purpose that contributes to Brunei’s national development”, Ambassador Malai Halimah Yussof shared in her remarks. “Our relations have been nurtured and developed over the years through frequent exchange of visits of our leaders and people. At the same time, by the close cooperation between our government and business entities in a wide range of areas such as: agriculture, communication, defense, medication, among others.”
The night commemorated Brunei as an important player in regional affairs, major international energy provider, and a significant contributor in global finance. Brunei Darussalam has always been a close partner with the Philippines particularly in maintaining the peace process in Mindanao.
“Brunei is committed in supporting the Philippines’ peace efforts and this is manifested in a wide participation in the International Monitoring Team (ITM) and Independent Decommissioning Body (IDM) in Mindanao,” the Lady Ambassador stated.
On his part, Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs for Migrant Worker Jesus Yabes recognizes the strengthening and broadening of its bilateral relation and its contribution to the national development for both the Philippines and Brunei Darussalam.
“Since the start of our diplomatic relations, the Philippines and Brunei have enjoyed warm and close relation punctuated by the active exchange of visits of government entities and increasing economic cooperation,” DFA Undersecretary Jesus Yabes said.“Our broadening bilateral engagement lies in cooperation on agriculture, food, security, defense, energy, health, shipping and tourism.”
After delivering the speeches, Ambassador Malai Halimah Yussof was joined by Apostolic Nuncio Giuseppe Pinto and Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs for Migrant Worker Jesus Yabes in the ceremonial cake cutting for the spirit of friendship, peace, and prosperity between Brunei Darussalam and the Philippines.
United in jovial spirit, the two countries reiterated the continuous strengthening of the relation and cooperation between the two countries for the coming years.
By VIA BAROMA