Weekend expo draws 10,000 visitors, relief funds for typhoon victims
Manila / October 2009 ? Following the successful staging of its debut exposition in 2008, the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (GPCCI) staged its second Mabuhay Germany exhibit of products and services at the Bonifacio Highstreet last October 9 to 11, 2009. Harping on Germany and the Philippines? potential alliance in preserving the environment and harnessing clean sources of renewable energy, the chamber this year adapted the thematic approach ?Let?s Go Green!? to address the burning global issue of climate change.
In the same spirit of cooperation, the Chamber and its member-companies take an active response towards a green Philippines: ?As the world faces unprecedented environmental challenges ? coupled by the pressures of a wavering global economy ? the mitigation of the adverse effects of climate change is no longer a question, but rather, it is a responsibility that both public and private sectors must embark on.? The exposition, which drew some 10,000 visitors, was chaired by Sec. Heherson Alvarez, Presidential Adviser on Climate Change, and supported by the Miss Earth Foundation.
The Chamber also cites the recent calamities in Manila and Northern Luzon, which can be attributed in large part to climate change. The Mabuhay Germany expo, along with the recently-concluded German Ambassador?s Cup invitational golf tournament and the German National Day celebration, pledged close to Php1.0 million to Springboard Foundation for the immediate relief of Ondoy and Pepeng typhoon victims. Recently, the Philippines also received ?500 thousand (Php34 million) in official assistance from Germany.
The three-day expo was directly preceded by an environmental symposium hosted by GTZ (German Technical Cooperation). The symposium tackled renewable energies and business opportunities in climate change mitigation, as discussed by DOE Assistant Secretary Mario Marasigan and former Energy Secretary Vincent Perez.
A free public exposition
The weekend expo kicked-off with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting ceremony officiated by Sec. Alvarez, German Ambassador Christian-Ludwig Weber-Lortsch, Taguig City Vice Mayor Atty. George A. Elias, GPCCI President Klaus Schroeder and Mabuhay Germany Organizing Committee Chairman Franz Roland Odenthal. The inauguration was hosted by Ms. Philippines-Earth Sandra Seifert, the country?s Fil-German candidate to the Ms. Earth pageant to be held in Boracay in November this year.
The opening night was highlighted by a classical public performance from the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra, which was presented by Banco de Oro and CATS-Mercedes Benz. The MPO regaled the audience with German classics that include original compositions from Wagner, Bach and Haendel. Mabuhay Germany organizers crafted the exposition into a family affair with free activities for parents and children across the West Block of the Bonifacio Highstreet, highlighting a ?green? lifestyle that focuses on health, safety and sustainable living. Adding variety to the cultural experience, public events featured popular local show bands ? all under the main tent that is reminiscent of the world-famous German beer and wine festivals.
Throughout the programs, German beer and sausages as well as other favorites were available through concessionaires The German Club, Dusit Hotel, Brumm?s Wein and Jaegermeister. On afternoons, parents from the German-European School Manila (GESM) hosted a Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake), which Germans traditionally hold to enjoy the company of family and friends. A German-Eco bazaar also gave visitors the opportunity to find eco-friendly handicraft and products
A special Hänsel and Gretel house, which fairy tale traces its origin to Germany, was built in cooperation with Hobbes & Landes and which held children?s activities with different German games every afternoon. Meanwhile, automotive marquees Mercedes Benz, BMW and Audi continued to create a spectacle with their hallmark luxury cars, creating an even greater impact with their latest fuel-efficient, environment-friendly technologies..
Also on display was the Philippines? first solar-powered car, SINAG, which was developed by De La Salle University (Manila) students and which completed the gruelling 3,000-km. World Solar Challenge in Adelaide, Australia. Not to be outdone is the Solar Electric Company?s (SOLARCO) E-Jeepney, which is the country?s first bold step in shifting mass transport to a more environmentally-sustainable medium.
Finally, a traditional FruehShoppen beer brunch was held after Sunday Mass, which was hosted by the local German Catholic League. Children from the German European School Manila (GESM) sang the Three Rs song: ?Reduce, Re-use and Recycle? accompanied by a water bottle orchestra ? underlining their efforts for a greener future. Live Jazz performances by the Brass Munkeys provided a relaxing ambience for exhibit-goers and families while an Art of Garbage exhibit adorned the façade of the main tent.
Mabuhay Germany featured GPCCI member-companies, NGOs and non-profit organizations that are engaged in various local industries that include automotive and automotive technology, shipping and logistics, airline and support services, financial services, food, consumer goods, garments, and tourism.
Apart from the usual festivities of Mabuhay Germany this year, which culminated into a bigger and more colourful celebration, the GPCCI advocates awareness for environmental protection and resource conservation. Moreover, ?Let?s Go Green? aims to go beyond the three-day expo and herald a greener Philippines as well as the preservation of life itself. The success of the event underscores a return to economic vitality between both countries ? one that shall be marked by prosperity over the long term.
Mabuhay Germany is sponsored by Asian Car Makers?BMW, Banco De Oro, CATSMercedes Benz, GTZ, PGA Cars-Audi, Hobbes & Landes, SIEMENS, Sphairon, Fully Booked, TÜV Rheinland, Miss Earth Foundation and Hamburg Trading Corporation. It is held in partnership with Bonifacio Highstreet.