Governor Perry, Deputy Governors, colleagues from both Bank Indonesia and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, good evening! Selamat malam! On behalf of the BSP delegation, allow me to welcome you to Manila for the bilateral meeting.
First, I want to express my sincere appreciation for accepting our invitation to host my first BSP-BI bilateral meeting as the BSP Governor. I understand that this is the 7th BSP-BI Bilateral Meeting since it started in Turkey in 2009, where discussions on topics of mutual interest was initiated.
Since then, the BSP and BI have regularly met to continue the valuable exchange of ideas and experiences on important issues. I treat this event, not only as an opportunity for discussion and exchange of ideas, but also a celebration of our friendship and long-standing bilateral relations.
Speaking of celebrations, the huge mural painting we saw earlier at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Lobby is entitled “Pagdiriwang” which is the Tagalog for “celebration”.
It is the work of Mr. Jose Joya, a Filipino National Artist best known for his abstract expressionist works. This work of art is the largest abstract painting in the Philippines, measuring 5 meters by 8 meters.
It was painted onsite because the canvass itself won’t fit the doorway. And I especially wanted you all to see it because it represents something both our countries have in common—grand and colorful celebrations and a love for good food.
In fact, many of our dishes have similar ingredients and taste—you have your “bakpia,” or “hopia” in the Philippines. We both enjoy our meals with rice or “nasi”. We also enjoy adding coconut milk, which you also have in your rendang dishes. We also share the tradition of eating with our hands and on banana leaves.
Let’s enjoy tonight’s spread, prepared by PICC’s exclusive caterer which boasts of a state-of-the-art central and halal kitchen.
So tonight, let’s celebrate our long-standing friendship—both personal and institutional. And as we go through the night, I hope we can be more candid and free-willing in our conversations.
That said, I wish everyone a pleasant evening and let’s enjoy the food, drinks and each other’s company!