Philippines and Romania: 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations

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June 7, 2022 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Philippines, Romania Mark 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations with Conference and Cultural Performances

On 7 June 2022, the Romanian Embassy in the Philippines and the University of the Philippines (UP) hold a conference to celebrate half a century of diplomatic relations between the Republic of the Philippines and Romania.

The conference on "Philippines and Romania: 50 years of diplomatic relations," will be broadcast live on TVUP YouTube channel between 4.00 and 6.00 pm.
In 1972, Romania was the first country in the former socialist bloc to establish diplomatic relations with the Philippines. Opening diplomatic ties across the Iron Curtain was an act of political courage and foresight on the part of the Philippines and Romania.

High-level personalities from both countries, including Philippines Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin and Romania Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu, will address the conference. The landmark anniversary celebration will also feature two special cultural performances by the UP Singing Ambassadors and the Romanian Cultural Society.

The University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors (UPSA) is a multi-awarded choral group that has earned no less than 40 grand and first prizes in 20 international choral competitions. It is one of only five Filipino choirs that attained eligibility to participate in what is known as the Olympics of choral singing, the European Grand Prix, and earned Finalist status twice. UPSA is also the first Asian choir to win the Grand Prize in the Concorso Polifonico Internazionale Guido d'Arezzo in Italy twice (in 2001 and 2018).

In a world premiere, the Romanian Cultural Society will present the beloved Filipino song “Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal” (“How much I love you”) in two interpretations: at cello, by the Director General of the Romanian Philharmonics , Marin Cazacu and, in Romanian translation, sung by the mezzo-soprano Antonela Bârnat and the baritone Valentin Vasiliu, of the Romanian National Opera, accompanied by the pianist Mădălina Pașol.

To watch the proceedings via Zoom, please register at

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Marin Cazacu, the Director General of the “George Enescu” Philharmonic Orchestra in Bucharest, cellist and professor at the National University of Music is the winner of international competitions in Geneva, Markneukirchen, Leipzig, Bologna and Belgrade.

Since 1983 he has been a concert soloist of the “George Enescu” Philharmonic and has been active in Romania, as well as throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. His name has often appeared on the posters of major festivals such as Berlin, Bratislava, Bucharest, Hong Kong, Macao, Munich, Milan, Mateus, Osaka, Singapore, Seoul, Sofia, Tokyo, Valencia and Venice.

In 2004 he was decorated with the Order of Cultural Merit in the rank of Knight. In 2006, he obtained the title of Doctor of Music with Summa Cum Laudae, and in 2017 he received the Order of the Star of Italy.

Mezzo-soprano Antonela Bârnat, a graduate of the National Faculty of Music in Bucharest, made her debut in 2006 on the stage of the National Opera in Bucharest, with the role of Rosina in the opera "The Barber of Seville" by Gioacchino Rossini.

With a particularly rich repertoire, both in opera, operetta and vocal-symphonic concerts, she is currently the soloist of the Bucharest National Opera.
Internationally, she has been invited to concerts in Bulgaria, Germany, France, Switzerland, Canada, Greece, Slovakia.

Valentin Vasiliu, baritone at the Bucharest National Opera debuted with the role of Schaunard in "La Bohème" by Giacomo Puccini at the Romanian National Opera Cluj-Napoca, in 1990, and collaborated throughout his career with the Philharmonic in Europe, USA and the Far East, as well as with Wiennerkammeroper, New York National Opera, West Palm Beach Opera, Las Vegas Opera, Carnegie Hall, Washington Opera. He was also a choirmaster and conducted a string orchestra in Las Vegas schools.

Mădălina Pașol's artistic activity has been recognized through prizes, scholarships, diplomas at national and international competitions: NaFög scholarship of the German Cultural Senate, Paul Hindemith Foundation scholarship, Berlin University of Arts scholarship, doctoral scholarship of the University of Music in Bucharest, Georg Schumann Foundation Scholarship, Feruccio Bussoni International Piano Competition, ARD International Competition - Munich, Grand Prize - Târgu Mureș International Concert Competition.

In her tours, Mădălina Pașol has performed as a soloist, or in chamber ensembles with world-renowned soloists and artists such as clarinetist Giora Feidmann in the Berlin Philharmonic, Jakov Kreizberg and the Berlin Comic Opera Orchestra, Berlin University of the Arts Orchestra. The pianist recorded and filmed, among others, for Romanian Radio and Television, Deutschland Radio, Japan Television Productions, TVR Cultural, RBB Kulturradio Germany, Radio Romania News, Radio Romania Cultural.