Sentro Rizal strengthens Filipino cultural diplomacy in Kuala Lumpur

National Commission for Culture & the Arts, Philippines,
05 June 2024, Philippines

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), in collaboration with the Philippine Embassy in Malaysia, successfully inaugurated Sentro Rizal Kuala Lumpur on May 31, 2024. This event is a significant milestone in Philippine cultural diplomacy and part of the 60th anniversary celebration of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Malaysia, coinciding with National Heritage Month.

Chair Victorino Mapa Manalo highlighted the importance of youth in promoting Philippine culture and the role of Sentro Rizal in empowering young Filipinos through the arts. Ambassador Ponce mentioned that the Sentro Rizal in Kuala Lumpur completes the network of Sentros Rizal in ASEAN capital cities.

The event was graced by several distinguished guests, including Honorable Celia Anna M. Feria, Assistant Secretary of the Office of Cultural Diplomacy; Datuk Prof. Dr. Mohd Faiz Abdullah, Chairperson of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia; and Hon. Dato Akmal Che Mutafa, Undersecretary for Southeast Asia Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and NCCA Youth and Sentro Rizal Ambassador Josh Cullen Santos of SB19.

Cultural activities at the event included a book reading session by Josh Cullen Santos, who read Iba’t Ibang Lasa and Haluhalo Espesyal to Filipino-Malaysian children. There was also a performance by Filipino-Malaysian artist Yasmin Aziz, followed by a cooking demonstration and lecture on Filipino Muslim cuisine by Chef Datu Shariff Pendatun, who prepared palapa and sangkerat.

Sentro Rizal Kuala Lumpur is the 38th Philippine cultural center globally and the 10th in the ASEAN region, bringing Filipino culture closer to the diaspora and friends around the world. With its 13th founding anniversary approaching in June, Sentro Rizal, envisioned by the NCCA, continues its mission to engage more overseas Filipinos and foreign nationals in its cultural programs, instilling a strong sense of nationhood and pride among them in being Filipinos.