Thursday, June 13, 2024

Delivering Stories of Progress


Ireland Turns Historic Sites to Green to Mark National Day

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Not many are aware of the meaning of color in one’s culture and it even becomes a universal language. For instance, the color green is often associated with hope, rebirth and harmony.

Interestingly, the color green is associated with Ireland and the Irish people around the world. This is particularly emphasized in the days around the Festival of St Patrick, Ireland’s National Day, every March 17 each year. And to mark St Patrick’s Day this year, Ireland and the Philippines are cooperating to participate in a cultural exchange initiative called the Global Greening. Cities all around the world take part in this initiative, and the Embassy is excited that the Philippines will now participate for the first time. This is an opportunity to promote cultural exchange and to share Ireland’s story with the people of the Philippines.

The historical sites of the Gates of Fort Santiago in Intramuros and the Rizal Monument in Rizal Park will be illuminated in green for one week each – Fort Santiago from March 12 to 19, and the Rizal Park from March 14 to March 20. This marks a significant step forward in cooperation to promote cultural exchanges between Ireland and the Philippines. The Embassy is proud to welcome the historic landmarks to the list of sites participating in 2022.

The Rizal Monument and the Gates of Fort Santiago have a strong resonance for the similarities between Irish and Filipino history. As a writer, a poet and a revolutionary, there are many parallels between the life of Jose Rizal and the Irish revolutionaries executed in Ireland’s own struggle for independence. It was on the very same site of Intramuros that Rizal married his Irish wife, Josephine Bracken, on the eve of his execution.

This year the values of these revolutionaries remain even more relevant in the context of Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine, which grossly violates international law, and undermines international security and stability. In line with our values, Ireland stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, and with all people facing displacement, oppression and conflict around the world.

Ireland established an Embassy in the Philippines last November to build deeper political, trade and cultural relations. While the two island nations are on the opposite sides of the world, the links between the two countries have been growing steadily. People-to-people relations are at the heart of these links, with many Filipinos calling Ireland home (the largest diaspora in Ireland from South East Asia), while there is also a strong community of Irish in the Philippines.

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