PHL EMBASSY ROME PARTICIPATES IN CHRISTMAS BELEN EXHIBITION

Rome, Nov 27, 2012 – The Philippine Embassy in Rome is participating in the 37th Edition of Esposizione Internazionale “100 Presepi”(International Exhibition 100 Christmas Cribs) upon the invitation of its organizer, Rivista delle Nazioni

The organizer started the exhibition in 1976 which aimed to “reaffirm crèche, a typical Italian tradition threatened by the new trend of Christmas tree, a symbol that does not belong to Italian culture”.  The exhibition was launched with the goal of bringing back in popularity, especially among children and youth, crèches done with creativity and craftsmanship in order to “revive the tradition of making a family crib built on a personal project and to reaffirm the family model as the cornerstone of Italian society.”

The exhibition was officially inaugurated last 23 November at the Basilica di Sta. Maria del Popolo with the presence of His Eminence Angelo Cardinal Comastri.  The Philippine Embassy was represented by Third Secretary Jarie Osias and Cultural Officer Charisma Coros-Pineda. 

As per tradition, the exhibition is organized under the patronage of the President of the Italian Republic and of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI); the Italian Republic Senate; the Chamber of Deputies; the Cabinet Office; Ministry of National Heritage and Culture; Region of Lazio; Rome City Hall and National Italian Municipality Association.      

The participating crèches are works of Italian and foreign artists, craftspeople, museums, collectors, amateurs, students of Rome and other parts of Italy, cultural and social associations, state and local companies, national and international museums.  Participants also come from all over Italy and from about 25 foreign countries.   The nativity scenes are made with all sorts of materials, ranging from coral to silver, porcelain, glass, bronze, ceramic, clay, wrought iron, wood, and papier-mâché.  At the edition, some entries used pasta, bread and chocolate.

The Philippine Belen has always been a much awaited entry and, in the past editions, has always captured the interest not only of the organizers but more importantly of the spectators, having won the the bronze medal and gold medal in 2004 and 2008 respectively. While the organizer has stopped the competition since 2009, the event sttil attracts much public attention and possible clients.

The Philippine Embassy entry was made by Efren Dordas, renowned Filipino florist based in Rome. He recycled the old belen of the Embassy and made use of materials available in his flower shop such as bark of betulla tree, dried coconut leaves and cord to clothe Joseph, Mary and infant Jesus.

The Philippine Belen once again showcased not only state-of-the-art design and craetivity of Filipino artist but also representes the Philippines and it’s Christian values to the world.

The exhibition will run from November 27,  2012 to January 06, 2013 at the Sala del Bramante of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Popolo. (PE-Rome)