The Filipino Day in Vaughan to commemorate the 117th Anniversary of Philippine Independence was celebrated on Sunday, June 7, 2015. The Philippine flag was officially raised at 10:00 a.m. at the Courtyard of Vaughan City Hall. Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua and Members of Council, namely, Regional Councillors Mario Ferri and Gino Rosati; Councillors Alan Shefman and Marilyn Iafrate attended the Flag Raising. Also attended the ceremony were Rosita Prospero, Consul General, Philippine Consulate; Hon. Peter Kent, P.C., Member of Parliament, Thornhill; Gila Martow, Member of Provincial Parliament, Thornhill; Miriam Ku, outreach advisor to Patrick Brown, Ontario P.C. Leader; Deb Schulte, MP Candidate for the new riding of King-Vaughan; Julius Tiongson, MP candidate for Mississauga Centre, residents and community groups.
Mayor Bevilacqua delivered greetings in behalf of the City of Vaughan, presented a memento to Consul General Prospero and a plaque on the occasion of the 117th Anniversary of Philippine Independence to the Filipino Planning Committee namely: Erlinda Insigne, pres, Filipino Canadian Association of Vaughan (FCAV); Lurvie DeBlois, director, FCAV; Carol Banez, pres, Philippine Heritage Band (PHB) ; Aurelia deLara, executive secretary, PHB; Jose Saavedra Jr., Leyteno Association of Ontario (LAQ); Marilyn Baguilod, Solid Rock Indigenous and Dave Montoya, Maple Baptist Church.
Following the Flag Raising were speeches by dignitaries followed by entertainment and lunch featuring Filipino food. Philippine Heritage Band sang the national anthems and rendered Stand Up Performance as well as Angklung Ensemble; Patriotic Song, Ang Bayan Ko was sang by soprano Yolanda Neo accompanied by Madam Eleanor Calbes Thomson, renowned Soprano; The Leytenos of Ontario performed “Tinikling” Dance; the ABACA brothers rendered music ensemble; members of Maple Baptist Church also rendered music ensemble and Solid Rock Indigenous performed cultural dance. The celebration was graced by the Miss Manila 2015, Janelle Apresto and her entourage. The Filipino Day was also attended by community groups and leaders in the community; Mabuhay Lions Club members and pres Danny Galicia; Bayanihan Athletic Association; Loo, publisher of of Filipiniana newspaper; Ramon Datol, Philippine Courier, Filipino Seniors headed by Roy Sumabat; Simon and Elsie Simangan, Filipino Accountants; Joel Recla, CHIN Radio; Irene and Brian Turner, past president Filipino nurses association; Glenn Anderson, K. Gagne Construction Co., Lito Dizon, choreographer and designer, Filipina Fiesta Dance Troupe, and residents of the City of Vaughan.
The City of Vaughan has been declaring Filipino Day in Vaughan to celebrate the Philippine Independence since 2004. This celebration is especially meaningful because the City of Vaughan is a sister city of Baguio. Vaughan is also the home almost 10000 hard-working Filipinos and a growing Filipino community.
The Filipino Day in Vaughan was successful due to the coordinated efforts of Erlinda Insigne (FCAV), Carol Banez (PHB), Auring deLara (PHB), Lurvie DeBlois (FCAV), Jose Saavedra Jr. (Leyteno Association of Ontario), Marilyn Baguilod (Solid Rock Indigenous) and Dave Montoya (Maple Baptist Church).