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Team Philippines-Switzerland joins the Filipino community in Geneva in celebrating Philippine Independence Day
(L-R: Team PHL-Switzerland Ambassador Lepatan, Ambassador Baja, Consul General Baja and Ambassador Conejos waive the Philippine flag during the Opening ceremony of the Philippine Independence Day celebration)

Ambassador Baja delivers his Independence Day message

Team Philippines-Switzerland led by Ambassadors Leslie Baja of the Philippine Embassy in Berne, Ambassador Esteban Conejos, Jr. of the Philippine Mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO), and Ambassador Dennis Lepatan of the Philippine Mission to the UN Office in Geneva, together with other Philippine officials, joined the Filipino community in Geneva in celebrating Philippine Independence Day, picnic-style, on 08 June.

The event, which was attended by close to 200 hundred people, including several Swiss nationals, kicked off with a parade of various Filipino organizations in Geneva in their spectacle of colourful Philippine dresses, providing a glimpse of the past and present generations of Filipinos.

The parade was followed by a program showcasing Filipino talents performing various aspects of Philippine cultural heritage from traditional dances to contemporary music, each seemingly telling a story, explaining the Filipino identity.

The messages from President Benigno Aquino III, Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario and Ambassador Leslie Baja all carried the 2013 Independence Day theme, “Pitching in Towards Inclusive Growth”, highlighting the important role of the overseas Filipinos in the country’s economic progress. Ambassador Baja also stressed the need for Filipinos in Switzerland to stay united to achieve collective progress.

The event gave the Filipino community in Geneva an opportune occasion to promote their cultural heritage among their Swiss friends and locals, and a taste of home through various Filipino cuisine and delicacies. 

The Geneva event will be followed by the Swiss-wide Philippine Independence Day celebration, which will be held in Zürich on 15th June. The Zürich celebration, which is expected to draw close to a thousand Filipinos from across Switzerland and Liechtenstein, will also be attended by officials from the canton of Zürich. END

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