(Images of Philippine Independence Day celebrations in Sydney before the pandemic)
The virtual flag-raising hosted by the Consulate in Sydney went live at 10am. YOu can still view it by logging on to the Consulate's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PHLinSydney/ or Instagram #PHLinSydney.
The year 2020 is the beginning of a new decade so there was much celebration to herald it in! However, two months later, the world was gripped by a great fear of an invisible enemy which had impacted on people's lives globally. This was COVID-19 which was subsequently declared by the World Health Organisation as pandemic. The virus did not differentiate as to gender, age, religion, sexual persuasion, socio-economic and walk of life of the affected individuals.
Social distancing protocols were put in place by all the governments to help contain the spread of the virus. This resulted in the closure of businesses which were not considered to be essential services and events which draw people together were cancelled.
One event that Filipinos around the world celebrate with much flourish is the commemoration of the proclamation of the Philippine Independence Day. Several activities such as flag raising, parades and independence day balls are usually held. Due to the pandemic, this year the protocols do not allow such gathering of individuals. However, the commemoration of this significant day will go ahead, albeit in a different ways.
Today, June 12, the Philippine Consulate General in Sydney held a virtual flag raising ceremony at 10am. Everybody was invited to join the flag raising event in the comforts of their home through livestreaming. The event was shown live through the Consulate's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PHLinSydney/ and Instagram #PHLinSydney.
Community organisations have enjoined their members to join the virtual flag raising. These organisations include the Kababaihang Rizalista Inc (Sydney), Adhika Inc. and the Alliance of Philippine Community Organisations (APCO), to name a few. The Philippine Community Council-NSW is also holding its own flagraising ceremony tomorrow, Saturday, June 13 on Facebook at 10am. http://www.facebook.com/Philippine-Community-Council-of-NSW-107147287701633/
The Australian Filipina joins all Filipinos around the world in commemorating the declaration of the Philippine Independence. Tayo ay magkaisa sa pag-gunita ng ating Kalayaan. Ating ipagdasal ang ating Inang Bansa. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!
In the Philippine Embassy in Canberra, personnel held a simple flag-raising ceremony inside the premises to comply with the social distancing regulation implemented by the ACT government.
Despite not being physically together to celebrate the event, Filipinos have a greater appreciation of the significance of the occasion. The Filipino-Australian community is inspired in particular by the messages shared by the Philippine Ambassador to Australia, Her Excellency, Ma. Hellen De La Vega and the Consul General, the Hon. Ezzedin Tago.
The Ambassador said in her message circulated to the community:
"We may be apart and the month of June may be devoid of all the usual festivities that we have been accustomed with. But the resilience of Filipinos, the sacrifice of Filipino frontliners and the commitment that we all bring to emerge stronger from this crisis give us reasons to celebrate and be thankful."
The Consul General also acknowledged the work of our modern-day heroes:
"We hope that as we all commemorate this important event in our history, we shall continue to remember and honor the sacrifices not only of our ancestors but also our brave current day front-liners, here in Australia and worldwide, in our united fight against the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.
The virtual flag-raising hosted by the Consulate in Sydney went live at 10am. Watch it via the Consulate's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PHLinSydney/ or Instagram #PHLinSydney.