By Victoria A. Torres
Despite the clouds and cool temperatures, the Markham Civic Centre was warm with colours and an overwhelming sense of Philippine national pride as the Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians (MFFC) celebrated Philippine Independence Day on Sunday, June 4, 2017. The singing of O Canada by the Youth Performing Arts Group (YPAG) and Lupang Hinirang by the Seniors’ Choir was accompanied by the raising of the flags. Though Mayor Frank Scarpitti was unavailable due to an appointment in Ottawa, speeches from officials such as Member of Parliament Michael Chan, Markham Councilor Alex Chiu, and many others graced the crowd.
Following the flag-raising ceremony and speeches, the celebration moved to the MFFC Centre at 1151 Denison Street in Markham for an afternoon of food and music. The Youth Performing Arts Group and the Seniors’ Choir were among the performers for the afternoon, along with many other group and individual songs and dances, ranging from traditional Filipino songs to current Top 40 hits.
On why the annual Philippine Independence Day Celebration is such an important performance, youth performer Nina Sealtiel says, “We get to show diversity in Markham through fun and cultural performances. It shows the great talent that Filipinos have and we can also share some Filipino food with people who haven’t tried it before. PIDC allows us to celebrate our culture without having to be in the Philippines.”
Philippine Independence Day also marks the beginning of the Youth Performing Arts Group’s summer programme, including performances at Taste of Asia on Sunday June 25th at 2:30pm, Milne Dam Park on Canada Day, the Mississauga Philippine Festival on Sunday July 9 at 4pm, and the Mabuhay Festival on Sunday August 27th at Nathan Phillips Square. Each of these summer performances will surely build up excitement in the performers and audience alike, leading up to the MFFC’s Taste of Broadway: Remastered, set for October 7th and 8th at the Flato Markham Theatre
In the morning, the Youth Performing Arts Group preparing to sing O Canada at the Markham Civic Centre.
The MFFC Seniors’ Group during the morning programme at the Markham Civic Centre.
The Seniors’ Group’s dance performance during the afternoon programme at the MFFC Centre.
The MFFC Youth Performing Arts Group providing a taste of a Taste of Broadway
during the afternoon programme at the MFFC Centre.
A full house at the MFFC Centre during the afternoon programme.