The Philippine Center is a building that houses the Consulate-General of the Republic of the Philippines in New York City, USA. It is located at 556 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, three blocks south of Rockefeller Plaza and north of the New York Public Library. The Philippine Center has since its early days been a venue for the Filipino-American community as well as hosting business meetings, forums, receptions and weekly art exhibits featuring Filipino art.
The Philippine Center was established by Presidential Decree No. 188 on May 10, 1973. It was purchased by the Philippine Government from the Knights of Columbus on October 29, 1973 at the cost of $2,250,000.00, with an additional $1,500,000.00 to buy out an existing lease on the building.
The building's legal owner is the Republic of the Philippines; offices of its national government housed within regularly began paying rentals to the Philippine Center in 1993, including nominal fees for the use of its function rooms.
The Philippine Center has seven floors, with the Kalayaan Hall (Freedom Hall) which is the main reception hall. It also houses a hall annexe, an art exhibit area at the first floor lobby, and a library at the second floor. The upper floors are rented by offices belonging to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines.
The Philippine Center was created to:
- free up the old townhouse premises of the Philippine Consulate and Mission to the UN on East 66th Street so that then First Lady Imelda R. Marcos could buy the townhouse in a "closed sale;" and she could have her own prime Manhattan Upper Eastside residence at a privileged/insider price (i.e., it did not go to open bidding on the market).
- consolidate, integrate and coordinate all activities in the New York area for all Philippine Government offices and agencies
- nurture, promote and propagate Philippine culture
- encourage foreign tourists to visit the Philippines
- expand foreign markets of Philippine products
- enhance the image of the Philippines
- house within its premises all the offices and agencies in New York of the Philippine Government
Philippine Government offices
The following government offices are housed in the New York Philippine Center:
- The Philippine Consulate General in New York
- The Philippine Mission to the United Nations
- The Special Trade Representative
- The Tourism Attache
- The Commission on Audit (International Audit Division)
From June 3-15, 2007, the Philippine Consulate-General and the Philippine Center Management Board exhibited the building's art collection for the first time in its 34 years of existence. The collection includes works by National Artists such as Hernando R. Ocampo, Vicente Manansala, Cesar Legaspi, Arturo Luz, Ang Kiukok and Jose Joya.
The works of Manuel Rodriquez, the Father of Philippine Printmaking, Venancio C. Igarta, Hugo C. Yonzon II, Malang, Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, Angelito Antonio, Norma Belleza, Eduardo Castrillo and Juvenal Sanso were also displayed. The art collecting project of the New York Philippine Center begun since its opening on November 14, 1974. Some art masterpieces were donated by the artists themselves. The public exhibit was officially presented as Pamana: Modernong Sining (A Heritage of Modern Art), to celebrate the 109th anniversary of the Philippine Declaration of Independence.
- Embassy of the Philippines, Washington, D.C.
- Foreign Relations of the Philippines
- Chapel of San Lorenzo Ruiz
- Philippine Independence Day Parade
- New York Filipino Film Festival
- Overseas Filipino
- Philippine Declaration of Independence
- Philippine National Bank
- Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company
- Lauro L. Baja, Jr.
- Rafael M. Salas
- Balikbayan box
- "Visit of Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to Participate in the 2005 World Summit - High Level plenary session of the 60th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, United States of America, 12-15 September, 2005", Press Kit, Office of the President, Government Mass Media Group, Bureau of Communications Services, Manila, September, 2005.
- Endaya, Imelda Cajipe (artist and independent curator) and Cecilia B. Rebong (Philippine Consul-General). "Pamana: Modernong Sining" (A Heritage of Modern Art), An Art Exhibit from the Collection of the Philippine Center in New York, Printed Catalogue, The Consulate General of the Philippines, Philippine Center Management Board, and PCGNY.net, June 11, 2007
- Consulate General of the Philippines, New York, PCGNY.net, retrieved on: 12 June 2007
- Philippine Tourism Office, New York, PhilippineTourism.us, retrieved on: 12 June 2007
- Philippine National Bank, New York Branch, Netcom.com, retrieved on: 12 June 2007
- Philippine American Chamber of Commerce, New York, PhilChamber.org, retrieved on: 12 June 2007
- Philippine Center, San Francisco, California, PhilippineCenterSF.com, retrieved on: 12 June 2007