National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Chairperson Felipe De Leon Jr. led the inauguration of two Sentro Rizals this month — one each at the Philippine Embassies of Doha Qatar and Cairo Egypt. Currently counting 18 around the world, each Sentro Rizal is a repository of materials on Filipino art, culture, and language, in print and in multimedia formats. These centers seek to serve both our Filipino communities abroad, as well as foreigners interested in learning more about Filipino culture.
The Sentro Rizal Doha was inaugurated on September 20. It was followed by a lecture for the senior high school students of the Philippine School Doha and a cultural visit to Qatar’s prime cultural hub Katara Village. The Sentro Rizal Cairo, meanwhile, will be inaugurated today, after which Chairman de Leon will address the Filipino community in a lecture on Women in Philippine Arts and Culture alongside Philippine Ambassador to Egypt Leslie Baja.
The Sentro Rizal Cairo inauguration coincides as well with the 70th anniversary celebration of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the Arab Republic of Egypt. It is also the first Sentro Rizal in the African continent.
The visit to Cairo will also be an opportunity to strengthen cooperation between the Philippines and Egypt, as a meeting is scheduled between Ambassador Iman El Far, Assistant Foreign Minister for Cultural Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Chairperson de Leon. They will discuss pending cultural agreements institutionalizing cooperation in the fields of archiving, library and information servicing, as well as plans on future cultural exchanges.
The inaugurations of the Sentro Rizals in Doha and Cairo raise the number of these arts and culture repositories to 20. ***