The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) headed by its Chairman Felipe de M. Leon Jr., and the Philippine Embassy in Cambodia, led the inauguration of the Sentro Rizal Phnom Penh (SRPP) on 19 June 2015 at the Philippine Embassy grounds. The inauguration coincided with the commemoration of Dr. Jose Rizal’s 154th birth anniversary.
“What a better way to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal than by honoring him with a place here in Cambodia that bears his noble name and legacy. This is a fitting tribute to our foremost Filipino patriot and nationalist, who is perhaps the most celebrated OFW in the late 19th century,” Philippine Ambassador to Cambodia Christopher B. Montero told Filipino attendees during the inauguration ceremony.
“More than a platform to promote our culture, this Sentro Rizal will be a gleaming symbol of who we are as Filipinos, as well as an enduring representation of our firm resolve to preserve and propagate the richness and diversity of our culture as a people,” Ambassador Montero added.
The opening of the SRPP marks the first time that the NCCA delegation is in attendance in an international inauguration of a Sentro Rizal branch.
In line with the objective of the SRPP to promote Filipino culture and heritage abroad, NCCA Chairman De Leon attended a bilateral meeting with Hon. Phoeung Sakona, Minister for Culture and Fine Arts of Cambodia. In the said meeting, the two representatives set their pen on a cultural agreement between the RP and the Kingdom of Cambodia.
“The agreement is a concrete step towards encouraging closer people-to-people relations between [our] two countries and in promoting mutual understanding and appreciation of the culture and history of both Filipinos and Cambodians.” Montero noted.
As an initial activity for the SRPP, Chairman de Leon delivered a public lecture entitled “What Makes Filipinos Filipino?” to the Filipino community in Phnom Penh who in turn expressed delight in the comprehensive discussion on the unique genius inherent in the Filipino
Following the inauguration of the SRPP, Chairman de Leon also conducted a second public lecture on “Philippine Society in the ASEAN Community” to students of the Royal University of Phnom Penh, 20 June.
For 2015, SRPP will open a Filipino Language and Culture class for children of OFWs and migrants who wish to retain and enrich their identity. Film showings, poetry-readings, and story-telling sessions are also listed as some of the up and coming activities of the SRPP.
The establishment of the SRPP is in line with the mandate provided for under Republic Act No. 10066 or the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009, which aims to promote Philippine culture, arts and language throughout the world.
For more details on the Sentro Rizal activities, you may reach them through 527 2192 loc. 605 or visit the Sentro Rizal main branch at the 6th Floor of the NCCA Building, 633 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila.