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Bright Sunday brings out all the action in Kapangyawan festival

26 June 2019

By The SUN
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It was dance, dance, dance, throughout the day on Chater Road on Jun 23 (photos by Edmund Cortes)

Sunny weather and a dance-filled day turned Jun 23, supposedly the third Sunday of the month-long Kapangyawan 2019, into the most packed chapter of the month-long celebration in Hong Kong of the 121st anniversary of Philippine Independence.

Several activities originally scheduled for two Sundays on Chater Road, Central were compressed into one because the festivities set for Jun 16 had to be cancelled amid fears of a spillover from the massive anti-government protests held in nearby Admiralty.

Leo Selomenio, chair of Global Alliance, said the organizers decided at the last minute to cancel the Jun 16 celebration because of security fears, and also because many of the participants had been told by their employers to either stay put, or avoid Central.
But the day’s activities on Jun 23 began far from Central, with the OFW Amazing Race flagged off at 9am at two points – one at Belchers in Kennedy Town and the other at Central Library in Causeway Bay.

Eight teams each made up of five members split into two groups and carried out assigned tasks along the two routes as they vied to finish the race in the shortest possible time at the Botanical Garden and Hong Kong Park in Mid-Levels, respectively.

The split route was reportedly designed to avoid Admiralty just in case anti-extradition bill marchers would clog Queens Road.
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Community zumba dancing set the tone for the day

Over on Chater Road, an hour-long community zumba dance festival got under way with eight instructors leading the mass dancing.

After the warm-up, the community parade began with the national flag bearer leading the MinFed Drum & Lyre band, the Kapangyawan Technical Working Group, and various Filcom groups taking part in a choreographed, colorful march on Chater Road.

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Masked dancers from Negros joined the parade
A flag ceremony began at 11am with Consul General Antonio Morales taking the lead. In his opening speech, he again called for unity among Filipinos in Hong Kong, amid the continuing anti-extradition bill protests.
All participating Filcom groups performed their production numbers after the ceremony, followed by three dance competitions in zumba, modern, and cheer dancing.

Zumba Feels was adjudged the champion with a top rating of 85% in the Hataw Sayaw Zumba Craze competition. It bested first runnerup Zumba Migrants HK at 83.66% and second runnerup Kayumanggi Dance & Fitness, 83%.

In the Modern Dance competition, Federation of Luzon Active Groups, or FLAG, emerged as champion with 95.75%, far ahead of first runnerup Supremacy Dance Group at 57.50% and second runnerup OFW Power Club at 34%.
FLAG asserted its dancing prowess by topping the Cheer Dance competition with a 94.25% rating. Isabela Federation followed at 86.5% and Global Alliance HK at 75.75%.

FLAG completed a hat-trick when it was announced as the champion in the OFW Amazing Race by finishing the race in 2 hours 31 minutes, more than an hour ahead of first runnerup IFWA from Philippine Alliance, which clocked 3 hrs 35 minutes. DOMO Hong Kong was second runnerup at 4hrs 6 min.

Climaxing the festivities was a live band concert courtesy of  Hong Kong Musicians Union, whose chair Manuela Lo invited J4JO, Humblers Band, Rockin' Chicken and HKMU Assembly to rock the community from 4:15 to 6pm.
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ConGen Morales and Bella Foundation reps with blown-up image of cheque to Bethune House 

Ahead of the live band music and dancing, a new foundation called Bella Filipina handed out donations of $75,000 each to HKMU and charitable groups Bethune House Migrant Women’s Refuge and Wimler Foundation.

On the last Sunday of the month, Jun 30, the traditional Kalayaan Ball, attended mostly by migrant Filipinos dressed in colorful native attires, will be held at One Palace in Tsimshatsui. The Consulate will also hand out certificates of appreciation to participants and organizers during the program.

Selomenio says more than 300 Filipino migrant workers have already signed up to attend  the annual gathering.
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