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Posing for a group picture during the welcome reception tendered by Memphis in May Festival executives for Philippine dignitaries at the Brooks Museum of Art are (l-r) MIM President James Holt, Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, Ambassador Jose Cuisia, Memphis City Mayor AC Wharton, and 2012 MIM Chairman of the Board Calvin Anderson.

09 MAY 2012, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE. A welcome reception was tendered yesterday by executives of the Memphis in May International Festival, led by its President and CEO, James Holt, and 2012 Chairman of the Board, Calvin Anderson, for members of the Philippine delegation, headed by Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr.

On behalf of the MIM Board, Mr. Anderson officially welcomed to the city of Memphis the Philippine dignitaries, who also included the Ambassador’s wife, Mrs. Vicky Cuisia, Consul General Mary Jo Bernardo Aragon of the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles, Consul General Mario de Leon of the Philippine Consulate General in New York, National Competitiveness Council Co-Chair Guillermo Luz, Bank of the Philippine Islands President Aurelio Montinola III, and Architect Augusto Villalon.  Reflecting on their experience working with the Philippines as the country of honor, Mr. Anderson cited Ambassador Cuisia’s extraordinary assistance in ensuring a successful festival.

Also in attendance were Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Memphis City Mayor AC Wharton.  Mayor Luttrell said the Festival builds bridges between Memphis and countries like the Philippines.  Mayor Wharton, for his part, expressed confidence that the warmth of the Filipino people would be reflected in the various activities where the Philippines is featured.  Members of the Filipino American community of Tennessee were also present.

Ambassador Cuisia thanked the members of the MIM Board for the opportunity to showcase the rich and diverse culture of the Philippines.  He said, “the Festival would be representative of everything that my country is about” with displays featuring important aspects of Philippine history and democracy, gastronomic creations, dance and musical performances, the best of Philippine cinema, and various fora that will present business and economic opportunities in the Philippines.

The reception was held at the Brooks Museum of Art, which had on display Philippine textiles from the Museo Ilocos Norte.  Called “Floating Warps and Guiding Heddles,” the exhibit features the traditional form of weaving from the northern provinces of the Philippines.  Long famous for their fine cotton textiles, the fragile weavings are remarkable for their rich coloring and bold designs and are an important part of Philippine cultural heritage.  (END)