How we celebrate the Philippine Independence Day in Denmark?
The Babaylanes after decorating the stage for the Independence Day in .Group picture during the well attended Independence Day in Odense last JUne 2, 2012
Every year during the month of June Filipinos around the world gather together and celebrate the Philippine Independence Day. When I was in the Philippines we don’t really celebrate it locally but in the cities and in the capital region there are programs commemorating this special day. It is by the way a non working holiday so people go to the mall or plaza to watch the programs usually which usually starts with flag ceremony with the attendance of government officials and parade in the morning and in the afternoon there are programs consisting of different cultural show with special guests consisting of celebrities – politicians,actors, actresses and singers.
I was once asked what so interesting about and why we celebrate it? Is it just our excuse to party? My answer was it is important for us Filipinos because we were colonized more than 300 years from 1521 -1898 by Spain it is just right to commemorate our freedom every year.
Party? yes of course we love to party. It is in our culture even before the Spanish time I further explain to that danish guy that the Filipinos by nature are used to gather around and celebrate any events by singing, dancing, joking around, sharing food etc. We always want to share joy or even grief together with friends and guests. We love funfare, fiestas or festivities from month of May almost all towns have their fiesta honoring their patron Saints and to add culminating the May Flower Festival is the the Santacruzan parade. My theory is this our way to cope with the long years of oppression during the old times and the poverty in the modern times. The Filipinos also are very hospitable people always want to please the visitors and the colonizers so they always present fantastic show to entertain guests and enjoy the moment and forget about their problems. This is why we don’t get pleasure in just eating in some parties there should be entertainment, that’s why the Magic Karaoke becomes popular but that’s another story.
Group picture during the well attended Independence Day in Odense.
Just to give a little background, thePhilippine Declaration of Independence Day occurred 114 years ago on june 12, 1898 to be exact in the Philippines by General Emilio Aguinaldo who wast he first Republican President. But the declaration was short-lived as Spain ceded the Philippines to the Americans through the Treaty of Paris by accepting 20 million US dollar. The Americans did not recognize the Philippine Republic until after the world War 2 when they declared the Philippine Independence on July 4, 1946 but it was later changed by Pres. Diosdado Macapagal on August 4, 1968 through signing a new law called Republic Act No.4166I . Since then the 4th of July became FIL-AM friendship Day.
The establishement of FILCOM DENMARK
I don’t know how the Filipinos celebrate the Independence Day before I came here but during the past 10 years it just few Filipino organization who organized the event. I think 2009 they were different celebrations in Denmark in different places but not as grand as in Norway or Holland but it was limited since it is always in a 4 star Hotel.
The year 2010 the then Ambassador Elizabeth Buensuceso asked for a meeting asking the different organizations to join forces in celebrating the Independence Day and that was the year the FILCOM DK was born. The first united Independence Day in Copenhagen was a succesful event where Filipinos and Danish friends from all walks of life came, joined the parade in the streets of Copenhagen and watched the fantastic show. Unfortunately I was in the Philippines on vacation and was also amazed how they became nationalistic as most establishment display the Phi. Flag. It was later that I found out that from 28th of May to June 30 were designated as flay days. Another reason of “proud to be Pinoy attitude “was that hope and gratitude President Benigno “PNOY” Aquino won the presidential Election that year. Here is a short video of the 2010 Filcom Denmark’s Independence Day.
As I live in Denmark I became aware of my Filipino roots and I long to join the Independence Day celebration but the problem is it is always in the hotel and not all can afford to join. Whenever I see how the Filipino community in the Netherlands, London and Oslo where they do it in a big park I wonder if we can do it here in Denmark? I longed for an event without the fancy gowns, stars, important people and beauty contest and which focus away the real motive of celebrating the Independence Day. I dreamed that every guests especially 2nd generation Filipinos will learn more about the Philippines road to Freedom and become proud of their heritage .
Like our road to freedom from the colonizer, uniting the different organizations might take longer time but I believe as a Filipino even we’re donning different nationalities, we have the obligation to celebrate this special day to give thanks to our forefathers who fought and sacrifice their lives to achieve the freedom we have the privilege to enjoy right now. We don’t need any famous stars, beauty queens, world-class entertainers to come and be proud to be Filipinos. We should impart to our children our roots and our culture that makes as unique and be proud as Filipino no matter what your status. But of course I always encourage Filipinos to attend such gatherings no matter what organizations and groups they belong as it is only done once a year to. Party and disco is only a plus but the feeling of together as Filipinos is the most important especially when you are away from home, the Philippines.
Posing with Babaylan Dancers during Filcom DK Independedence Day 2011
I support FILCOM DK and salute all the active committee members cause they sacrifice their precious time to bring the Independence Day every year for 3 years to every Filipino with no entrance. I also salute the sponsors,contributors, the performers who do it for free and for our mother land. It might not be grand as the other celebrations in other parts of the world but having and event where Filipinos in Denmark old and new, residents and aupairs meet is a privilege.
I only started to join the celebration last year. The venue was not that big so it was a 2 day event but still lots of people came and watched the cultural show. I even did present the evolution of the Philippine Flag and the protocol in displaying it which is always not in the right way. The Philippine flag is unique cause it can indicate indicate if the Philippines is in state of war when the red field is displayed above the blue, or on the observer’s left when the flag is displayed vertically. We should always remember this as we display the flag during special events especially during the Independence Day celebration.
Here is an announcement from FILCOM DENMARK
INVITATION TO ATTEND THE 114TH INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATION IN COPENHAGEN
FILCOM Denmark will celebrate the Philippines 114th Independence Day in Copenhagen on
Saturday, 9 June 2012.
11:00-18:00 Fiesta 19:00-01:00 Free Disco
Skottegårdsskolen, Saltværksvej 63
We encourage Filipinos and Danes to come and join us wearing Filipino attire and bring Filipino Flag and your Filipino Spirit in remembering our 114th Independence Day as we will have a parade in the streets near the venue. Parade will start at 12.30.
There is no entrance fee but we encourage all to buy a raffle ticket for 25 dkk to win Ipad 2 with 16 GB, basket of goods, dinner for two and a lots of consolication prizes. You can buy raffle tickets at the entrance.
FILCOM DK has prepared exciting program: Parade, Film Showing, Parlor games for children, Cultural Show, singing, dancing, live band, FILCOM DK logo competition, kids game and raffle drawing.
Food court with tasty Filipino Culinary Delights,Tiangge (Dry Good stalls) and Softdrinks/Bar at reasonable prices.
DISCO! DISCO! DISCO! from KL.19
To those who watch the EURO 2012 FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
you can watch LIVE in a big screen the Football match between
DENMARK Vs. HOLLAND
FILCOM DK (Filipino Community in Denmark) was established 3 years ago with the main objective is to unite Filipinos who belong to different organizations, religous group, political parties or Filipinos from different regions in the Philippines to celebrate the Philippines Independence Day and Christmas every year. It is a Non profit Organization and everybody is welcome to join even as individual. There is no leader or chairperson in Filcom DK but all organization or individual are represented in the working committe.
Mabuhay ang FILCOM Denmark