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Philippine Pavilion Shines in Venice Biennale

(Photo above, from left clockwise) Ambassador Domingo Nolasco, Executive Director Jesusa Susana J.Paez, Consul Mersole J. Mellejor and Ms. Riya Lopez. (Photo below, from left) Consul Mersole J. Mellejor, Mr. Darwin Gutierrez, President of Filcom in Venice, Father Luigi Ramazzotti, Honorary Consul in Venice Atty. Georgia de Biasi and Ambassador Domingo Nolasco

27 November 2017- The Philippine Consulate General in Milan attended the closing ceremony of the Philippine Pavilion at the 57th Biennale International Art Exhibition, held on 26 November 2017, at Fava Church (Chiesa Santa Maria della Fava) in Venice, Italy.

In attendance were representatives from the Department together with the National Commission on Culture and Arts (NCCA) and the Office of Senator Loren Legarda. The DFA was represented by Ambassador Domingo Nolasco, Philippine Embassy in Rome Italy, Undersecretary Manuel A.J. Teehankee (represented by Executive Director Jesusa Susana Paez), OUIER, Consul General Marichu Mauro represented by Consul Mersole J. Mellejor, Milan PCG, Honorary Consul Georgia de Biasi, Honorary Consulate in Venice, Cultural Officer Merlina V. Mellejor, Milan PCG and CDU Desk Assistant Michelle Kathlene Reyes, DFA OUIER.

The closing program started with a mass officiated by Father Luigi Ramazzotti at Fava Church then a short program followed. Consul General Marichu Mauro represented by Consul Mersole Mellejor delivered the welcome remarks, followed by short history presentation of the Philippines participation in the biennale by Riya Lopez of National Commission for Culture and Arts. Ambassador Nolasco discussed the creative approaches to diplomatic work and Undersecretary Teehankee represented by Executive Director Paez on milestone programs of the DFA and its Cultural Diplomacy Unit. Senator Loren Legarda's message was read by Ambassador Nolasco.

Members of the Filipino Community in Venice, guests and officials of the Philippine Embassy in Italy, Philippine Consulate General in Milan and the Honorary Consulate in Venice.

Also present during the closing program were officials and representatives of the NCCA, Ms. Mary Margaret Enriquez of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mr. Isagani d'Bayani of Philippine Star, Ms. Avee Tan of the Philippine Star, Mr. Howie Severino of GMA 7 who was there on a private capacity, and other representatives of the Philippine media, some Filipino artists and members of the Filipino community headed by its president Mr. Darwin Gutierrez.

The Philippine Pavilion being strategically located in Arsenale helped in attracting a large audience during the exhibition. The Philippine delegation including members of the media also visited different pavilions in Giardini and Arsenale and exhibitions of other artists such as David Medalla / Adam Nankervis and Issay Rodriguez / Katherine Nunez. Side events also took place in Padova and Treviso followed by dinner and merienda with members of the Filipino community.

This year's Philippine Pavilion was opened by Senator Loren Legarda on 11 May 2017. It features the works of Lani Maestro and Manuel Ocampo “The Spectre of Comparison” which was drawn from the novel Noli Me Tangere of Dr. Jose Rizal. In 2015, the Philippines entry to Venice Biennale after 51 years of its absence was entitled Tie a String Around the World. In 2016, the country participated for the first time in the Venice Architecture Biennale with its pavilion entitled Muhon: Traces of an Adolescent City.

Next year's Venice International Biennale Exhibition will feature on architecture. The Philippine Consulate General in Milan already sent the invitation to interested artists. END