The Filipino Day in Vaughan to commemorate the 120th Anniversary of Philippine Independence was celebrated on Sunday, June 10, 2018. The Philippine flag was officially raised at 10:15 a.m. at the Courtyard of Vaughan City Hall. Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua and Members of Council: Deputy Mayor Mario Ferri, Regional Councillors Gino Rosati and Sunder Singh; Councillors Marilyn Iafrate, Rosanna DeFrancesca, Sandra Racco and Alan Shefman attended the Flag Raising. Also attended the ceremony were Bernadette Fernandez, Deputy Consul General, Philippine Consulate; Hon. Peter Kent, P.C., MP for Thornhill; Deb Schulte, MP for King-Vaughan; Francesco Sorbara, MP Vaughan-Woodbridge; Michael Tibollo, MPP for Vaughan-Woodbridge; Stephen Lecce, MPP for King-Vaughan; residents and members of the community
Mayor Bevilacqua acknowledged the contributions of Filipinos in the City of Vaughan and awarded a plaque to the Planning Committee on the occasion of the 120th Anniversary of Philippine Independence.
Deputy Consul General Fernandez delivered an inspiring message stating that June was declared Filipino month at Toronto Council as well as the Toronto School Board. In his message, Hon. Kent, noted that the Philippine flag is being raised at Parliament Hill which started by the late Senator Enverga. MPs Deb Schulte emphasized that with the changes of immigration, her office assisted a lot of Filipinos applying for permanent status. MP Francesco Sorbara pointed out Filipinos are everywhere citing that in British Columbia where he grew up, this is a Filipino association who was founded in 1973. Both MPPs elect Michael Tibollo and Stephen Lecce reiterated their support to the Filipino Canadian Association of Vaughan particularly the need to raise funds to fix the roof of Patricia Kemp Community so that the more than 12000 Filipinos in Vaughan can continue to avail its use to promote their culture among others. We would like to acknowledge Frank Miele, honorary member and adviser of FCAV, for his tremendous support. Likewise, we thank Gary Gladstone, Liberal MP Candidate, for attending.
Following the speeches by dignitaries were entertainment and lunch featuring Filipino food. Philippine Heritage Band sang Lupang Hinirang and O Canada followed by Stand Up Performance; The Paschal Strings played instrumental Music entitled “We Say Mabuhay” and “Kay Ganda ang Ating Musika”; The Fairhavens Filipino Adventist Church performed Angklung Ensemble entitled “ Tinikling” and “ Battle Hymn of the Republic; and the Solid Rock Indigenous performed cultural dance which were later joined by Hon. Peter Kent and MP Deborah Schulte and MPP Stephen Lecce – to the delight of the audience.
In her closing remarks, Carol, pres of PHB, emphasized that the celebration was successful due to the support of Mayor Bevilacqua and Members of Council; Deputy Consul General Fernandez and staff; MPs and MPPs, participants and volunteers.
The celebration was also successful due to the coordinated efforts the Planning Committee namely: Erlinda Insigne, pres, Filipino Canadian Association of Vaughan (FCAV); Carol Banez, pres, Philippine Heritage Band (PHB); Aurelia de Lara, vice-pres, PHB; Deanna Patawaran, director, FCAV; Leonina Magtibay, The Paschal Strings ; Pastor Jess Agol, Fairhavens Filipino Adventist Church; Marilyn Baguilod, Solid Rock Indigenous; Nestor Von Canton and Joey Abrenilla, MCBN Media Group /Pinoy Radio Inc.