Yearlong program of activities set to bring the best of France to Manila
2017 marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between France and the Philippines. To celebrate this milestone, the Embassy of France, together with its institutional partners, launch PhilFrance: Feel French! – a yearlong festival of activities that aims to illustrate the growing political, economic and cultural cooperation between France and the Philippines through five key themes: Arts and Culture, Art de Vivre, the Youth and Knowledge, High Tech and Entrepreneurship, and Sharing Values.
Arts and Culture
Cultural and artistic cooperation is one of the top priorities of the French Embassy in the Philippines, which seeks to provide channels for exchanges between French and Filipino artists and venues for sharing French culture and art of Filipinos and vice versa.
The French Film Festival and Fete de la Musique are two of the year’s most anticipated cultural events, gathering thousands of people to enjoy French cinema and celebrate music through performances by local artists and visiting French musicians.
To mark the signing of the Treaty of Friendship in June, French pianist Francois Chaplin will be performing alongside the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra for Ravel Unraveled, an evening of French classical music at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
PhilFrance: Feel French! will also offer a different perspective on the art of photography through the lens of the French. Photographer Christophe Loviny, who covered the historic EDSA People Power Revolution in 1986, will conduct a series of workshops on photojournalism for amateurs and professionals, culminating in a photo festival in November; while ethno-photographer Pierre de Vallombreuse’s images of the tribes of Palawan will give Filipinos a glimpse into their ancient history through an exhibit to be mounted at the National Museum.
Art de Vivre
Art de Vivre, literally translated as the “art of living,” represents the French lifestyle that focuses on the pleasures of gastronomy, fashion, sport and culture. The opening event of the PhilFrance: Feel French! on Feb. 13 brings French fashion designer Clivia Nobili to the Philippines for a series of workshops and fashion shows.
Chefs in the Philippines will join 2,000 others all over the world to celebrate French cuisine in the third edition of Gout de France (Good France) on Mar. 21, while a special French weekend market called Bon Appetit! in September will offer fresh and organic ingredients needed to make the perfect French meal.
Meanwhile, the annual Soiree Beaujolais organized by the French Chamber of Commerce in November brings the business community together once again for a night of wine, cheese and charcuterie.
In July, Manila will have its own version of the famous Tour de France while French circus group Inextremiste will put up an unforgettable show of humor and acrobatics.
The Youth and Knowledge
The Francophonie Festival in March celebrates the French language through several events such as concerts, a poetry contest, a spelling contest and novel readings which will be organized in different schools and universities in the country.
In line with 2015 Paris Climate Conference and the cooperation between France and the Philippines on sustainable development and climate change, the French oceanographer schooner TARA will come to the Philippines in 2017.
The celebration of the Franco-Philippine friendship would not be complete without the promotion of human rights and democracy.
In 2017, the French Embassy, together with French-Philippine NGOs, will put special emphasis on the rights of children, women empowerment, and solidarity among communities, three priorities which illustrate the French national motto: “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.”
“The objective of PhilFrance: Feel French! is to give Filipinos all over the country the opportunity to feel France in various aspects of everyday life and to experience the strength of the friendship between our two countries,” beamed French Ambassador Thierry Mathou.