Speech of H.E. Ambassador Wu HongboAt the opening of the Exhibition of Miniatures of Charactersin Beijing Opera And China Film Week
2004/06/03

Honorable Mr. Nestor O. Jardin, President of the Cultural Center of the Philippines,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Evening,

First of all, may I warmly welcome you all to the Exhibition of Miniatures entitled Characters in Beijing Opera and the China Film Week .These two cultural events are organized to celebrate the Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day designated by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on January 24, 2002 and 29th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of the Philippines.

China boasts more than 300 forms of traditional operas, of which Peking Opera is the most popular. It took shape in the early 19th century in Beijing, hence the name. Peking Opera is China’s national treasure with a history of over 200 years. The Opera, a combination of action, singing, dancing and dialogue, tells a story in a vivid and colorful way.

   

The exhibition of “Characters in Beijing Opera”, composed of  60 pieces with an average height of 60 centimeters, is selected from 37 Beijing operas. These art pieces are hand made of various materials after nearly a hundred different working procedures. These wonderful Characters in Beijing Opera will , I am sure , be loved by all the Filipino friends who admire Chinese art and culture, in particular Beijing Opera.

As we all know, film is a form of culture. China Film Week from June 3 to 6, 2004 will give Filipinos a chance to take a glimpse of Chinese culture. The four films, Pretty Big Feet, Together, The Marriage Certificate, and Judge Mama, produced in the past two years, will be shown during the China Film week.

The story of Pretty Big Feet to be shown tonight happens in a small Northwest China village on the Loess Plateau. It sketches the life of a rural woman teacher, Zhang Meili, trying to help the villagers overcome poverty. She believed education was the only way the locals could change their fate. Zhang, despite living in a poverty-stricken area, encourages her students, much like herself, to maintain their dignity.

I hope that by watching these Chinese movies Filipinos may have a better knowledge of our way of life, our thoughts, beliefs and values.

China and the Philippines are good neighbours which have a time-honored friendly relationship. The friendly ties between China and the Philippines go back as early as to the Tang Dynasty of 6th century. The traditional friendship was further promoted on 9 June 1975, when the People’s Republic of China established diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Philippines.

Ever since then, the friendly relations and cooperation between our two countries have been developing continuously in all the fields. The cultural exchanges between our two countries, a meeting of minds, have contributed enormously to the better understanding and mutual trust of our two peoples.

Finally, I wish to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to all the friends of the Cultural Center whose hard work has made these events possible and successful.

Once again thank you and Mabuhay!

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