Spectators watch the students of George Mason University perform the tinikling, a traditional Philippine folk dance.
Phl brands shine at ‘Passport DC’
THIS WEEK ON PEOPLEASIA - Babe Romualdez (The Philippine Star) - May 19, 2019 - 12:00am

Every year, a month-long festival in May known as “Passport DC” pays tribute to the thriving international culture in Washington, D.C. where over 170 embassies are located along a famous stretch on Massachusetts Avenue NW,  known as Embassy Row.

One of the highlights of Passport DC is the Around the World Embassy Tour (AWET). This is where embassies open their doors to Washingtonians and visitors to the US capital who can virtually travel around the world as they get to experience the food, dance, music, art, fashion, products and all aspects of a country’s culture.

With the Philippine Embassy Minister Rosanna Villamor-Voogel and Deputy Chief of Mission Patrick Chuasoto.

The Philippines joined more than 50 other embassies for the AWET through the Philippine Embassy Open House — which is one of the biggest annual cultural projects of the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. 

Adopting the theme “Showcasing Filipino Brands with Global Appeal,” this year’s Embassy Open House held in both the Chancery and Chancery Annex buildings attracted more than 10,000 visitors who got acquainted with unique Filipino products and brands that are making their way into the US mainstream and global market. These include Philippine Airlines (PAL), Mama Sita’s, GMA Pinoy TV and PLDT Plus that generously supported the embassy’s participation in the annual event.

Visitors during the Embassy Open House line up to sample free Filipino food courtesy of Mama Sita’s.

The atmosphere was very festive with booths set up at the chancery grounds. There were free servings of caldereta, pancit palabok and champorado courtesy of Mama Sita’s, while Mostra Coffee — an artisan  micro roasting company — served Ghost Bear Espresso Blend featuring a Direct Trade Philippine Coffee and gave free samples of its cold brews. There were delicious ube sweets from Gwenie’s Pastries, while Taste of the Pacific food truck served chicken and pork barbecue, spring rolls and pancit.

Also taking part was Marquina Shoemaker, a shoemaking business that highlighted the famed shoemaking culture of Marikina City, which is known as the “Shoe Capital of the Philippines.”

Marquina Shoemaker co-founder Patrick Kahn explains the fine craftsmanship of the products.

Adding to the festive atmosphere were the kiddie corners featuring traditional Filipino games like sungka, sipa, jackstones and trumpo (turning top). The crafts corner had coloring books featuring Jollibee — the famous mascot of the Filipino fast-food chain of the same name.

Various performing arts groups, bands and solo performers showcased world-class Pinoy entertainment through songs and dances that highlighted our nation’s cultural diversity and the talent of Filipinos. Also a big hit was the 3D photo booth featuring the jeepney — where visitors can take photos and use it as an entry to the Philippine Embassy Open House social media raffle promo with a roundtrip ticket to the Philippines courtesy of PAL as the grand prize.

May also happens to be the National Heritage Month, and we are happy to be taking the lead in promoting our cultural heritage and spreading awareness about unique Filipino brands in Washington, D.C. — showing Washingtonians and the rest of the world that it is really more fun in the Philippines.

INTERNATIONAL CULTURE PASSPORT DC
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