30 October 2013 - Madame Rena Cristina Koa-Malaya, M.D., wife of Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya, hosted the spouses of Ambassadors and High Commissioners based in Malaysia for a Coffee Morning session on October 23 at the Philippine Embassy's B. Vista Community Hall.

The event was highlighted by cultural performances which featured Filipino and opera songs by baritone Cipriano "Zip" de Guzman and soprano Jamie Sampana, accompanied by First Secretary and Consul Maria Antonina Mendoza-Oblena on the piano, and the Filipino band Sierra Singers.

Mr. De Guzman and Ms. Sampana also sang the Broadway song "All I Ask of You," accompanied by Ambassador Malaya on the piano, as a surprise number.

Mr. De Guzman and Ms. Sampana are lead singers in the Malaysian production of the opera "Carmen", while the Sierra Singers perform at the Thirty8 Bar of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

The guests were also treated to lumpiang shanghai, cassava cake, mamon, ensaymada, bibingka, pancit guisado, hot tsokolate drink and other Philippine delicacies prepared by Kuala Lumpur-based Filipino restaurant Merienda de Eva.

In her welcome remarks, Madame Koa-Malaya underscored the important role played by diplomatic spouses. Quoting the Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs General Carlos P. Romulo, she said, "An ambassador without a supportive spouse is like an eagle with clipped wings. He cannot soar into the blue sky."

Madame Susanne Silfverberg-Pullinen, wife of Ambassador Matti Pullinen of Finland expressed on behalf of the guests her gratitude to the hostess and the wonderful performances of the Filipino artists.

The SOHOM is an organization that brings together the spouses of the Heads of Missions whether male or female. The organization also raises funds to support charitable causes. END