Philippines-China award, ‘a flagship of friendship’

2024 June 9

AWARDEES. Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian (center) poses for a photo with outstanding Filipinos who were honored as the 2024 laureates of the Awards for Promoting Philippines-China Understanding (APPCU) at the Manila Hotel on Friday night (June 7, 2024). Association for Philippines-China Understanding chairman Raul Lambino (4th from left) said the 2024 laureates are pride of the Filipino people for helping build the bridges of understanding and friendship with the peoples of China in their respective fields. (Photo from Chinese embassy FB page)

MANILA – Two days before the 49th anniversary of the Philippines-China diplomatic relations, six outstanding Filipinos were honored as the 2024 laureates of the Awards for Promoting Philippines-China Understanding (APPCU) on Friday night.

Given recognitions at a gala dinner at the Manila Hotel were Hall of Fame awardees businessman Larry Tan Villareal, professor and pioneer APCU member Gabriel “Gabby” Ma. Lopez, Outstanding Contribution awardees Special Envoy to China and businessman Benito Techico and Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba; and Major Contribution awardees award-winning literary writer Cua Ching Tam and civic leader and educator Lily Tan Lim.

Former Secretary Raul Lambino, chairperson of the organizing Association for Philippines-China Understanding (APCU), said the 2024 laureates are pride of the Filipino people for helping build the bridges of understanding and friendship with the peoples of China in their respective fields.

He said APCU is at the forefront of people-to-people diplomacy since 1972 that has brought many benefits to the country and to the Filipino people.

Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian said the awards have become a flagship of friendship, a shining example of close neighbors in mutual respect despite ups and downs in its diplomatic relations.

“More and more people should join the great cause and safeguard our long lasting friendship,” he said citing the laureates as esteemed models.

In a Facebook post, he said Philippines-China bilateral ties “remain resilient and tenacious, driven by the tireless efforts of various sectors and the shared will of our peoples from different walks of life including our six new awardees added to the roster of esteemed #APPCU Laureates.”

Video Messages of support and congratulations came from former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who was in Tagum City in Davao del Norte and from Ambassador Jaime Flor-Cruz who was in Beijing, China.

There were also similar taped remarks from Senate President Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Senator Christopher “Bong” Go.

They all paid tribute to the continuing efforts by APCU and by many Filipinos working for better ties between the two countries.

The Publishers Association of the Philippines Inc (PAPI) was one of the official media partners of the awards.

The Philippines and China will mark the 49th year anniversary of their diplomatic relations initiated by former First Lady Imelda Marcos in 1974 and signed by former President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. on June 9, 1975.