On this day in 1953, the Kingdom of Cambodia (formerly Kampuchea) gained its independence and sovereignty from France. The day traditionally features speeches from key political leaders, parades, and a symbolic releasing of white pigeons and balloons before a cheering crowd of citizens and visitors. Families take advantage of the holiday to hold reunions and gatherings.
Cambodia is in Southeast Asia nestled on the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula. It shares land borders with Vietnam on the east, Laos on the northeast, and Thailand on the west-northwest. The Gulf of Thailand is on the southwest.
Its capital and most populous city is Phnom Penh, which serves as the hub of economic and industrial activities, and the center of security, political, and cultural activities. Cambodia has several interesting sites to see. These include the Angkor Wat, which is the largest and most prominent among its thousands of temples or “prasats”; and the Preah Barum Reachea Veang Chaktomuk Serei Mongkol or Royal Palace which is a complex of buildings that serves as the royal residence of the king of Cambodia.
The Philippines and Cambodia have had diplomatic relations since 1957. Cambodia has an embassy in the City of Makati, while the Philippines has an embassy in Phnom Penh. This year marks the 60th year of Philippines-Cambodia relations. As part of its series of commemorative activities for this milestone celebration, the Philippine Embassy in Cambodia launched a photo exhibition entitled “Parallel Lives” at the Chaktomuk Exhibition Center in Phnom Penh on October 10, 2017. The exhibition showcases the lives of ordinary Cambodians and Filipinos from various walks of life, showing the many similarities and differences between the two peoples. An August 2017 article in the Khmer times described Philippines-Cambodian relations in more recent years as not only having “deepened but has steadily transformed into a people-centered relationship.” Bilateral ties between the two countries were further enhanced with the signing of four cooperation pacts in the areas of labor, sports, combating transnational crimes, and tourism during the state visit of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to Cambodia in December, 2016.
We greet the people and government of the Kingdom of Cambodia led by King Norodom Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen, on the occasion of its 64th Independence Day.
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