June 13, 2005, Markham, Ontario - The Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians (MFFC) and more than 350 guests and community members celebrated the 107th Philippine National Independence Day on Sunday, June 12, 2005 at the Town of Markham Civic Centre on Warden Ave and Highway 7 East.
Gong on strong in its 15th year, the annual event kicked off with a flag raising ceremony at 11:00 a.m. with members from the MFFC Youth Choir and Heritage Class performing the Canadian and Philippine National Anthems. On hand to help celebrate the occasion included the Consul General of the Philippines, local, provincial and federal politicians, recently crowned Miss Manila 2005 and Miss Manila 1st Runner Up, members of the Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians and residents from Markham and surrounding communities.
Following the flag raising ceremony, MFFC Youth and Heritage Class members recited the Philippine Pledge of Allegiance. Welcome remarks by Yoly Ladines, Chair, MFFC Board of Directors and greetings from dignitaries including Consul General Alejandrdo Mosquera (Philippines); Hon. John McCallum, MP-Markham; Susan Kadis, MP-Thornhill; Louie Temelovski, MP, Oakridges-Markham; Tony Wong, MPP-Markham; Frank Scarpitti, Deputy Mayor, Markham; Jack Heath, Regional Councilor; Wayne Kilinski, Superintendent, York Regional Police; with Alex Chiu, MFFC's own Honorary Chair and Councilor of Markham, Ward 8, completing the formal speeches. While lunch was being prepared, a musical dance performance was provided by the MFFC Youth Group.
True to Filipino tradition, the complimentary lunch which included Lechon (Pork Roast), fried noodles (pancit) and other familiar Filipino cuisine was provided to guests and community members who came for the celebrations. What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than having free lunch and entertainment?
After lunch, the afternoon program included cultural dance performance by the MFFC Heritage and Culture class, and MFFC Seniors group; Hawaiian dances by the Asiaticadanz group; and song performances by Randy Muere and Christine Cristobal, both of whom are members of the MFFC Youth Group. Randy and Christine have recently been short listed to compete in the Taste of Asia singing contest to be held in July 2005.
"Filipino Canadians are very much a part of the Canadian multi-cultural mosaic society. While we are proud Canadians, we also celebrate and commemorate Filipino holidays", says Lita Bruneau, Chair, Philippine Independence Day Committee.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians, many thanks to everyone who participated in the celebration. Special acknowledgement goes to the event organizers, the performers, Heritage class students, MFFC Seniors, MFFC Youth, parent volunteers and the Asiaticadanz group. Many thanks to Karen and Kristine Tan, musical directors of the MFFC Youth Group, and Mario Ladines, choreographer of the cultural and Hawaiian dances.
The Philippines officially received its independence on June 12, 1898, after over 300 years of colony by Spain.