SEIU-West's Multicultural Mentorship Committee, (MMC) is showcasing an article from FILCAS, (Filipino-Canadian Association of Saskatchewan) on what Independence Day or Araw ng Kalayaan is.
Please take a moment to learn about this very important day!
Independence Day (or “Araw ng Kalayaan”) or Day of Freedom is an annual national holiday in the Philippines observed on June 12th of each year. It commemorates the declaration of Philippine independence from Spain in 1898 after 4 centuries of colonial rule under the Spanish Empire.
The Spanish colonization affected the culture, traditions, government, and way of life of the entire country. June 12, 1898 marked an important milestone in Philippine history and for its people. Now, on the 123rd anniversary of the declaration of Philippine Independence, it is celebrated all over the Philippines with parades, flag-raising ceremonies, dances and performances symbolizing the people’s pride of their culture.
Filipinos throughout the world celebrate the event in order to communicate the importance of their Country’s history from one generation to the next. The City of Saskatoon has been a partner since 2004 with a proclamation of June 12 as Filipino- Canadian Day in Saskatoon. As the presence of the Filipino community members increased, it eventually changed to a week and then a full month recently. In 2017, the Canadian Parliament declared June as Filipino Heritage Month in Canada. This parliamentary gesture is a recognition of the valuable contributions of the Filipino community in Canada.
As Filipino-Canadians living within the multi-cultural community here in Canada, we celebrate this annual event by sharing the richness and beauty of our culture through flag-raising, dance, music, arts, and culinary treats. Despite being far away from our native land, the Kalayaan celebrations remind us of our roots and where we came from. It builds a sense of pride in our culture and creates a sense of unity among the members of our community amidst the greater multi-cultural community around us.
The FILIPINO-CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF SASKATCHEWAN is the organization which oversees the annual celebrations of Kalayaan in Saskatoon. Other Filipino organizations in Regina and other cities plan similar celebrations as well. The activities provide venues where Filipino-Canadians celebrate our culture with pride in unity and harmony.
As a member of the multi-cultural community in Saskatoon, we have seen and experienced the beauty and joy of participating in multi-cultural activities. Hence, we have been avid supporters of the multi-cultural celebrations of the city such as the Saskatoon Folkfest, Ukranian Day in the Park, and other events. Attending these events is always a learning experience, visually satisfying, and absolutely entertaining!
As we celebrate June 2021 as Filipino-Canadian Month in Sakatoon, Saskatchewan, we invite everyone to witness our virtual celebrations during the month! Mabuhay!
FILIPINO-CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF SASKATCHEWAN
18-115 3rd Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K1L7 Tel. NO. 306-653-4499
Email: [email protected] Website: filcas.ca
For a printable PDF, click here.