The Embassy of the Philippines, Havana
National Heroes of the Philippines and Cuba
From their pens and their blood sprung two free and
Vol. IV, No.4 News Bulletin 25 April 2009
NAM Final Document NAM Ministers meet in Havana
includes RP initiatives Usec. Manalo heads RP delegation
HAVANA—The Philippines successfully HAVANA- sentative of
tabled some initiatives for inclusion in the Opened by the Philip-
final outcome document of the Ministerial no less than pines to the
Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement’s President UN as Sen-
Coordinating Bureau (NAM-COB) held in Raul Cas- ior Official;
Havana from 27-30 April 2009. Among the tro, the Dr. Mac-
issues successfully tabled by the Philip- Ministerial Arthur F.
pines was a call or the participation of Meeting of Corsino,
NAM ministers and senior officials in the the Non- RP Ambas-
upcoming Special NAM Ministerial Meet- Aligned sador to
ing on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation Movement Cuba; and
for Peace and Development in Manila on Coordinat- Vice Consul
1-3 December 2009, concern for and fight ing Bureau Jason A.
against the continuing acts of piracy off the was suc- Cuban President Raul Castro addresses the NAM- Anasarias
coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden, Meeting Usec.
c e s s f u l l y Ministerial statement (left); generalEnrique Manalo and Attache
delivers RP at the debate. (right).
the need to enhance regional efforts in re- hosted by Frisco B.
sponse to the current financial and eco- Cuba on 27- Capunitan
nomic crisis, such as the Chiang Mai Ini- 30 April 2009, attended by many of the Philippine Embassy in Ha-
tiative to assist ASEAN Plus 3 countries Foreign Ministers and other Min- vana.
address their liquidity problems, and rec- isterial heads of delegation. As main speaker at the opening
ognition of the ASEAN Declaration on the DFA Undersecretary for Policy session of the Meeting, President
Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Enrique A. Manalo headed the Castro stressed NAM’s principles
Migrant Workers signed by ASEAN lead- Philippine delegation in lieu of as well as the achievements of the
ers to promote and protect the human the RP National Security Adviser Movement under Cuba’s 3-year
rights of migrant workers and their funda- who could not come. Other RP stewardship. In the same speech,
mental freedoms and noted. delegates were Amb. Leslie B. he voiced his willingness
(continued on page 2) Gatan, deputy permanent repre- (Continue on page 2)
Fidel: Obama misread Raul Cuba’s Jose Rizal Masonic Lodge
remarks on Cuba celebrates its 53rd anniversary
HAVANA—U.S. President Barack Obama HAVANA—Philippine Ambassa-
"misinterpreted" Cuban leader Raul Cas- dor to Cuba Dr. MacArthur F.
tro's statement, former Cuban Leader Fidel Corsino stressed the Masonic
Castro was quoted as saying by local me- affiliation of the national heroes
dia on 22 April. In an article entitled of the Philippines and Cuba, Jose
“Obama and the Blockade” published by Rizal and Jose Marti, from
local newspaper Granma, Fidel said "there whose pens and blood sprung two
is no doubt that Obama misunderstood free and independent nations.
Raul.” The ambassador was the guest
"When the Cuban president said he was speaker at the program celebrat-
ready to discuss any topics with his U.S. ing the 53rd anniversary of the
counterpart, he meant he was not afraid of founding of Jose Rizal Masonic Amb. Corsino speaks at the Logia Ma-
addressing any issue,” wrote Fidel. Lodge in Havana. Attended by sonica Jose Rizal anniversary program
“That shows his courage and confidence some 200 of the Lodge’s Masons,
in the principle of the (Cuban) Revolu- their families and guests, the pro- Leading the Masonic officials
tion", he added. gram was held at the Masonic present were Worshipful Master
(Continued on page 2) Grand Lodge on April 13, 2009. Pedro Pablo Moré of the (to p.2)
Continue… NAM-COM Meeting …
to discuss any issue with the new U.S. RP-Cuba hold Political Consultations
Administration, but on the basis of sover-
eign equality as he emphasized Cuba’s HAVANA—RP and Cuban
opening up to most countries of the world. delegations, headed by DFA
The Meetings for both Senior Officials Usec. Enrique Manalo and
and Ministers were presided over by Cu- Cuban Foreign Affairs Vice-
ban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Minister Marcos C. Rodriguez
Parilla, who took over the ministry after respectively, held Political Con-
the cabinet revamp in March. Ambassador sultations at the sidelines of the
Gatan headed the RP delegation to the Sen- NAM-COB Ministerial Meeting
ior Officials Meeting which included dis- on 28 April 2009. The meeting
cussion of issues under the Economic and discussed the current state of
Social Committee and the Political Com- cooperation and ties between the
mittee to thresh out the Meeting’s Out- A. Blanco, L. Fernandez, Y. Cuenca, two countries. They also covered
come Document. Undersecretary Manalo M. Rodriguez, E. Manalo, M. Corsino the global financial crisis and
delivered the Philippine statement at the
general debate. He also had occasion to common concerns at the UN,
preside a segment of the debate in the Phil- NAM, and their regions. Both sides expressed satisfaction over the
ippines’ capacity as one of the Asian vice current state of bilateral relations although they also agreed that much
chairs of the Movement. Some important could still be done to strengthen it, specially in trade and economic
RP concerns were successfully approved in cooperation. They also resolved to finalize pending documents before
the Outcome Document, including Inter- the next joint commission meeting (JCM) in Manila on 1-2 June 2009.
faith Dialogue, Migrant Workers rights, the Also at their respective panels were Amb. MacArthur F. Corsino
ASEAN Changmai Initiative on the present and Vice Consul Jason Anasarias of Havana PE, and Director Al-
global financial crisis, and the need to stop berto S. Blanco, Amb. Luisa Fernandez and Yaime Cuenca of
maritime piracy that has victimized Fili- MINREX-Asia and Oceania. Usec Manalo also held brief bilaterals
pino seafarers. with Belarus, Morocco, and France (a NAM observer).
Continue… NAM Final Document… Continue… Fidel tweaks ... willing to discuss "everything"
RP Senior Official Leslie B. Gatan fought Castro also chided Obama for with the U.S., including human
to ensure inclusion of these issues. RP has keeping the Cuba policy of his rights, freedom of the press and
always been among the first countries to predecessor George W. Bush vir- speech, and political prisoners.
call for and promote interfaith dialogue tually intact, including the em- Obama responded by saying at
because of the rich cultural diversity in the bargo and US-run anti-Cuban the Summit of the Americas that
country. Piracy in the high seas is also a radio and television broadcasts. the US seeks a new beginning
concern because the country is the world’s The seemingly mixed signals with Cuba. But subsequently, at
biggest supplier of seafarers. On the finan- from the current and former Cu- his news conference, he said that
cial crisis, ASEAN developed a regional ban presidents again prompted Cuba should release political pris-
mechanism known as the Chiang Mai Ini- speculations of a rift in the poli- oners and reduce taxes on US-
tiative which has been used since the 1997 cies between the two brothers on dollar remittances as a sign of
Asian Financial Crisis that can be a model how to deal with Obama’s over- goodwill. This appeared a draw-
to other regional groupings. Finally, migra- tures. Raul Castro had prompted back to past condescension, irri-
tion is a major Philippine concern with widespread speculation that the tating Fidel, who called Obama’s
more than 10 million overseas Filipino U.S. and Cuba could be headed policy "superficial" as it ignored
workers living abroad, hence RP has al- toward a thaw in nearly a half- Raul’s clear signal for mutual
ways pushed for the protection of the rights century of chilly relations, when respect and for sovereign equal-
of these workers. he said Cuban leaders would be ity. (AP and other sources)
Continue… Cuba’s Jose Rizal Masonic… donde no hay esclavos, ver-
Jose Rizal Lodge and Most Worshipful dugos ni opresores, donde la fe
Osmundo G. Cabrera Perez, the Grand- no mata, donde el que reina es
master of Cuban Masons. Dios.” [“I am going where there
Corsino related how he was pleasantly are no slaves, executioners and
surprised when he learned about the exis- oppressors, where faith does not
tence of a Jose Rizal Lodge in Cuba shortly kill, where the one who reigns is
after he arrived last year. The existence of God.”] Corsino said that Ma-
the Lodge shows how much Cuban Masons sonry was one means he was
hold Rizal in high esteem as a nationalist using to develop close people-
and a Mason, he said. to-people ties with Cuba. He
He stressed that Masons believe in God Logia Masonica Jose Rizal Masons and their said he hoped a future Havana
as Supreme Architect of the Universe. He families gather at their 53rd anniversary fete Chapter of the Order of the
cited words in Rizal’s last farewell, written Knights of Rizal, under consid-
just hours before his death, that belied any subsequent eration by Cuban authorities, would be another way.
allegation that he retracted his Masonic belief: “Voy
Ambassador Corsino talks
AEPs tour Havana Province on the Risen Christ at ICC
HAVANA—Close to 80 of the HAVANA—Dr. MacArthur F. Corsino,
over 1/3 of its food, 20 per cent of
over 100 foreign Ambassadors Philippine Ambassador to Cuba, talked on
its electricity, 50% of its tobacco
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary exports, and hosts most of Cuba’sthe Risen Christ as the invited guest
(AEP) assigned to Cuba, includ- preacher at the Easter Sunday worship ser-
specialized schools, hospitals and
ing Ambassador MacArthur vice of the International Christian Commu-
other medical facilities, as well as
Corsino of the Philippines, went museums, cinemas, drama thea- nity church of Havana on April 12, 2009.
on a one-day visit to agricultural The Ambassador said that with Jesus’
ters and other cultural institutions.
and educational areas of Havana It also hosts some 412 sports fa-resurrection part I was finished, and Chris-
province on April 15, 2009, under cilities. tians must now prepare their souls for part
a program sponsored by the Min- One of the highlights of the II, which is his second coming.
istry of Foreign Affairs. Deputy excursion was a visit to a rural He cited Biblical passages wherein
Foreign Minister Marcos Rodri- specialized high school for stu- Christ himself stressed the truth that he
guez Costa was among the Cuban would resurrect on “the third day”. He said
dents gifted in painting, drawing,
officials in the group. engraving, and other fine arts. that if Christ did not resurrect, he would
The ambassadors learned that The Ambassadors were treated not be God the Son, there would be no
this province, which includes Ha- to a farm lunch of delicious vi- spirits and souls but just physical death,
vana City, comprises only 5% of ands and fruits grown in Havana, there would be no Christianity, and there
Cuba’s land area, but produces would be no salvation and life everlasting.
plus cigars and hats as giveaways.
Easter was a time of rebirth for much of
Havana PE continues fight against illegal the earth after winter’s deathly cold, he
OFW trafficking via Cuba said. It should also be a time for soul-
renewal for all, to enable Christ to live in
HAVANA—For the fourth time Havana and they were forced to our hearts, and exert every effort to apply
in a span of less than one year, look for their own room accom- his teachings in our daily lives, such as in
Havana PE again encountered yet modations. After a month of stay caring more for the needy and unfortunate.
another case of human trafficking in Havana, their situation become
perpetrated by the same person, more dire as their applications for
Leonid Pascual. Joel Floria and entry visas to the Bahamas were Madam Corsino donates
Benny Supnet, both residents of declined. dress to Casa de Asia
Narvacan, Ilocos Sur, sought the Having already consumed all
Embassy’s assistance after being their pocket money, they ap-
stranded in Havana since 05 proached the Embassy for help on
April. They each paid Pascual 30 April. They are currently stay-
PHP 500,000 to bring them to the ing in one of the Embassy’s guest
Bahamas where they were told rooms while awaiting their return
that US$5,000-a-month jobs were flight to Manila. Havana PE re-
awaiting them. ported the incident to Manila and
However, they arrived in Ha- the local Cuban authorities to
vana as complete strangers. No- finally end this human trafficking
body received them upon their operation and to put Pascual be-
arrival at the Jose Marti Airport in hind bars.
Mrs. Bernadette Corsino and Casa de Asia Curator
RP looking good, for now—NY Times Teresita Hernandez show the Filipiniana costume
donated by Mrs. Corsino.
MANILA—It may be premature, elsewhere. This would follow HAVANA—Mrs. Bernadette Corsino
but the Philippine economy looks seven years of an average of 4.5 donated an ensemble of a Filipiniana dress
as though it may outperform most percent growth. That may not to the Museo Casa de Asia to augment the
of its East and Southeast Asian sound like much to boast about, number of Filipiniana artifacts displayed at
neighbors, at least for a couple of particularly in a country with a the museum, which houses a vast collec-
years. That says something about population increasing by 2 per- tion of Chinese, Japanese and other Asian
improvements in economic man- cent a year, but it’s high by local artifacts and craft. The Museum’s curator,
agement, and much more about standards and the most sustained Teresita Hernandez, warmly received
the different ways in which coun- improvement since the mid- Mrs. Corsino’s donation, which she said
tries are being affected by the 1970s. So has the Philippines would be used in the Museum’s annual
global crisis. The Philippines ex- really turned a corner? RP re- Asian Fashion Show, usually held in June.
pects GDP to grow by 2 to 3 per- mains overly dependent on over- The Museum currently displays a wooden
cent this year, a rate superior to seas remittances. Without a broad “baul” donated by former Ambassador
anything in East Asia other than industrial base, it is hard to see Regina Sarmiento in 2004, along with
China and Vietnam, and a sharp the Philippines breaking out of a archived artifacts such as coins engraved
contrast to the negative numbers 40-year pattern of decline. (NYT) with the likeness of Apolinario Mabini.
APRIL IN PICTURES
Members of the Philippine delegation to the Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez
NAM-COB: Usec. Manalo, Amb. Corsino and Parilla presides at the NAM-COB Plenary.
Turkish Ambassador watches Cuban student
Amb. And Mrs. Corsino host a dinner for artist at work.
members of the Philippine delegation and
Usec. Manalo presides over part of the NAM- AEPs visit Cuban school for student artists.
COB General Debate since RP is a vice
president of the organization.
RP and Cuba panels hold Political Consulta- Ambassador Corsino gives his Easter mes-
tions at the sidelines of the NAM-COB sage to ICC.