Indonesian Embassy celebrates 78th Independence Day

Showcases richness of Indonesian culture and arts, and bilateral relations with the Philippines

The Indonesian Embassy in Manila hosted a diplomatic reception to celebrate the 78th anniversary of Indonesia’s independence, held on Sept. 8. at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati.

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A TOAST FOR DIPLOMACY — (From left) Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Antonio Morales, H.E Amb. Agus Widjojo of the Embassy of Indonesia in Manila, and Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Charles John Brown.

A celebration that highlighted the success of bilateral relations between Indonesia and the Philippines, it was attended by over 300 guests from various diplomatic corps and representatives of the Indonesian community in the country, who were all welcomed by Indonesian ambassador to the Philippines H. E. Agus Widjojo. 

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CULTURAL EXCHANGE — Symbolic cutting of the tumpeng, a cone-shaped rice dish from Java, is an important part of the celebration. In photo (from left): Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Antonio Morales, H.E. Amb. Agus Widjojo of the Embassy of Indonesia in Manila, House Deputy Speaker Rep. Gloria Macapagal-arroyo, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Archibishop Charles John Brown, ASEAN Ladies Foundation (ALF) and International Bazaar Foundation Chairperson Pamela Louise Manalo, and ALF President Ranny Widjojo.

Chief among these guests were Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Administration Antonio A. Morales, Papal Nuncio Most. Rev. Charles John Brown, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Secretary of Finance Benjamin Diokno, Presidential Advisorfor the Peace Process Carlito Galvez Jr., Sec. Chair of the Commission on Filipino Overseas Romulo V. Arugay, and former Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson.

Chairman of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) George Barcelon, Deputy Speaker Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and former Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson
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Indonesian Army Attache Col. Wahyu Akhadi, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., and  Philippine Army Chief of Staff BGen. Potenciano C. Camba
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Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charles John Brown, Mme. Maria Rosaria Brizi Clemente, and Mme. Maria Elena Urriste with her husband H.E. Amb. Ricardo Luis Bocalandro of the Embassy of Argentina in the Philippines
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H.E. Amb. Shambhu S. Kumaran of the Embassy of India, and H.E. Amb. Megawati Manan of the Embassy of Brunei Darussalam
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H.E. Amb. F.M. Borhan Uddin of them Embassy of the People's Republic of Bangladesh
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H.E. Amb. Hisham Sultan Alqahtani of The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia,  H.E. Amb. Musaed Saleh Ahmad Althwaikh of the Embassy of Kuwait in Manila, Philippines, and H.E. Amb. Mohamed Obaid Alqataam Alzaabi of the United Arab Emirates Embassy in Manila
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H.E. Amb. William John Carlos of the Embassy of Ireland in Manila, and H.E. Amb. Christian Halas Lyster of the Kingdom of Norway to the Philippines

“Celebrating Independence Day has always reminded us of the spirit of patriotism, democracy, and unity, fundamental values that Indonesia and the Philippines have in common,” Amb. Widjojo said in his speech, where he also underscored the achievements of bilateral relations between Indonesia and the Philippines particularly in defense and security, trade and investment, and culture. “Indonesia and the Philippines have a strong commitment to further strengthen relations and cooperation in the context of both bilateral and ASEAN.” 

He added: “Tonight is my second year celebrating Indonesia’s Independence Day as ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines. I could not be more grateful to see the progress of our bilateral relations during the last 74 years.” 

This was acknowledged by Usec. Morales in his speech, which focused on how the Philippines consider Indonesia to be one of “our closest friends” that share not only borders but also a common maritime heritage, tradition, and outlook. 

“Our mutual understanding as maritime nations provides plenty of opportunities to deepen our maritime cooperation and contribute to regional peace and security,” he said.

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Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., with  DFA Deputy Chief of Protocol Mary Jennifer D. Dingal
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ECOP President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr., Manila Times Dante “Klink” Ang Jr. and MB’s Badette Cunanan
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H.E. Amb. Ahmed bin Saad N. A. Al-Homidi of the State of Qatar to the Republic of the Philippines, Deputy Chief of Mission Minister Sérgio Taam of the Embassy of Brazil in Manila, and Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charles John Brown

As a showcase of the richness of Indonesian culture and arts, the reception was full of symbolic gestures including the ceremonial cutting of the tumpeng, an Indonesian cone-shaped rice dish originating from Java, which serves as a symbol of gratitude. It was handed to Usec. Morales and former President Macapagal-arroyo. Guests were also treated to the music of the sasando, a harp-like instrument native to Indonesia, played by Indonesian priest Fr. Yohanes Don Bosko Bakok who is currently studying in Manila.

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THE MUSIC OF FRIENDSHIP  — An Angklung performance by the staff of the Indonesian Embassy, the DWP-KBRI Manila (spouses of Indonesian Embassy Officials), and the Indonesian Diaspora Network.  Angklung is an Indonesian percussion instrument consisting of two to four bamboo tubes suspended in a bamboo frame, bound with rattan cords. 

Various cultural performances, such as the Jaipong Sulenjana dance, Margapati dance, and the playing of the angklung, also added to the festivities. Since its government made it a national holiday in 1946, Indonesia has been celebrating its Independence Day every Aug. 17.

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Indonesian Traditional Dance Margapati performed by Aritha Maulidah Meindahyeni, Karina Erliyana Setiawan of Institut Seni Budaya Indonesia (ISBI) in Bandung, Indonesia.