Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte says that it is an honor for the Davao City to be chosen as one of the sites to take part in this simultaneous landmark lighting ceremony in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Behind her is the is one of the 57 ceremonial lanterns lighted simultaneously in various parts of the country, Tuesday, August 8. (Robby Joy D. Salveron/davaotoday,com)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Davao City joined in the celebration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) golden anniversary on Tuesday, August 8.

In her speech, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said the city is honored to be one of the selected sites in the Philippines to take part in the “historic milestone.”

The city was among the 76 local government units (LGUs) in the country which participated the simultaneous ceremonial lighting of 57 lanterns.

“Davao City is honored to be one of the sites selected to take part in this simultaneous landmark lighting ceremony in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Association of Southeast Asian Nation,” Duterte said.

As the highlight of the ceremony, Mayor Duterte, together with the Indonesian Consulate Consul General, Berlian Napitupulu and Malaysian Consulate Representative, Hon. Saiful Nizam Wahid spearheaded the lighting of the ceremonial lantern held in front of the City Hall.

“With the lighting of this lantern we join our fellow members of the Asean in celebrating 50 years of economic, political, social and cultural cooperation and we reaffirm our commitment to the association’s objectives and to the fundamental Asean principles of mutual respect for independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity, and national identity of all nations,” Duterte said.

Apart from the lighting ceremony, the celebration was even made colourful and grand through the participation of the different schools in the city wherein they performed various tribe dances and the singing of the Asean country songs by the University of Mindanao choir. A light show was also held after the ceremonial lighting.

It was noted that the Philippines, under the leadership of then Davao City Mayor now President Rodrigo Duterte chaired the ASEAN 2017. The country’s chairmanship was officially launched in Davao City on January 15.

“This historic milestone coincides to the Philippines’ chairmanship of the Asean and it was here in Davao City where the country’s chairmanship was launched last January. Perhaps it is also serendipitous that the Asean was formed exactly 50 years ago on the same month that we celebrate Kadayawan in Davao,” Mayor Duterte said.

“The Asean is a symbol of the unity among ten equally diverse, colourful, multi-faceted, multi-cultural nations just as our Kadayawan festival is a symbol of the unity among all the peoples of Davao City, a microcosm of the greater Asean community to which we all belong,” she added.

Earlier, President Duterte in speech in Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) at Pasay City, urged the members of the Asean to strengthen their alliance to provide a secure region for the people and a stable region “where nations regard each other with mutual respect and understanding, and where the rule of law reigns supreme in the relations between states.”(davaotoday.com)

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