A ceremonial lighting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) lantern was held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in Pasay City on Tuesday, August 8, signifying the regional bloc’s guide towards building a more resilient and stronger community.
The Philippines is hosting the annual gathering of ASEAN leaders this year, which coincides with the 50th founding anniversary of the regional association.
In a brief message delivered by Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary Maria Hellen Dela Vega on behalf of DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, she said the lighting of the ASEAN lantern symbolizes the regional grouping’s invaluable task in “illuminating the path” of the 10 member states, guiding them towards enduring the challenges they faced in the past and allowing them to emerge into a more resilient region.
“Cooperation among our ASEAN brethren has become stronger. Our bonds have become tighter… We are a brotherhood of nations, destined for greatness with a beautiful future ahead,” Dela Vega said.
“With our landmark lighting activity, we are all reminded that we also serve as guide to one another. We shall leave no one behind… We are indeed one wonderful and blessed ASEAN family. Under one light, we are one ASEAN,” she added.
The landmark event highlighted the benefits of fostering stronger relationships among ASEAN nations, with the end goal of creating genuine changes for the region and its peoples.
The celebration was also graced with a showcase of the ASEAN talent through the different cultural presentations and song numbers that featured top regional artists.
Asec. Dela Vega was then joined by National Artist for Literature and National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Chair Virgilio S. Almario in leading the lighting ceremony.
The celebration ended with the artists’ singing of the ASEAN theme song and a fireworks display. After which, an ASEAN pop concert was held at the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig.###PND