Filipino organisation defers Independence Day festivities

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The Philippine Independence Day Celebrations Committee of the Filipino Social Club at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

A Community Development Authority in Dubai-licensed Filipino organisation has pushed back its 124th Philippine Independence Day festivities to June 25 (Saturday), in respect of the 40-day mourning period of the host government, on the passing of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The postponement of the celebration, originally scheduled on June 11 (Saturday) at the Dubai World Trade Centre, was known through the “Official Statement From The President of the Filipino Social Club (FilSoc),” addressed to Filipino Community in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

FilSoc president Ericson Reyes was interviewed regarding the May 26-dated announcement which had earlier been approved by the FilSoc Board of Directors. Short of saying they had overlooked, Reyes told Gulf Today: “We apologise to the host government. We must be respectful and mindful of the host government sensitivities.”

“The programme flow will remain the same. Only the date is changed, in respect of the passing of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa,” he added.

The announcement reads: “We received a letter from our Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Dubai advising us on the guidance they received from the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi which cited the announcement from the Ministry of Presidential Affairs on the 40 days of official mourning all over the UAE on the passing of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the need for the Philippine foreign service to be respectful and mindful of the host government sensitivities.

“The Philippine Consulate General in Dubai further advised the Filipino Community to conduct any activity with musical and entertainment, including the Philippine Independence Day, only after the 40-day mourning period. The PCG and its whole team will not be able to participate in any event before the 40-day mourning period.

The Filipino Social Club ensures its full support to our Philippine Embassy and Philippine Consulate and their ‘One Team Approach’ in the conduct of bilateral relations which is led by the Philippine Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.”

Live sessions, over Facebook, had been observed at least in the past week, in the run-up to the event that commemorates the freedom day of Filipinos from the 300-year subjugation by Spain, on June 12, 1898.

The FilSoc-organised Philippine Independence Day 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 25 festivities shall include the “Fantastic Island Parade” of Philippine festivals such as the Panagbenga of Baguio City in the Mountain Province, Northern Luzon Island; Masskara of Bacolod City in Negros Occidental, Western Visayas; Sinulog of Cebu City in Cebu Province, Central Visayas; Dinagyang of Iloilo City in Iloilo Province and Ati-Atihan in several towns of Aklan Province in Panay Island, North-Central Visayas; Pahiyas in Lucban Town of Quezon Province in Southern Luzon Island; Kadayawan of Davao City and T’nalak of South Cotabato Province in Southern Mindanao Island; and the Moriones of Marinduque Province in the Southwestern Tagalog Region. Outstanding Filipinos of “good moral standing” who are UAE residents at least in the last five years shall also be honoured through “The Gawad Pinoy Award 2022” with the following categories: The Outstanding Family of the Year, Ulirang Kasambahay (Model Household Worker), Top Ten Teachers of the Year, and the Ang Magiting na Pinoy (The Brave Filipino). The race to which Philippine school is the best comes in the form of the “Tapatan ng Eskwelahan” that shall demonstrate the unity and prowess by way of the Recycled Clothing Competition/Fashion Show, Healthy Food Art Competition, and Tagisan ng Talino (Quiz Bee). Filipino and Filipino-descent university students are given the chance to engage in the traditional Balagtasan, the Filipino verse-filled debate. Other segments are “The Search for Mutya (Miss) ng Kalayaan (Independence) 2022” beauty pageant, “Tour of the Region” video tourism contest, and the “Ang Talentadong Pinoy (The Talented Filipino): Individual & Family Edition.

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