Monday, 13 June 2016

Philippine Independence Day 2016 @ Banpo Park in Seoul!

In Cavite, the Philippines, on June 12, 1898, the Acta de la Proclamacion de Independencia del Pueblo Filipino, or the Act of the Proclamation of Independence, was read by its author Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista in an event led by Emilio Aguinaldo, the first president of the Republic of the Philippines.
       (Stumbled upon this happy bunch of Filipinos)

Today, June 12, 2016, Philippine Ambassador to South Korea, Raul Hernandez led the Filipino Community in Seoul to celebrate the 118th anniversary of the historic declaration of independence from Spain.
                   (Ambassador Raul Hernandez having 
            his photo taken during the celebration)
              (The Ambassador and Mrs. Hernandez)

The celebration, held at Banpo Park just next to the man-made floating islands, kicked off with a Holy Mass early in the morning and continued on until late afternoon with speeches, a short parade, entertainment and performances, and raffling off of fun prizes. 

The parade featured several Filipino organizations, including participants wearing Igorot costumes, Santa Cruzan gowns, as well as colorful Masskara, Ati-Atihan and Kadayawan costumes. I would have wanted my photo taken with the Masskara costumed-participants, but forgot about it with all the fun around. 

And as in any huge Filipino gathering, there were food stalls selling Filipino food and desserts; there was even a lechon stall!
                        (The popular lechon)

The Seoul Global Center and some businesses that cater to the needs of migrant workers also had their own booths.
                   (The Masskara festival costumes!)
The Banpo Park was also the venue when the same Filipino celebration was held years ago in Seoul.

Thanks to the cloudy weather, the hot summer temperatures cooled down today and sitting on the park enjoying the entertainment and Filipino food was comfortable.

But in 1898, at Cavite, the weather during that time must have been warm and humid as the declaration of independence was read and the Philippine flag was first unfurled. That day, only a handful of Filipinos witnessed the Republic's historic claim of freedom and independence. Today, in 2016, we Filipinos in South Korea join the millions of Filipinos all over the world in remembering those who fought for our freedom and keeping in mind that it should not be taken for granted.

And although we have always waved and displayed our national colors every June 12, we should not forget that the freedom that came with it was not handed to us for free; it was paid with blood and lives of those who came before us. That we should always remember not just on this day, but every moment we identify ourselves as Filipinos.
Maligayang Araw ng Kalayaan!

Happy Independence Day!

                       (A short clip of the parade)

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