Embassy of The Phillipines - Residence: Reception & Briefing, 5/19/08

Please join host Ambassador and Mrs. Willy Gaa & staff for
Evening at Residence of Embassy of The Phillipines
Enjoy a stimulating evening in the heart of Embassy Row
Only 5 places left

When: Monday, May 19, 2008, 6:30-8:30pm

Where: Embassy of the Philippines(Ambassador's Residence)

2253 R Street, NW

(off intersection with Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, next to several other Ambassadors' Residences, close to other Embassies and Ambassadors' Residences)

What: His Excellency Ambassador Willy C. Gaa and Mrs. Gaa host a reception and briefing where the Ambassador and the Governor of the Province of Cebu, Hon. Gwen Garcia, will review various aspects of history, culture, and issues of this rapidly developing nation, with one of fastest growing economies in the world. Following comments, attendees will be able to ask questions and meet with members of the embassy staff.

The reception will include a delicious assortment of Philippine food, prepared under the direction of Mrs. Gaa, and beverages.

Parking: Free, on-street parking after 6:30 p.m.

Metro: (near Dupont Circle stop on Red Line)

Price per person: Early Bird through 5/12: Members, $30. You may also bring one guest for an additional $30. Non-members ($40); after that date, $37/person for members, $47/person for non-members. Click on hotlink to reserve. Prices includes reception with food and beverages.

Reservations: Required in advance. Your name and other registration information will be provided to the embassy for security reasons, as we hope you can understand. Very limited capacity; subject to availability.

Click here to make your reservations!!!

Some facts about our host nation, the fascinating Philippines, from their official website, http://www.tourism.gov.ph, and wikipedia.org:

The Philippines is the third largest English speaking country in the world. It has a rich history combining Asian, European, and American influences. Prior to Spanish colonization in 1521, the Filipinos had a rich culture and were trading with the Chinese and the Japanese. Spain's colonization brought about the construction of Intamuros in 1571, a "Walled City" comprised of European buildings and churches, replicated in different parts of the archipelago. In 1898, after 350 years and 300 rebellions, the Filipinos, with leaders like Jose Rizal and Emilio Aguinaldo, succeeded in winning their independence.

In 1898, the Philippines became the first and only colony of the United States. Following the Philippine-American War, the United States brought widespread education to the islands. Filipinos fought alongside Americans during World War II, particularly at the famous battle of Bataan and Corregidor which delayed Japanese advance and saved Australia. They then waged a guerilla war against the Japanese from 1941 to 1945. The Philippines regained its independence in 1946.

Filipinos are a freedom-loving people, having waged two peaceful, bloodless revolutions against what were perceived as corrupt regimes. The Philippines is a vibrant democracy, as evidenced by 12 English national newspapers, 7 national television stations, hundreds of cable TV stations, and 2,000 radio stations.

Filipinos are a fun-loving people. Throughout the islands, there are fiestas celebrated everyday and foreign guests are always welcome to their homes.

The Filipino is basically of Malay stock with a sprinkling of Chinese, American, Spanish, and Arab blood. The Philippines has a population of approximately 90 million as of Winter 2007, and it is hard to distinguish accurately the lines between stocks. From a long history of Western colonial rule, interspersed with the visits of merchants and traders, evolved a people of a unique blend of east and west, both in appearance and culture.

The Filipino character is actually a little bit of all the cultures put together. The bayanihan or spirit of kinship and camaraderie that Filipinos are famous for is said to be taken from Malay forefathers. The close family relations are said to have been inherited from the Chinese. The piousness comes from the Spaniards who introduced Christianity in the 16th century. Hospitality is a common denominator in the Filipino character and this is what distinguishes the Filipino. Filipinos are probably one of the few, if not the only, English-proficient Oriental people today. Pilipino is the official national language, with English considered as the country's unofficial one.

From Wikipedia:

The Philippines (Filipino: Pilipinas), officially the Republic of the Philippines (Republika ng Pilipinas; RP), is an archipelagic nation located in Southeast Asia, with Manila as its capital city. The Philippine archipelago comprises 7,107 islands in the western Pacific Ocean, bordering countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Palau and the Republic of China, although it is the only Southeast Asian country to share no land borders with its neighbors. The Philippines is the world's 12th most populous country with a population approaching 90 million people.[3][5] Its national economy is the 47th largest in the world with a 2006 gross domestic product (GDP) of over US$117.562 billion.[5] There are more than 11 million overseas Filipinos worldwide, about 11% of the total population of the Philippines.

The Philippines was formerly a Spanish then an American colony. The Philippine Revolution was an attempt to gain independence from Spain, and later from the U.S. in the Philippine-American War. The Philippines ultimately gained its independence from the United States on July 4, 1946 after the Pacific War (the Second World War) via the Treaty of Manila. The Philippines then became a fledgling democracy until the authoritarian rule of Ferdinand Marcos led to his overthrow in the People Power Revolution of 1986. Political upheavals alternated with peaceful transition of power on the period that followed.[2]

Today, the Philippines has many affinities with the Western world, derived mainly from the cultures of Spain, Latin America, and the United States. Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion, although pre-Hispanic indigenous religious practices still exist. There are also followers of Islam.[7] Spanish was an official language of the Philippines until 1973. Today the two official languages are Filipino and English.[2]

Politics and government

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
Flag Pambansang Watawat
Anthem "Lupang Hinirang"
Patriotic Song "Pilipinas Kong Mahal", "Bayan Ko"
Gem South Sea pearls
Dance Cariñosa
Animal Carabao
Bird Philippine Eagle
Fish Milkfish (Bangus)
Flower Arabian JasmineSampaguita) (
Tree Angsana (Narra)
Leaf Fan palm (Anahaw)
Fruit Mango (Mangga)
Sport Sipa
House Nipa hut (Bahay kubo)
Costume Barong and Baro't saya
Hero José Rizal

The Philippines has a presidential, unitary (with some modification; there is oneautonomous region largely free from the national government) form of government, where the President functions as both head of state and head of government, and is commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The president is elected by popular vote to a single six-year term, during which time she or he appoints and presides over the cabinet.[1]

The bicameral Congress is composed of a Senate, serving as the upper houseHouse of Representatives serving as the lower house whose members are elected to a three-year term and are elected from both legislative districts and through sectoral representation.[1] whose members are elected nationally to a six-year term, and a

The judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court, composed of a Chief Justice as its presiding officer and fourteen associate justices, all appointed by the President from nominations submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council.[1]

Attempts to amend the constitution to either a federal, unicameral or parliamentary form of government have repeatedly failed since the Ramos administration.

The Philippines is a founding and active member of the United Nations since its inception on October 24, 1945 and is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The Philippines is also a member of the East Asia Summit (EAS), an active player in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Latin Union, and a member of the Group of 24. The country is a major non-NATO ally of the U.S. but also a member of the Non-Aligned Movement.[1]

The Philippines is involved in complex dispute over the Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal. It also claims the Malaysian state of Sabah, as it was once part of the Sultanate of Sulu.[20]


These are but a few of the Philippines' many attractions, again described at the official website:

Wander over the world heritage site, Banaue Rice Terraces, Eighth Wonder of the World, carved from the high Cordilleras over 2,000 years ago. Behold the 500-year old mummies in Kabayan. Follow the steps of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo trekking up Mt. Pinatubo. View Taal Volcano, the smallest volcano in the world. Head for the 1,268 Chocolate Hills of Bohol. Top off your experience with an exhilirating ride on a canoe down an 8-kilometer Underground River in Sabang, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

More and more people are discovering that the Philippines is Asia’s most inexpensive shopping destination where you can get the most value for your money. Here you can find imported name brands from the West, as well as products handcrafted in the Philippines, from weaves, baskets, and brassware to hand-embroidered piña cloth, wood figurines, and all sorts of custom-made furniture, clothes, wedding gowns, shoes, embroidery items, and many other accessories.

The world's longest underground river system accessible to man is located in the capital of Palawan. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, which has been inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List, is Palawan's most popular attraction and covers 5,349 hectares of lush forest, dark mountains, caves, and white beaches. Paddle through eight kilometers of a snaking, underground river leading to a clear lagoon. Walk on the Monkey Trail, a series of wooden paths that winds into the forest, lined with 40,000 tropical flora and fauna.

Are your curiosity, imagination, and sense of adventure aroused? We hope so.

If you want to learn more - much more - about this fascinating nation and its people, and taste its cuisine, you are invited to join us as guests of Ambassador and Mrs. Gaa on Monday, May 19, 2008.

Here's the schedule:
--6:30-7:15 p.m.: Reception
--7:15-8:00 p.m.: Briefing by the Ambassador, followed by Q&A
--8:00-8:45 p.m.: Continuation of reception, meeting with Ambassador and other officials.

Our Embassy receptions usually sell out in advance, so sign up early to join us for this event.

Click here to make your reservations!!!

IMPORTANT: You must register in advance for security reasons and as a courtesy to our hosts.

Click here to make your reservations!!!