Sunday, May 04, 2014

You do not have to go to the European Union to experience its grandeur, color, gaiety, fun, culture and heritage.

From May to June, European art exhibitions, songs, concerts, and hip-hop performances will mark this year's Viva Europa 2014, the European Union's most exciting cultural kaleidoscope.

Viva Europa is presented by the European Union Cultural Group including the Embassies of the EU Member States (the Embassies of Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, United Kingdom), the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines and the cultural institutes (Alliance Française, British Council, Goethe-Institut, and Instituto Cervantes de Manila) and partners, Museo Pambata, Far Eastern University and (online media partner).

EU Delegation political counsellor Dr Julian Vassallo said that "In both the Philippines and Europe the most important role of culture whether in the form of music, art, food or dance is to enrich our lives and opens our minds. But Culture is also very much part of the tourism product that allows both the EU and the Philippines to attract visitors, grow businesses and create jobs. Promoting two-way tourism between Europe and the Philippines is one focus of our Europe Day activities for 2014".


A European children's festival dubbed "Lakbayin Natin ang EU" (Journey to Europe) will enable Filipino children to experience a weeklong festival of children's films, literature, storytelling, arts and crafts and lots of merrymaking and fun from 20 to 23 May in Museo Pambata, Roxas Boulevard, Manila.

For the sixth year, the Far Eastern University in Manila joins the celebrations by spearheading a choral contest dubbed "Musica FEUROPA" in collaboration with the EU cultural group. The choral competitions with participants coming from across the country will be held from 23 to 24 May at FEU, Manila.

Musica FEUropa is the only choral competition in the Philippines supported by the European Union and produced by Far Eastern University through its President’s Committee on Culture and Admissions and External Relations Office. Illustrious names in the Philippine choral scene adjudicated for both the high school and open categories, namely Eudenice Palaruan, Maria Theresa Vizconde Roldan, Oscar Pantaleon, Jonathan Velasco, Fidel Calalang, Arwin Tan, Ed Manguiat and Rodolfo Delarmente.

Because of the success of last year's culinary season, the European Union will bring back its culinary festival to showcase the rich, diverse and delectable and sumptuous European cuisine and a number of fun-filled quizzes, chef demonstrations and other special events to feature distinctive European dishes.

European chefs from select hotels and restaurants renowned for their excellent and exquisite preparations of food and drinks, will conduct demonstrations and prepare special sumptuous special meals with the finest ingredients.

An innovation this year for the culinary season is its expansion to Cebu City with the participation of Anzani New Mediterranean Restaurant in Panorama Heights, Nivel Hills from Lahug, Cebu City.

This festival will enable Filipinos to experience what European cuisine is all about without having to go to Europe. Taste Europe and grab European food in just a few minutes or so of travel!

Meanwhile, to celebrate the significant progress that has been made six months after typhoon Haiyan, six non-government organisations supported by the European Union's humanitarian aid and civil protection department (ECHO) are conducting a panel discussion, mini-concert, launch of a book "Portraits of Recovery" and a Filipino song medley from Kolisko Waldorf School Music Ensemble on 9 May at the Asian Institute of Management Conference Room, Makati City.

These festivities dubbed "The Road to Recovery: Rebuilding with Communities after typhoon Haiyan" are mounted by Accion Contra El Hambre, Care Nederland, Food and Agriculture Organisation, International Organisation of Migration, Plan International and Save the Children. The ECHO partners are holding these events in conjunction with the 9th of May celebrations of the European Union in the Philippines.

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