On Sunday, June 12, 2016 I attended the 10 year anniversary of the Philippine Days Festival Hosted by the Metro Vancouver Philippine Arts and Cultural Exposition Society (MV-PACES) at Waterfront Park in North Vancouver. The event celebrated the Philippines’ 118th year of independence from Spanish occupation.
Seeing as I grew up in Canada, and completed my education in the Canadian school system, I am not well versed in Philippine history (pestering my parents about their recollection of Philippine history, also did not satisfy my curiosity). So I took matters into my own hands and used my good old friend Mr. Google to conduct some research, and here’s what I found:
~Brief History Interlude~
In 1521 Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived on the island of Cebu (that’s where my dad’s from). He claimed the Philippines for the Spanish Crown and began to spread Catholicism. However, a local chief called Lapu-Lapu disliked the Spanish colonization and fought Magellan in the Battle of Mactan. Magellan and his army of 50 men, were vastly outnumbered by 1500 of Lapu-Lapu’s warriors.
Despite Magellan’s defeat, more Spanish Expeditions were sent to the Philippines, which eventually lead to 333 years of Spanish occupation. Over the years, the Spanish would fight against Chinese pirates, Portuguese forces, Dutch forces, and local revolts to maintain their control. The Spanish American war broke out in April 1898 which began the liberation of the Philippines. On June 12, 1898 the Philippines proclaimed independence and established their own government.
~ End of Brief History Interlude~
Now fast forward 118 years, to 2016. Although, I am a proud Canadian citizen, I do believe that learning, appreciating, and celebrating my cultural heritage has its importance as Filipino blood courses through my veins, and my family’s customs and beliefs have helped shaped me into the person I am today.
Being able to celebrate Philippine Independence Day with hundreds of other Filipinos last Sunday was definitely a day to remember. I had to opportunity to be part of the Parade with the Surrey Philippine Independence Day Society (SPIDS), eat some filipino food (my guilty pleasure), watch local talents perform, and see some of the Filipino Celebrities such as Joey Albert and Richard Gomez.
YEAH THAT’S RIGHT RICHARD GOMEZ. Oh and did I say see?
I meant re-enact a movie scene (1991) with him. #MyMomFangirl-ed.
Overall, it was a 10/10 day. I mean what more could you ask for? We had nice weather, a good view, good food, and even better company. Happy 118th Independence Day Philippines!
-Miss Teenage Surrey 2016