Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hospitality

I have nothing much to say about the declaration of work holidays, suspension of classes, closure of roads, and narrowing of EDSA to two functional lanes during the ASEAN summit, except that it all looks staged to me, a glorified pretension to impress the world, hiding from the world's most powerful the stark reality of the every day.

Ambeth Ocampo, whose column I always read in the Inquirer, writes about Filipino hospitality, basically saying that we've always been welcoming as a people, and even history attests to that.

Documentation on three royal visits to Manila are available, namely: the Duque de Hedimburgo in 1869, and the Duque de Genova and the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia in the 1880s. Manila played host to only one king, Norodom I of Cambodia, who visited in 1872, months after the execution of the priests Gomez, Burgos and Zamora. Archival material is so detailed with individual receipts for all the expenses for the visit: materials for triumphal arches, cloth for festoons and banderitas, food and drink, so a good time could be had by all. Norodom was so impressed with Filipino hospitality he ordered one of his ministers to ask the Spanish governor general for a complete list of everyone who had contributed to the success of the visit. Norodom later rained on all these individuals various medals and ribbons of the kingdom’s state decorations.



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