Memphis filmfest to salute the Philippines

'Memphis the Musical' on Broadway

The Memphis in May International Festival will be honoring the Philippines in next year’s festival, announced James Holt, president and CEO of MIMIF. The festival, which attracts at least 300,000 visitors, is held annually for the past 35 years, and has paid tribute to at least 30 countries.

“The opportunity to experience the immense history and culture of this Asia archipelago country will certainly make for an educational and enjoyable Festival in May 2012,” Holt said in a statement.

As part of the activities, MIMIF will distribute a curriculum guide on the Philippines to schools in Memphis, according to a Philippine Embassy statement. It will also administer a student exchange program between the Philippines and Memphis, host exhibits about the country in several Memphis museums, and organize economic discussions.

A MIMIF statement describes the Philippines as the third largest English-speaking country in the world.

“It has a rich history combining Asian, European, and American influences. Prior to Spanish colonization in 1521, the Filipinos had a rich culture and was trading with the Chinese and other countries in the region. In 1898, the Philippines became the first and only colony of the United States. Following the Philippine-American War, the United States brought widespread education to the islands. Filipinos fought alongside Americans during World War II, particularly at the famous battle of Bataan and Corregidor which delayed the Japanese advance and saved Australia. The Philippines regained its independence in 1946.

“The Philippines stands at the crossroads of the developed western world and the Orient. It lies in the heart of Southeast Asia, stretching more than 1,140 miles. Composed of 7,107 islands, the Philippines is readily accessible to the different capitals of the world. Its three main islands are Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

“The South China Sea washes its western shores. Taiwan, China and Hong Kong are northern neighbors and further north is Japan. To the west lie Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. An arm of the archipelago reaches out towards Borneo, and at its feet stands the chain of Indonesian islands. To the east and south, the waters of the Pacific Ocean sweep its headlands, looking out towards Micronesia and Polynesia. Its unique location has made the Philippines the commercial, cultural and intellectual hub of Asia from the dawn of history.

“The Philippines, one of the few countries that avoided a recession in 2009, staged a strong recovery in 2010 as the economy grew 7.3 percent. Healthy economic growth is expected to be sustained in the medium term.

“The population is 94 million. The country is divided into 17 regions, 80 provinces, 138 cities, 1,496 municipalities and 42,026 barangays (smallest unit of government).

“Filipino and English are the two official languages, although there are more than 70 languages spoken in different parts of the country. The Philippines is a predominantly Christian country (more than 80 percent of the population) with a Muslim population (around 5 percent).”

Calvin Anderson, chairman of the 2012 festival, will lead a delegation trip to the Philippines in March. The month-long MIMIF also hosts the following events:

• Beale Street Music Festival, May 4 – 6
• International Week Salute to the Philippines, May 7-12
• World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, May 17-19, and
• Sunset Symphony May 26

For more information call 901-525-4611 or visit memphisinmay.org.



2 Comments

  1. Barge wrote:

    I love your site and your style of writing!

  2. Archie wrote:

    Good blog, lots of useful facts.

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