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Philippine Independence Day celebrated amid calls for continued unity

10 June 2019

By The SUN

Unity was the theme of today’s (Jun 9) celebration of the 121st anniversary of Philippine Independence Day on Chater Road in Central, where about 1,000 Filipinos took part, notwithstanding the intermittent rain and the searing noontime heat.

Consul General Antonio A. Morales opened the “Kapangyawan” festivities by thanking all those who took part in the recently-concluded overseas voting for the Philippine mid-term election, saying they showed Hong Kong that the Filipino community here is united.

Consul General Antonio A. Morales

“Bagamat sabi nila na sa (panahon) ng halalan ay nagkakahiwalay ang mga Pilipino, hindi po, sa aking palagay, noong nakaraang halalan ay nagkasama-sama at nagkaisa ang ating mga kababayan…

“Mayroong pagkakaiba ang paniniwala, ayos lang. Pero pinakita ninyo na kayo ay may pakialam, pagmamahal at pagmamalasakit sa ating bansa,” said Congen.

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Earlier, Fr Jay Flandez, Catholic chaplain for Filipinos, ended the interfaith prayer and holy mass that kickstarted the celebration also with a call for unity.

“Sana we remain united sa ating pagmamahal sa Diyos at sa bayan,” he said.

In his speech, Congen Morales also pointed out the importance of Hong Kong in the Filipinos’ struggle for independence, noting in particular that the national hero, Dr Jose P. Rizal, lived here in 1888,  and that the first Filipino flag was sewn here.
He described Rizal as “parang ang unang OFW” in his speech before a crowd dominated by Filipino migrant workers wearing the bright, colorful costumes of their home provinces.

Congen and other Consulate officials, along with hundreds of performers, waited about an hour under the sun on one end of Chater Road as workers rushed to set up the stage at the other end.

Then, just as the parade started, heavy rains fell, sending many participants running for shelter.
But since the Consulate officials decided to march on despite getting drenched, everyone went back in line, and the celebrations began in earnest.

After Congen’s speech, members of various Filipino community organizations wearing colorful, mostly intricate costumes, performed street dances on Chater Road, unmindful of the rain that soaked most of them.

Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, crowd, shoes and outdoor
Mass dancing.

Providing a special feature to the celebration was the Hong Kong Police Marching Band, which paraded back and forth on the venue before rendering a few on pieces onstage to the delight of the crowd.   

The highlight of the day’s celebration was the “Kulay Pinoy” spectacle, where a seamless program of cultural dances and drama was played out on stage, before hundreds of performers converged on the road for a high-energy street dance depicting Philippine music and dance through several decades.

In the afternoon, celebrity artists from the Philippines Aicelle Santos and Jason Fernandez  held the crowd spellbound with their singing, and provided further entertainment by asking some members of the audience to sing with them.

Also a hit was OFW Joy Carbonell, whose outstanding vocal prowess was first discovered in a community singing contest.

Kapangyawan Festival was organized by the Consulate and the Philippine Association of Hong Kong in partnership with Filcom organizations led by Global Alliance, Philippine Alliance and Federation of Luzon Active Groups.


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