From the Newsroom

Traditional Filipino dancers dazzled the crowd. Image: Emma Pritchard

126 years of Independence a colourful sight to behold

Emma Pritchard

More than 200 guests joined members of the Clarence Valley Filipino-Australian Community Club Inc at the South Grafton High School auditorium on June 22 as they celebrated the 126th anniversary of Philippine Independence Day.

An annual gathering which commemorates the declaration of Philippine independence from Spain in 1898, families and friends came together in a united show of love, unity, and cultural pride.

“This is a memorable occasion,” said Nancy Crook, President of the Clarence Valley Filipino-Australian Community Club Inc.

“Not only for Filipinos in the Philippines, but for all Filipinos all around the world.”

As she graciously acknowledged participants, including Clarence Valley Council (CVC) Mayor Peter Johnstone, Councillor Karen Toms, Councillor Debrah Novak, and Councillor Allison Whaites, along with visiting members of Filipino-Australian communities from Armidale, Glen Innes, and Coffs Harbour, Ms Crook spoke of the importance of the celebration and the history associated with the event.

After being part of the Spanish colony for over 300 years, Filipino revolutionaries surrounded the capital city of Manila after the Americans had earlier defeated the Spanish fleet, with leader Emilio Aguinaldo declaring the Philippines as independent.

Today, Philippine Independence Day is celebrated with plenty of colourful enthusiasm.

As traditional music and cultural performances including the Muslim Dance and Dayang-Dayang, along with the beautiful vocal range of Mary Moore delighted the audience throughout the day, guests were also invited to enjoy a variety of Filipino dishes and desserts.

Members of the Clarence Valley Filipino-Australian Community Club Inc said they were very happy and proud to welcome so many visitors to the 126th anniversary of Philippine Independence Day, with many receiving heartfelt compliments for their colourful costumes.

The celebrations concluded with a special cake cutting ceremony in honour of the event.