From April to June, Filipinos will get the chance to experience a European Cultural Summer dubbed "Viva Europa 2018" to showcase the best of European dance, film, literature, music, sports, and visual arts.
European Union Ambassador Franz Jessen said that Viva Europa 2018 aims to highlight the shared cultural values between the EU and the Philippines and will also mark the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage in the country.
Joint EU Activities
The festivities for the Viva Europa have already started with EU Whiz, an inter-collegiate quiz about the European Union and EU member states, EU-PH relations and European culture, history, sports and languages at the University of Santo Tomas as 12 universities vied for the EU grand slam.
A major highlight of Viva Europa this year is the "Sikad Palawan". Under this initiative which is supported by the Provincial Government of Palawan, the EU Ambassador and the Ambassadors of several EU member States will spearhead a bike tour throughout half of Palawan to promote cycling as an illustration of a healthy and climate-friendly lifestyle.
The Ambassadors will go on a bike tour from El Nido travelling through Taytay, Roxas and finally to Puerto Princesa spanning 200 kilometers from 28 to 30 April 2018.
Alongside the bike tour, the diplomats will meet with local communities and representatives of the business sector in Palawan.
The following personalities will participate in the biking tour: EU Ambassador Franz Jessen, and his family, Austrian Ambassador Bita Rasoulian, Belgian Ambassador Michel Goffin and his family, German Ambassador Gordon Kricke, the Charge d' Affaires of the Embassy of France, Mr Laurent Legodec and the Charge d' Affaires of the Embassy of Romania, Mr. Mihai Sion.
Sikad Palawan is considered as an offshoot of Padyak para sa Kalikasan, a yearly bike tour to Irawan watershed in Puerto Princesa Palawan, held on the sides of the Cine Europa. Last year Ambassadors Jessen and with other EU member states signed a manifesto of support to Palawan Government in raising environmental awareness.
Children in the Spotlight
Children will also be in the spotlight of this year's cultural festival. On 12 May, through the "Lakbayin Natin ang EU" initiative, the EU Delegation, the EU MS embassies and cultural institutes will provide the best of European storytelling, games, languages, film, music and arts and crafts to disadvantaged children in the Museo Pambata, Roxas Boulevard, Metro Manila.
Furthermore, on 24 May, a workshop and on-the-spot drawing contest for children with the theme "EUropa, Kaibigan ko to" will also be held for children from private and public schools at the Museo Pambata. The same day, the EU Delegation will hold a children's rights summit for children by children to make children aware of their basic rights and to enable them to become advocates for their own rights in their families, local communities and in their respective schools. Theme for the Summit is "Una sa Lahat: Bata" Children First.
Promoting the European musical heritage: FEUropa10 and Euro-Pinoy concert
The year 2018 will mark the 10th anniversary of FEUropa, a nationwide choir competition organised by the Far Eastern University with the support of the EU delegation and the Embassy of Spain. The event will take place from 26 to 27 May at the Far Eastern University.
Furthermore, on 30 May, musicians from Austria, the Philippines, Spain and Sweden will play together. Paul Zialcita is a percussion performance Spanish artist who uses an exotic mix of upcycled found objects and local materials combined with elements of Filipino Martial Arts to reimagine the Philippines on the world stage in what he calls the “Age of ^CAN DO^. Alex Alcaraz is a Flamenco guitarist who was born and raised in Granada, Spain. In 2012 he decided to move to the Philippines and since then he has been collaborating with Flamenco academies in Manila and some Filipino musicians.
Stefan Löwenstein is an Austrian sound artist, music producer and percussionist from Vienna who develops music environments for events and brands with his company. He has produced music and sound effects for film features, websites, radio, apps and digital games.
After studying multimedia and experimental electronic music at the University of Music and Applied Arts in Vienna, Stefan has worked on various projects such as creating the score for Austria's Biennale Venice entry and developing his own interactive sound installations showcased at art festivals in Manchester and York in the UK, New York and Manila.
Jeanette Kamphuis is a Swedish artist who can play jazz and violin music. She uses piano too for her compositions. She has been playing violin music since she was young. She was taught violin music by a Czech professor for 11 years. She is also a visual artist has appeared in television programmes for a major network in the Philippines. As her father had a jazz band, he has influenced Jeanette a lot with jazz music.
VIVA EUROPA 2018
Viva Europa 2018 is the outcome of a fruitful cooperation between the EU Delegation to the Philippines and the Embassies of Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom, as well as Alliance Francaise, the British Council, the Goethe-Institut and Instituto Cervantes.
Viva Europa 2018 could not take place without the active support of Museo Pambata, the Far Eastern University, the Provincial Government of Palawan, University of Sto Tomas and philstar.com who are all contributing to its success and promotion.
Further information about the joint EU events and individual activities of the EU MS embassies and cultural institutes, please refer to the FB page of the EU Delegation: EU in the Philippines.