The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) commemorated its 50th founding anniversary on Tuesday, August 8, with a grand parade.
The grand parade started at 3:00 p.m. with a ceremonial blowing of horns by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) sea vessels at Pier 15 of the Manila South Harbor. Multi -role response vessels BRP Capones and Suluan and search and rescue ship BRP Davao del Norte were dispatched by the coast guard for the ceremony.
After the blowing of horns rite, participants in the parade, consisted mostly of students from various schools, began to march from the south of Rizal Park through Roxas Boulevard going to the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) for the culminating landmark lighting activity.
A Sarimanok-inspired ASEAN float designed by Filipino visual artist Toym Imao led the parade, with 20 models from Sindaw Philippines Performing Arts Guild, dressed in the national costumes of the ASEAN countries, on board. Preceding the march were the PCG Symphonic Band Roster of Troops and 11 flag bearers from the Far Eastern University (FEU) President’s Committee on Culture.
Hundreds of students from various schools and contingents from the Department of Education (DepEd) and other government agencies participated in the parade. They were grouped to represent each member state of ASEAN, with matching Higantes or paper mâché giants made by Angono artists donning various national costumes.
Group 1 of DepED Pasay City North High School Tramo and M. dela Cruz, represented the Philippines; Group 2 stood in for Brunei, with contingents and a drum and lyre band from DepED Pasay City West High School; Group 3, led by DepEd Manila contingents and students from Manuel G. Araullo High School, represented Cambodia; Group 4, Indonesia, composed of Manila High School students; and Group 5, Laos, made up of Manila Science High School students and Padre Zamora Elementary School drum and lyre band.
For Group 6, parade participants were students of Bangkal, San Antonio, Makati, General Pio Del Pilar, Makati Science, and Nemesio Yabut Senior High Schools. Myanmar was in Group 7, composed of students from Pitogo, Fort Bonifacio, Benigno Aquino, Tibagan, San Isidro, and Maximo Estrella Senior High Schools.
Meanwhile, Singapore was represented by Group 8, with students from Parañaque National High School and Juan Sumulong Elementary School drum and lyre band. Group 9 stood in for Thailand, with Dr. Arcadio Santos National High School students paraded. Lastly, Vietnam was represented by Baclaran National High School students in Group 10.
The parade also featured street dancers, representing regional dance festivals in the Philippines. Through the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Tribo Marikeño took part in the grand parade, showcasing the Panagbenga, Ati-Atihan, and Kadayawan festivals through their dance performances and costumes. Banda San Jose of Las Piñas City, likewise, performed.
When the parade reached the CCP grounds, contingents of the parade were introduced. Dance performances by Airdance, the Entrance of Colors, and the singing of the ASEAN anthem by Hail Mary the Queen Choir, UP Manila Choir, and Tining ng Calamba Choir followed suit, which signaled the start of the landmark lighting opening ceremony.
Directed by Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) Artistic Director Maribel Legarda, the landmark lighting opening program featured the performances of the 10 ASEAN Pop Stars led by the Philippines’ Christian Bautista, and poetry reading by Dolly de Leon, Jenny Jamora, Angeli Bayani, Eric dela Cruz and Topper Fabregas.
The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) commissioned the design and creation of a giant lantern from mastercratfsmen of Pampanga to complement lighting of the Philippines’ chosen landmark, the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The landmark lighting program on August 8 is held simultaneously in some 70 Local Government Units nationwide, and in the capitals of ASEAN Member States to raise awareness on ASEAN and its golden anniversary.
To celebrate another golden facet of our culture, that is our music, the landmark lighting program at the CCP is immediately followed by an ASEAN Pop Concert, hosted by Venus Raj, featuring the same 10 ASEAN Pop Artists, and outstanding Filipino acts such as Franco, 6 Cyclemind, Itchyworms, UDD (formerly Up Dharma Down), Baihana, The Nightingales, The Juans, the cast of Rak of Aegis, Thyro and Yumi.###PCO-Content