“Proudly Filipino!” Pinoy pride has never been so gratifyingly embraced as today, thanks to the Apec summit as well as the multiple celebrations of different Filipino brands.
Nationalism radiated at the launch of Swatch’s “Ode to the Flag” watch. There is no doubt that the Swiss brand’s ties to Philippine culture have grown stronger with the efforts of Swatch Philippines’ queen, Virgie Ramos. Swatch instills a sense of national pride in all of us with this launch, the second timepiece designed by National Artist BenCab.
For one night, luminaries converged at the Swatch & Swatch Building in Makati and were transported back to the early 20th century when European culture had its strongest influence in the country.
Guests sported their Pinoy couture and dined on a selection of Parisian-inspired dishes. Dinner was served on long banquet tables with paintings of the Philippine flag and text from the Panatang Makabayan cascading down from them.
The lanterns hovering above were decked out in BenCab’s “Larawan” series and “Ode to the Flag” artwork. The servers wore recreated serpentina skirts from the 1900s, and there were guards in traditional rayadillo uniform cut from blue-and-white striped cotton fabric.
Love of country through music
Maestro Ryan Cayabyab took the guests on a journey through Philippine history, serenading them with songs from different decades, reminding them that music is an important gesture of showing love for the country. Mark Bautista, Sheila Valderrama-Martinez, and “Rak of Aegis” stars Aicelle Santos and Jerald Napoles warmed our hearts with their powerful singing.
Historian Ambeth Ocampo noted in his speech that wearing the flag on our wrist is not only a sign of nationalism but a reminder of “what Filipinos should be.”
The “Ode to the Flag” Swatch is a representation of the country’s fight for freedom, as well as the continuous struggle for equality, courage and peace. BenCab has featured the flag in many of his artworks, but never this way.
The program was capped with the guests on their feet, hands close to their hearts, as they sang along to the national anthem.
Check out the “Ode to the Flag” Swatch at all Swatch shops.