Philippine Independence Day 2010 Celebrations in United States Underway

Filipino-American groups across the nation kicked off the celebration of Philippine Independence this past weekend.

Thousands of Filipinos in New York and hundreds in Sacramento commemorated the 112th Philippine Independence day on Sunday and more Fil-Am’s across the nation will likewise continue the celebration this week.

Dr Jose Rizal’s statue at Avenida de Filipinas in Madrid, Spain. Photo credit:

The day’s observance inspires patriotism and reminds us the struggles of our heroes so as to free us from colonization,” said an official from the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

Philippine Independence Day is celebrated every year in the month of June. On June 12, 1898, Filipino revolutionary forces led by General Emilio Aguinaldo (who later became the Philippines’ first Republican President) proclaimed sovereignty and independence of the Philippine Islands from the colonial rule of Spain.

However, the declaration was not recognized by the United States or Spain. During that time, the Spanish government ceded the Philippines to the United States in the 1898 Treaty of Paris.

It wasn’t until the Treaty of Manila on July 4, 1946, before the US recognized Philippine independence. President Diosdado Macapagal signed Republic Act no. 4166 into law on August 4, 1964, designating June 12 (which had been previously observed as Flag Day) as the country’s Independence Day.

The Philippine Independence Day Committee (PIDC) hosts one of the largest Philippine Independence Day celebrations outside of the Philippines every year in New York.

Fil-Am groups from the Northeast gathered in New York once again for its annual parade – this year an estimated 20,000 Filipinos celebrated in grand style marching along Madison Avenue with Philippine pop stars Sarah Geronimo and Christian Bautista, last Sunday June 6.

On the same day but across the coast, Fil-Am groups in Sacramento gather to its annual Independence Day celebration called the Sacramento Filipino Festival with live music, food and cultural activities at the Jose Rizal Community Center.

And those events were just the kick off. There are plenty more Philippine Independence Day celebrations planned especially across Southern California, the home of a few hundred thousand Filipinos.

The Filipino community of the City of Glendale celebrated the 112th Anniversary of Philippine Independence on June 8, 2010 with the theme “Let’s rekindle our Filipino Spirit in the celebration of Philippine Independence.” The City Council will pass a resolution declaring the week of June 7 through June 12 as Philippine Independence Week in Glendale and will present it to the Filipino American Business Association of Glendale and the Fil-Am Kiwanis Club of Glendale in City Council.

On June 11, The Los Angeles Filipino Association of City Employees (LAFACE) are inviting members of the Filipino community to its 112th Philippines Independence Day Celebration on Friday, June 11, 2010, from 10am to 3:30pm , at the Los Angeles City Hall in downtown. LAFACE is the only Filipino-American employee organization in existence in the City of Los Angeles. Formed in 1982, the organization represents over 3,000 Filipino City employees.

The objective of LAFACE is to promote the economic, educational, social, and cultural advancement of Filipinos in the community.

On the morning of June 12, the Consulate General of the Philippines in Los Angeles will host a flag-raising ceremony and breakfast at the residence of Consul General Mary Jo Aragon located at 414 S. Muirfield Road in Los Angeles. Guests will need to wear formal attire Barong Tagalog and Filipiniana. The flag-raising ceremony starts at 9am. (Contact (213) 637-3031 or e-mail [email protected] for more information.)

Also on June 12, The Philippine Independence Day Foundation will hold their Philippine Independence Day celebration in Veterans Park in Carson. The event kicks off at 8am with a flag-raising ceremony and have performances throughout the day.

On the evening of June 12, the Southern California Filipino American community will hold its 112th Anniversary Gala Dinner Ball at the Hilton Hotel at Los Angeles Airport in Los Angeles. The theme for this years’ Kalayaan event is “Celebrating Freedom through Culture and Arts.”Filipino pop singers Mon David, Louie Reyes, Paco Arespacochaga, Miguel Vera, Angeline, and Gelo Francisco headline the dinner show. This year’s Master of Ceremonies is actress and singer Shiela Ferrari, a former Miss Philippines and actress from Miss Saigon.

Source: Asian Journal