May 27, 2007, Markham Ontario - The Town of Markham has declared the week from June 10 to 16, 2007 as Philippine Independence Week and the local Filipino community will again use the occasion to invite everybody to share in the showcasing of its talents and culture. With the Anniversary of Philippine Independence Day (June 12th) falling on a Tuesday, the opening festivities will be celebrated ahead by two days on Sunday, or the beginning of the week on June 10th, according to the Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians, sponsor of the festivities. On opening day the Filipino flag will be accorded its traditional special honors. At 11:00 a.m. in front at the Markham Civic Centre (Warden Ave. and Hwy 7), it will be raised ahead of the host Ontario and Canadian banners, and will remain aloft for the duration of Philippine Week. A short program of speeches outdoors by guest dignitaries- among them Consul General Alejandro Mosquera, Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti and elected officials, touching on the symbolism and significance of honoring the flag and the Filipino community it represents, will immediately follow. Then the crowd will proceed indoors to the Markham Civic Centre Great Hall for the formal opening of what is billed as the gem event of the week. Simply titled as "Art Exhibition- Showcasing the Talents of Markham Filipino Artists," the show is a proud collaboration of five local visual artists- Glenn Bernabe, Frank Cruzet, Dino Diaz, Eugene Paunil, and Liezel Santos- who have been working on their artpieces for months. The exhibit will stay open free to the public for the whole week until closing time of 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 16th. A community picnic lunch featuring Filipino food specialties and delicacies, courtesy of MFFC and friends, will then be served for everybody in the Freedom Park outdoors. Finally, the crowd will be treated to a special and entertaining cultural variety program of songs and Filipino folk dances, including performances by the MFFC seniors and youth groups at the Open Auditorium next door. Since its founding in 1989 the MFFC has blazed the trail in the observance of Philippine Independence Day in Canada. Blessed with a unified community of kababayans, it showed the way by initiating the flag-raising rite, by sharing unselfishly its culture and heritage with other fellow Canadians (particularly its food, visual arts, native dances and goodwill as above), and by culminating its big community projects during this important day. It was to celebrate Independence Day that MFFC inaugurated its Rizal Hall and Community Center in 1994 (the first to be fully paid in Canada), and the Rizal Avenue in Markham in 1994 (the first and still the only street named in honor of the Filipino Hero in Canada), among others. Markham remains to be the only political unit in Canada that still celebrates Philippine Independence for the whole week. Markham Filipinos also still hold the unique distinction of having two kababayan elected Officials- Councilor Alex Chiu and Catholic Trustee Marlene Mogado. For all its accumulated achievements, MFFC was honored with the 2006 Philippine Presidential Banaag Award last December. For more info please call Yoly Ladines at 905 284 6191, or Marian Cusi at 905 472 0887, or Minda Reyes at 905 470 2341.