Blog‎ > ‎

Sakai ASEAN Week (Slice of Mango, Slice of Life January 2014)

posted Jan 26, 2014, 2:27 AM by Daloy Kayumanggi
Sakai ASEAN Week
by: Aries Lucea

Madaming bansa ang nagbuo ng economic alliances and interational co-operation based on perceived economic advantages na tulad ng European Union EU or commonality of cultural heritage and common interests tulad ng UNASUR or Union of South America Nations, or coming out as newly advanced economic powers like the BRIC countries na kinabibilangan ng Brazil, Russia, India and China, which recently added South Africa as new member.

Ngayon higit kailanman, dapat paigtingin ng ASEAN or Association of South East Asian Nation and samahang sinimulan pa ng mga bansang kasali dito noong 1967. Kumpara sa mga alyansang ngayon pa lang sumisibol matagal ng nailunsad ang ASEAN. Sa panahon ng emerging power ng Tsina and show of might among its Asian neighbors, malaki ang pangamba sa pagiging agresibo nito in claiming territorial rights inside South East Asian territorial waters. ASEAN should have a unified policy to address this issue. Nandyan pa ang internal conflicts na naganap sa mga miyembrong bansa nito na tumawag pansin sa international community, tulad na lamang ng madugong aksyon ng military junta ng Myanmar sa mga Buddhist monks na nag-protesta laban sa kanila. Umani ng batikos ang ASEAN sa non-interference stand nito sa mga kaalyadong bansa kahit na may pangyayaring talamak na paglabag sa human rights.

Now more than ever strengthening of ties among ASEAN members are of paramount importance. Marahil maraming pang hadlang para marating ng alayansang ito ang magkaroon ng unified stand sa mga issue na kanilang kinahaharap and to go beyond MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding) na kulang sa ipin at implementasyon. Umaasa tayong mga members ng ASEAN na sa darating na panahon maituturing ang samahang ito na force to reckon with. At this time one of its aim which focuses on cultural co-operation and pride in our South East Asian heritage is better than nothing. Kaya naman I’m a staunch supporter of anything ASEAN.

 Sakai is a place in Osaka I feel is very welcoming to its South East Asian neighbors. The Sakai-ASEAN Week is an annual festival that is among the most popular in this city. I attended the culminating event last November 10, despite the gloomy weather, and it was worth it.
Paglabas pa lamang sa train station ay humahalimuyak na ang amoy ng nam pla or patis sa Tagalog. Busog na busog ako sa pagkain ng iba’t ibang dishes from participating countries. Pho from Vietnam, grilled chicken from Thailand, nasi goreng from Indonesia at ang masrap na kaldereta ni Ate with extra rice sa Filipino kiosk. 

Visual treat naman ang dulot ng cultural presentations from different countries with emphasis on traditional dances. Napanood ko din ang magandang performance ng isang elementary brass brand na gumamit pa ng musical instrument indigenous to a South East Asian nation. Sa mga toursism booths naman makikita talaga ang angking kagandahan ng South East Asia.

Come and visit South East Asia to experience the richness of our culture, taste the distinct flavors of our cuisine and be enthralled by the sights and sounds of our remarkable region.
Comments