10 October 2011 – H.E. Ambassador Virgilio A. Reyes, Jr. visited Florence from 8 to 9 October 2011, on the occasion of the celebration of the 4th Anniversary of the establishment of the Philippine Honorary Consulate in Florence. He was accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Maria Felisa L. Reyes.
Honorary Consul Fabio Fanfani organized the meeting of Ambassador Reyes with the leaders of Filipino community in Florence and in Tuscany on 8 and 9 of October, respectively, at the Instituto Fanfani. On both occasions, Ambassador Reyes highlighted his priorities in accordance with President Aquino’s social contract, particularly in revitalizing bilateral cooperation in the fields of trade and investment, culture and tourism. He also ensured the continuous provision of efficient consular and community services to all the members of the Filipino community. Ambassador Reyes further extended his appreciation to the Honorary Consulate, its staff and volunteers for support and services that they have rendered for the past four years. The Filipino community, in return, expressed gratitude that Ambassador Reyes visited Florence to meet them only within two weeks of his arrival in Rome. They confirmed their support to the projects and programmes of the Embassy under the able stewardship of the new Ambassador.
As part of the anniversary celebration, Ambassador and Mrs. Reyes also inaugurated theexhibition entitled “Pinoy Photo Kultura,” a photo competition by photographers andenthusiasts in Italy about the lives of Filipino migrants in Italy, on 9 October at Hotel LaurusAl Duomo, which was organized by the Honorary Consulate, in cooperation with theUgnayan ng Komunitang Pilipino (UKP). The exhibit also featured the work of renownedvisual artist and neurologist, Dr. J. Orosa Paraiso, entitled “Bhutan: Beyond the GlassWindow,” a collection of his photostaken during his medical mission in Bhutan.
Ambassador and Mrs. Reyes, together with Honorary Consul Fanfani, also visited theVilla of Countess Anna Ricceri Guicciardini located in Sesto Fiorentino, to see a preview ofher exhibition entitled “Palme, mare e nuvole nelle Filippine” (Palm trees, Sea and Clouds inthe Philippines), a collection of her paintings which she made during her visit to thePhilippines, particularly in the Ilocos region, together with a Filipino couple who are members ofher household staff. The exhibition will be inaugurated on 12 October 2011 in Florence. (Phil. Embassy – Rome)