MANILA, Philippines –TODAY, June 9, 2012, we observe Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day, now on its 11th year, pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 148 issued on January 22, 2002.
This year is also the 37th Anniversary of the opening of the Philippines’ diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China on June 9, 1975. The appointment of Sonia C. Brady as the new Philippine Ambassador to Beijing is seen as a positive move in our bilateral relations.
Filipino-Chinese relations can be traced back to as early as 200 B.C. when traders, migrants, and travelers from mainland China came to the Philippines and intermarried with native inhabitants. These Chinese visitors enriched Philippine history and culture. Their descendants came to figure prominently in almost every aspect of Philippine life as chronicled by China’s Imperial Ambassadors, notably Chao Ju-kua (1225) and Wang Ta-yuan (1349), highlighting the Sino-Philippine trade and cultural relations that mutually benefitted the two countries. The launching of the “China-Philippines Years of Friendly Exchanges” early this year further reinforced this relationship.
The first celebration of Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day was held on June 7, 2002. It was highlighted by the inauguration of two bridges – the Filipino-Chinese Friendship Bridge and the Manila-Beijing Friendship Bridge.
We greet the People’s Republic of China, Her Excellency Ambassador Ma Keqing and the Chinese communities, all over the Philippines and the world, as we celebrate Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day today. A toast to centuries of long standing friendship. MABUHAY!