More than two thousand Filipinos and foreign guests thronged the Philippine Embassy in Thailand to celebrate the 118th Anniversary of Philippine Independence on June 12, 2016 from 7:30 am until 8:00 pm. Bangkok’s Sukhumvit 30/1 witnessed the gathering of hardworking Filipinos from all walks of life commemorating their freedom.
Her Excellency Ambassador Mary Joy Bernardo Aragon welcomed the Filipino community and other nationalities. She also thanked everyone for supporting the event in a welcome address she delivered after the mass.
Messages from government officials in the Philippines were also read by Deputy Chief of Mission and Consul General Mary Anne Padua and Vice Consuls Anna Marie Santo and Jay Francis Alcantara consecutively.
A flag ceremony led by embassy officials took place in the morning followed by a mass officiated by Frs. Vic Pacheco and Gery delos Reyes. The Bangkok Adventist Hospital Choir led the singing of the Philippine National Anthem.
The afternoon program was highlighted with games, singing renditions, cultural performances and raffle draws. It was officially opened by breaking the “palayok” on stage by Ambassador Aragon together with organizers, community leaders and performers.
Meanwhile, Filipiniana Lecture & Exhibit on Philippine weave and textile and filigree jewelry was also presented by Ms. Cora DJ Manimbo, Ms. Sophia Therese Manimbo and Mr. Oskar A. Atendido at the Embassy Conference Room at 1:45 pm during the Barrio Fiesta event.
Western Union and CIMB Thai Bank also actively participated in the event. Western Union invited Filipino actor comedian DJ Jairo who brought the house down with his punchlines and funny quips.
Different prizes were also given away such as round tickets from Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines, St Roberts Group of Companies gave away cash prizes amounting to 10,000 Baht, t-shirts and Baiyoke dinner vouchers, and more donations from companies and individual sponsors.
Dubbed as Barrio Fiesta, the annual celebration commemorating the country’s independence was organized by Filipino Community Organizing Committee (FCOC).
FCOC is composed of Association of Filipinos in Thailand (AFT), Association of the Miraculous Medal (AMM), Philippine-Thai Business Club (PTBC), Tau Gamma Phi/Sigma-Thailand Council (TGP), United Filipinos in Thailand (UFT), Virgin of Peñafrancia Association (VOPA) and other volunteers.
This year’s program was prepared by Mr Ramoncito Bucud and Ms Luningning Tayo who served as program coordinators.