MANILA, Philippines—Vice President Jejomar Binay had no choice but skip several United Nationalist Alliance campaign sorties this week for representing President Benigno Aquino III in the April 8 opening of the “Philippines: Archipel des Exchanges (or Archipelago of Exchanges),” the country’s first-ever grand culture exhibit in Paris, the world’s cultural capital.
Binay “opened (on Monday) the exhibit at the Musee du Qua Branly,” or the Branly musuem in the French capital, said the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Citing a report from the Philippine embassy in the French capital, the DFA said on Wednesday the exhibit has been featuring “more than 300 essential works of pre-colonial Filipino art selected from both public and private collections in the Philippines, Europe and the United States.”
The event will run from April 9 to July 14, 2013, according to the mission.
The embassy quoted Binay as having thanked the French government for the “opportunity to showcase the Philippines’ pre-colonial art in the Branly museum.”
“We are proud to share with France and the rest of the world our collection of pre-colonial art, including four of our priceless national treasures and more than 300 ancient artifacts assembled from public and private collections, giving a glimpse of the Filipino soul in ancient times and the diversity and richness of Philippine culture and tradition,” he said.
In his remarks during the exhibit opening rites, Binay pointed out “the Philippines actively contributes to promoting peace and stability in the world.”
“Considered an emerging economic tiger in Southeast Asia, the Philippines enjoys a stable economy, good macro-economic fundamentals and increasing income levels and was recently given an investment grade credit rating by an international ratings firm,” he also said.
Binay who left for Paris on April 7 is scheduled to fly back to Manila on April 13.
French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault thanked the Philippine government for showing to the French people the “multiple facets and the cultural wealth of the Philippine archipelago.”
He referred to the exhibit as Manila’s “grand fierte,” or big pride for being able to share with the world the richness and diversity of Filipino culture.
Ayrault, who made an official visit to the Philippines in 2012, cited the event as an “opportunity to strengthen relations between France and the Philippines,” as he also stressed the need for “cultural openness as a necessary element in strengthening bilateral relations.”
Aside from Binay, an undisclosed number of top officials from the DFA, Department of Tourism, Department of Agriculture, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, National Museum and the Ayala Museum also attended the exhibit opening where guests were served with “French-styled cuisine using Philippine native ingredients” prepared by noted Filipino chefs Margarita Fores and Vicky Pacheco, the DFA said.