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University of the Philippines Concert Chorus 2024 European Tour

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Diplomat Magazine
Diplomat Magazine
DIPLOMAT MAGAZINE “For diplomats, by diplomats” Reaching out the world from the European Union First diplomatic publication based in The Netherlands. Founded by members of the diplomatic corps on June 19th, 2013. "Diplomat Magazine is inspiring diplomats, civil servants and academics to contribute to a free flow of ideas through an extremely rich diplomatic life, full of exclusive events and cultural exchanges, as well as by exposing profound ideas and political debates in our printed and online editions." Dr. Mayelinne De Lara, Publisher

 “A Celebration of Peace and Justice”

By Roy Lie Atjam

The Ambassador of the Philippines in the Netherlands, H.E. Ambassador Mr Jose Eduardo E. Malaya III, partnered with the Permanent Court of Arbitration and Diplomat Magazine to present a concert featuring the University of the Philippines Concert Chorus (UPCC) at Diligentia Theatre, in The Hague on June 6, 2024.

The event was held to commemorate the 125th Anniversary of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the 126th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence.

Professor Janet Sabas-Aracama, director of the Philippines Concert Chorus.
The Philippines Concert Chorus during performance at Diligentia Theatre, in The Hague.

The concert, titled “A Celebration of Peace and Justice,” took place at the Diligentia Theatre and was attended by hundreds of guests, including members of the Diplomatic Corps, academics, the Dutch business community, International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Filipino community.

The University of the Philippines Concert Chorus, also known as Korus, presented its mesmerizing talent and cultural heritage through a diverse repertoire of songs, including “Cantate Domino,” “Abba Medley,” and “Let It Be.”

Dr Marcin Czepelak, Secretary General, Permanent Court of Arbitration and spouse Jadwiga Czepelak welcome the hundreds of guests together with the Ambassador of the Philippines, H.E. Mr. J. Eduardo Malaya and spouse Dr. Cristina Malaya.

The program began with welcome remarks by H.E. Ambassador Mr Jose Eduardo E. Malaya III, the Philippine Ambassador in the Netherlands, and President of the Administrative Council of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, accompanied by his spouse Dr Cristina Malaya.

It has been an honour for me to serve as acting President of the Administrative Council of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at a time when we commemorate the 125th anniversary of the PCA. June 12 also marks the 126th anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine Independence, thus these occasions are doubly special for many of us.

The role of the PCA in the peaceful settlement of international disputes and the promotion of peace and justice, was underscored by the UN General Assembly of a resolution in August last year welcoming the PCA 125th anniversary which acknowledged its “important contribution … to the peaceful settlement of disputes.” It has been my honour and of Secretary General Czepelak to have initiated, and worked with a core group of countries on the adoption of the UNGA resolution, the first-ever such resolution by the UN on the PCA.

Dr Marcin Czepelak, Secretary General, Permanent Court of Arbitration.

The Philippines is relatively a newcomer to the century-old institution, having joined it in 2010. However, it had been involved early on in the PCA dispute settlement processes. The celebrated 1928 case “Island of Palmas” between the U.S. and the Netherlands pertained to the issue of sovereignty over an island just below the Philippines’ Mindanao and above North Sulawesi of the then Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia.

This case underscores the fact that seemingly intractable disputes, including territorial disputes between neighbours, are capable of resolution – with good faith, patience, and mutual desire for its settlement — peacefully and on the basis of law. And then as now, the facilities of the PCA are open and available to facilitate the process of settlement.

Ambassador Malaya during his performance with the Philippines Concert Chorus.

I am also pleased to note the significant strides in Philippine-Netherlands relations. Minister of Foreign Affairs Hanke Bruins Slot had a productive visit to Manila in October last year. We applauded the Netherlands’ adoption of its Indo-Pacific Strategy, and its new status as a Development Partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Last May 21-24, H.M. Queen Maxima visited the Philippines in her capacity as the UN Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Financial Inclusion for Development, and was received warmly by President Marcos Jr and the Filipino people.

Music has the capacity to inspire, to connect and to bring people together. It has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between and among people. We may come from different countries and cultures, but through music we all speak the same language.“ 

Ambassador for International Organizations of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr Paul van den Ijssel.

Dr Marcin Czepelak, Secretary General, Permanent Court of Arbitration and Ambassador for International Organizations of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr Paul van den Ijssel also deliver their remarks.

The concert also featured Ambassador Malaya, a virtuoso piano player. The UPCC, under the direction of Professor Janet Sabas-Aracama, is notable for its artistry and high-caliber singing. Known as “Jai” to intimates, Professor Sabas-Aracama served as the Conductor and Artistic Director for the concert. 

Ambassador Malaya and Antonio Polosa, UN IOM Chief of Mission together with the Ambassador of Uruguay, H.E. Mr. Álvaro González Otero, the Managing Director of CFC, Ambassador Sheikh Mohamed Belal, Professor Janet Sabas-Aracama and members of Korus afther their performance at Diligentia Theatre. June 10, 2024 The Hague.

The event was a captivating cultural experience, immersing the audience in an unforgettable showcase of Filipino musicality. The UPCC has a rich legacy of impressive stage performances, vivid choreography, dramatic expressions, captivating costumes, and a distinct Filipino charm.

After the show, the performers mingled with the audience, which was highly appreciated. From The Hague, the UPCC will proceed to Amsterdam, Cologne, Hamburg, Berlin, Brno, Prague, Cascine (Italy), Zurich, and Gambach (Germany).

Mabuhay !

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