Los Angeles – The Philippine Consulate General joined the Filipino community parade commemorating the 116th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence on 07 June 2013 at the Historic Filipino town, Los Angeles.
The New FACLA (Filipino American Community of Los Angeles) organizers theme for the parade is “Santa Cruz De Mayo”. The Kalayaan 2014 Parade was participated in by various Fil-Am organizations ranging from civic to youth, business service and religious groups.
A short program was held after the parade at the FACLA Center to close the day’s event. In his remarks, Consul General Leo Herrera-Lim urged the Filipino-American community to harness its untapped potential by actively participating in the political, economic and cultural streams of mainstream American society.
On the same day Consul General Leo M. Herrera-Lim attended the Philippine Independence Day Celebration held at the Veterans Park, City of Carson, on 07 June 2014. The event was organized by the City of Carson and the Philippine Independence Day Foundation, Inc. (PIDF). Local government officials of the City of Carson, including Mayor Jim Dear, Mayor Pro-Tempore Elito Santarina and City Council members, showed their support for the event and for the Filipino-Americans in Carson. The Consul General extended his greetings to the attendees as they celebrate the 116th anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine Independence. Consulate officials also took the opportunity to promote the ongoing registration for Philippine overseas voting with flyers handed out at the PIDF booth. It is one of the City’s biggest events. The park was filled with booths, including those featuring Filipino-American organizations and Filipino products like the barong. There were also food stalls featuring Filipino food like the balut.
In an interview with Asian Journal, a widely-read newspaper in the Fil-Am community, Consul General Herrera-Lim gave his views on this year’s Independence Day. When asked about the National Historical Commission of the Philippines’ 116th Independence Day theme, Pagsunod sa Yapak ng mga Dakilang Pilipino, Tungo sa Malawakan at Permanenteng Pagbabago (Following the Footsteps of Great Filipinos, Towards Widespread and Lasting Change), Consul General Herrera-Lim said that this year’s theme is “truly aspirational” for all Filipinos, whether they are in the Philippines or in other countries.
The Consul General quoted the words of Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III: “Let this commemoration of our ancestors’ heroism be not just a portion of our country’s glorious and exciting narrative. May we remain united, like our forbears more than a hundred years ago, in working for an even more robust, equitably progressive Republic. And as we move forward, let us ensure that no Filipino is left behind as we journey on the straight and righteous path.”
In the end, Philippine Independence Day is more than just a celebration of our sovereignty and culture. Consul General Herrera-Lim stressed that this is also a celebration of shared values with our host country. “Freedom, democracy, and right of self-rule are values that Filipinos share with Americans. It is essential that our communities continue to reflect these shared values and manifest our joys in harvesting the fruits of such values,” he said.
Independence Day celebrations will continue until weekend. The Consulate General will host a reception for the L.A. Consular Corps, officials of L.A. City and County, and leaders of the Fil-Am Community on 12 June 2014. Three (3) events will happen consecutively on 14 June 2014. The City of Carson will hold a wreath-laying ceremony at the Rizal Monument led by Senator Grace Poe, the City of Cerritos will organize an Independence Day program, and Kalayaan Inc. will cap the celebration with a Gala Dinner in the evening with Senator Poe as the guest of honor.
PHL Independence Day activities in Los Angeles: http://www.philippineconsulatela.org/Kalayaan.htm.