After more than 45 years since the establishment of the bilateral relations between the Philippines and Tunisia was formalized, Filipinos in the Northwestern African country gathered for the first time to celebrate the 123rd anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine Independence in the capital city of Tunis.
The Philippine Embassy, together with the Philippine Honorary Consulate General in Tunis led the historic activity held on June 19, 2021, an event attended by about one hundred members of the Filipino community (Filcom) members, many of them donning Filipiniana outfits. The Filipinos even voluntarily brought different authentic Filipino dishes to share with the attendees during the celebration.
Chargé d’Affaires Juan E. Dayang, Jr. of the Philippine Embassy in Libya which has also jurisdiction over Tunisia, together with the members of the Filipino community in Tunisia attended a Thanksgiving Mass, celebrated by Rev. Fr. Narcisse Djerambete, at St. Augustine and St. Fidelis Church of La Goulette.
After the mass, the Embassy officers and FilCom members, including Filipino-Tunisians, gathered for the “Fiesta in Tunisia” at the Philippine Consulate General’s office building in Les Berges du Lac.
“Today’s event is a historic one as it is the first time our kababayans in Tunisia will celebrate Independence Day,” Dayang said in his brief remarks as he thanked Honorary Consul General to Tunis Sonia Ayed and the FilCom members for organizing the event on their own.
Dayang encouraged the Philippine Consulate General and the Filipinos in Tunis to make the Philippine Independence Day celebration an annual event and to prepare for the 50th anniversary of Philippines-Tunisia diplomatic relations in 2025.
During her welcome remarks, Consul General Ayed enjoined Filipinos to collaborate with the Embassy in its efforts to “raise the profile and enhance the image of the Philippines among Filipinos in Tunisia.”
Diplomatic relation between the Philippines and Tunisia was established in December 1975 during the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos.
In December 2019, President Duterte dispatched Chief Presidential Protocol and Presidential Assistant on Foreign Relations Robert Borje to Tunis to convey his gratitude to the Tunisian government for its vital role in assisting in the repatriation of overseas Filipino workers fleeing from the escalating violence in neighboring Libya.