Festive beginning for Philippine Independence Day Celebrations
26 Jun 2017 - 9:27
By Raynald C Rivera | The Peninsula
A festive mood infused with patriotic fervour prevailed among hundreds of Filipinos who flocked the opening of the Philippine Independence Day Celebrations (PIDC) yesterday at City Centre Rotana Doha.
Among the attendees were members of more than 40 community organisations under the umbrella of United Filipino Organisations in Qatar (UFOQ) who joined the parade witnessed by Philippine Ambassador Alan L Timbayan, Labour Attaché David Des Dicang, UFOQ Chairman Ressie Fos, embassy officials and guests.
Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Timbayan urged his compatriots to continue to live with pride and dignity worthy of the heroism of their ancestors in their quest for freedom and democracy.
Reflecting on the theme of this year’s celebrations “Pagbabagong Sama-Samang Balikatin” (Change that We Should Work on Together), the ambassador underlined President Rodrigo Duterte’s “commitment to uplift the life and dignity of Filipinos by implementing reforms that will ensure the safety of the public and improve public services.”
“I wish to invite Filipinos in Qatar to support our government in its quest to fight corruption and to dispel polarity and misinformation,” said Timbayan, who is marking his first Independence Day celebration in Qatar.
The ambassador stressed: “There can be no moving forward for our country and its people if will perpetuate the culture of entitlement for a select few. Progress should be shared across all sectors of society and basic services should be afforded to the marginalised sectors.”
The ambassador exhorted Filipinos to contribute to the Philippines’ growth by doing well in their respective fields concluding his speech with a call for a united Filipino community in Qatar.
The opening day was filled with various performances by several organisations and talented Filipino artistes including dance troupes, vocal groups and music bands. ‘Financial literacy”, How to start a blog” and “Basic Gan Soo Doo’ were among the free lectures and workshops conducted on the sidelines of the event yesterday.
Visitors also enjoyed a wide array of authentic Filipino cuisine available at the venue which also features exhibitors offering non-food items.
This year’s Philippine Independence Day Celebrations has a number of fresh features including Philippine festival parade and search for ‘Lakan at Lakambini ng Kalayaan 2017’ which will both start today, winners of which will be revealed at the conclusion of the celebrations tomorrow.
The inaugural Alliance of Filipino Journalists in Qatar (AFJQ) ‘Gawad Parangal para sa Natatanging Overseas Pinoy’, which seeks to recognise outstanding Filipinos in Qatar will also highlight tomorrow’s concluding event.