Vancouver, 21 June 2017 – A crowd of more than 400 gathered last June 12, 2017 for the Consular and Community Reception hosted by the Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver in commemoration of the 119th anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine Independence.
The event, held at the Coast Coal Harbor Hotel in downtown Vancouver, was attended by members of the Consular Corps of British Columbia (BC), Canadian officials at various levels of government, including members of the Vancouver Police Department, business representatives, and leaders and members of various Filipino-Canadian community associations.
BC Attorney General and Minister of Justice Andrew Wilkinson, Filipino-Canadian Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Mable Elmore, Vancouver Deputy Mayor Geoff Meggs, MLA Bruce Ralston, and Neil Reeder, former Ambassador of Canada to the Philippines, joined Consul General Neil Ferrer in leading the festivities.
In his speech, Consul General Ferrer said the commemoration of Philippine Independence is an occasion to celebrate not just the liberties Filipinos enjoy, but also their identity as a free and sovereign nation. “This is a moment as well to pay tribute to excellent relations between the Philippines and Canada, enriched and strengthened over the years by our shared values, strong people-to-people linkages, growing trade and investments, effective development cooperation and robust official exchanges,” he added.
Representing the BC government, newly-minted Minister of Justice and Attorney General Wilkinson cited the significance of Philippine National Day as an occasion to acknowledge the contributions of the growing Filipino community in BC and in Canada to the progress and development of their adoptive country.
Speaking for New Democratic Party leader John Horgan, MLA Elmore recognized the Filipino-Canadian community for effectively and productively blending with the Canadian multi-ethnic and multicultural mosaic.
For his part, Deputy Mayor Meggs presented a Proclamation from the City of Vancouver naming June 12-19, 2017, “Philippine Independence Week.” He also conveyed greetings and a message of support from Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.
A diptych (30”x80”) entitled “Sayaw sa Katawhan sa Mindanao” (Dances of the People of Mindanao) was also unveiled during the consular reception. The diptych showed the pangalay and tribal courtship dances of Mindanao’s indigenous tribes. Said artwork was donated as a gift by Mr. Bert Monterona, a Filipino-Canadian visual artist, in appreciation of the Consulate’s promotion of Filipino culture and heritage in B.C.
Some world-class musical entertainment was provided by Gerphil Flores, internationally renowned soprano classical singer, who performed Filipino folk songs, English movie themes and rock opera numbers, and the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of BC (UPAABC) Choir, which sang a medley of Filipino patriotic songs. The event saw several guests showing off their finest Filipiniana apparel. END
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