Spanish Ambassador Surprises Philippine Ambassador, Embassy Staff in Brussels with "Lupang Hinirang" Rendition
Ambassador to Belgium Eduardo José A. de Vega welcomes Spanish Ambassador Cecilia Yuste Rojas to the Philippine Embassy in Brussels.
11 June 2018 BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — Wherever they are posted abroad, career diplomats always bring with them their fondest memories of past foreign assignments. Spanish Ambassador to Belgium Cecilia Yuste Rojas, who was previously posted in the Philippines, is no exception.
But to the surprise of Philippine Ambassador Eduardo José A. de Vega and Embassy staff, Ambassador Yuste-Rojas also knows how to play the Philippine National Anthem, “Lupang Hinirang.”
Ambassador Yuste Rojas visited the Philippine Embassy in Brussels on 01 June 2018 to discuss the longstanding special ties between the Philippines and Spain, and the current state of bilateral relations.
During the visit, Ambassador Yuste Rojas expressed her continued affection and soft spot for the Philippines and the Filipino people, telling Ambassador de Vega that one of her daughters was born in Makati while serving as a diplomat in the Philippines.
To show her high respect for the Philippines, Ambassador Yuste Rojas requested if she could play the Embassy piano. To the delight of Ambassador de Vega and Embassy staff, Ambassador Yuste Rojas played her rendition of the “Lupang Hinirang.”
As the Spanish Ambassador was playing the piano, Ambassador de Vega reciprocated the gesture by singing the original Spanish lyrics of the National Anthem, “Tierra Adorada,” which was written by Filipino poet José Palma.
“June is a special month for Filipinos, since we celebrate the proclamation of Philippine independence from Spain every 12th of June. So it was most fitting and significant that the very first Ambassador whom I received at the Philippine Embassy would be no less than the Ambassador of Spain,” said Ambassador de Vega, who assumed his current post in Brussels in April 2018.
“We at the Philippine Embassy will never forget how we felt when she surprised us with her beautiful rendition of our National Anthem,” the Ambassador added.
Both Ambassadors are lawyers and career diplomats with nearly 30 years of experience in the diplomatic service of their countries.
Before being named as Spain’s top envoy in Belgium, Ambassador Yuste Rojas was formerly assigned to the Philippines, Argentina, and Russian Federation.
Ambassador de Vega’s previous diplomatic assignments include Israel, the United States, Spain, and the Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York City. Prior to his current posting, Ambassador de Vega served as Ambassador to Mexico with concurrent jurisdiction over nine other countries. END