MALVAR, Batangas: In commemoration of the 50 years of ASEAN, First Asia Institute of Technology and Humanities (FAITH) launched the Asean Unity Park (AUP) in a ceremony attended by ASEAN dignitaries at the Lima Park Hotel here.
The AUP will be located in the future 40-hectare campus of Faith Colleges in Balete, Batangas near Lake Taal, one of the country’s premier tourist destinations.
The initial phase of the park will showcase trees and plant species common to the 10 Asean countries, indigenous artworks or works of Asean artists.
In his welcome remarks, Faith Botanic Gardens Foundation president Juan Lozano said the project was established in recognition of the vital need for well-organized public places for communities throughout the country.
“Today with the launch of Asean Unity Park, we are doing our share to fulfill the Asean dream of building one community, with one shared identity, and one vision. This vision will be fully realized with the help of institutions and individuals with the heart for the Asean community,” he said.
Aside from the gardens, there are plans to build an Asean Hall to serve as venue for exhibits, symposia, and special events that will be organized in partnership with the embassies and other like-minded institutions.
Officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and embassies of Asean member countries in the Philippines were present at the launch which also featured the signing of the memorandum of agreement for the park which forms part of Faith Colleges’ commitment to spread Asean awareness.
According to Office of Asean Affairs assistant secretary Ma. Hellen de La Vega, the AUP launching is symbolic and practical.
“We have a lot of common plants and tree species which gives us a feeling of solidarity and togetherness with one another. It is also practical to help raise awareness on the need to promote and protect our biodiversity and ecosystem amid a world that is highly urbanizing,” she said.
The family of Saturnino Belen, Faith Colleges chairman, contributed the land component of the AUP.