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A Toast to the Festive Latin Beat

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The 196th Independence Day of Panama

Last November, Panamanian Ambassador to the Philippines Rolando A. Guevara Alvarado led a dual celebration commemorating Panama’s Independence Month, and the Ship Registry Centennial.

The well-attended event was held at the Luzon, and Visayas Grand Plaza Ballrooms of the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, with over 500 guests filling the glitzy ballrooms in what was a festive, well-attended night.

During his address, Amb. Guevara congratulated the Philippine government in its successful hosting of the 2017 ASEAN Summit, as well as the Armed Forces of the Philippines, for their valiant actions in restoring peace and order in Marawi City.

The Ambassador gave emphasis to the maritime sector, as the area where Panamanian and Philippine ties were strongest, citing the top spot of the Panamanian Ship Registry, and the prestige of Filipino seafarers as the largest task force onboard Panamanian-flagged vessels.

Amb. Guevara also lauded the memorandum of agreement between MARINA Philippines and the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) signed last July – the latest development in the maritime relations of the two countries, which coincided with the inauguration of the expanded Panama Canal.

“The shipping industry has become by far the strongest area in which both countries have focused their mutual efforts – providing the world shipping community the best service possible in terms of vessel registration under Panama flag and the development
of the well-known Filipino seafarers,” Amb. Guevara said.

Taking advantage of the occasion, the Ambassador announced of the AMP’s opening of a SEGUMAR office in Manila, and that since the Consulate General now directly prints the seaman’s books, they no longer need to go the other Panamanian consulates in Asia for their documentation processing.

“Let us bring closer the ‘Bridge of the Americas’ to the ‘Pearl of the Orient’”, declared the Ambassador at the end of his speech.

For the night’s entertainment, the guests were treated to a vividly spectacular presentation of folk and Latino dances from Escola de Samba de Manila and the Te Maeva gigantes performers. The guests were also serenaded by the singing group, The Muses, with their renditions of Broadway musical numbers.

Capping off the night in true Latino fashion, the guests danced to the beat of Latino tunes – Historia de un Amor, La Bamba, Guantanamera, and the 2017 smash hit Despacito (which was actually co-written by Panamanian, Erika Ender) – played by the band Sabor Latino.

Egyptian Ambassador’s wife Mrs. Ezzat Hassan, Togo Consul Evie Costa, U.S. Amb. Sung Yong Kim, Brazil Amb. Rodrigo Do Amaral Souza and Mrs. Lais Do Amaral Souza

DFA Undersecretary, Enrique A. Manalo; Singaporean Amb. Kok Li Peng, and Minister Counsellor of Thai Embassy Ms. Urawadee

Amb. Alvarado and Spanish Amb. Luis Calvo and Mme. Maria Jose Calvo

Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua and Mrs. Doris Ho Magsaysay

Amb. Alvarado, Former Philippine Amb. to Spain Carlos Salinas and Mme. Salinas

Amb. Alvarado and Austrian Amb. Bita Rasoulian

Mr. Rupert Jacinto, Panamanian Amb. Rolando A. Guevara Alvarado; Ting Ting Cojuangco; Agile Zamora; Tina Jacinto and Emilio Mina

Mr. Joy Fong, and Russian Amb. Igor Anatolyevich Khovaev

Cambodian Amb. Tuot Panha; Amb. Alvarado; and DFA Representative Andrelita Austria, and Vice Dean of the Diplomat Corps.

Israeli Amb. Ephraim Ben Matityau; Angola Consul Helen Ong; Mme. Lizia Lu; Jean Saburit; and Merci Padolina

Gov. Chavit Singson; Taguig City Mayor Maria “Lani” L. Cayetano