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In celebration of the 107th anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence, the Consulate General hosted a reception on 10 June 2005 at the Rooftop Studio of the Scotia Center in downtown Vancouver. Present during the celebrations were the Honorable Patrick Wong, outgoing Minister of State for Immigration and Multicultural Services; His Worship Wayne Wright, Mayor of West Vancouver; Consuls Generals of the ASEAN member-countries; representatives from the Protective Services Division of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; and leaders of the Filipino community in Vancouver.

The reception line at the Scotia Center’s Rooftop Studio: Consul General Zenaida Tacorda-Rabago;Consul Raul Hernandez and wife Ana; and Consul Robespierre Bolivar and wife Aurora;


After the one-hour reception, guests were treated to a one-hour cultural presentation at the Scotia Center theater staged by Kababayang Pilipino of British Columbia and the Likha-Pilipino Folk Ensemble of San Francisco, California. The two groups performed excerpts from their joint full show, entitled “Pagsilang:Birth”, which they staged the following night at the Queen Elizabeth Theater. Among the excerpts they performed for the VIP guests were the Tinikling, Cariñosa, Singkil, and dances from the northern Philippines.


From left to right: Consul General Augusto Freyre of Peru, Mr. Etienne Walter, Consul General Roberto Meza Delgado of El Salvador and his wife Elsa, Honorary Consul Soemia Butchart of Guatemala, Consul General Zenaida Tacorda-Rabago, and Dr. Marina Roma-March;

During the Consul General’s welcome remarks prior to the cultural presentation, she stated that the Philippines and Canada shared values of democracy and tolerance and noted that the Filipino community was becoming more integrated with mainstream Canada. Commenting on the Philippines’ ties with the international community, she emphasized that one of the priority areas in Philippine foreign policy that is further strengthening relations with Canada.

Consul General Zenaida Tacorda-Rabago delivering her welcome remarks before the cultural presentation at the Scotia Center theater;

In remarks he delivered on behalf of the provincial government of British Columbia, outgoing Minister Patrick Wong praised the Filipinos in Canada for being hardworking and productive members of the community. He also reiterated his pledge to work towards transforming British Columbia into a truly multicultural society, even in his capacity as a private citizen.

Filipino community organizes various Independence Day festivities

On 11 June 2005, the Consul General delivered the welcome remarks to the “Philippine Festival 2005” organized by the Filipino Community in the Greater Vancouver Area at the Plaza of Nations. Also in attendance were His Worship Larry Campbell, Mayor of Vancouver, and the Most Reverend Ramon Arguelles, Archbishop of Lipa.

On the evening of June 11th, Kababayang Pilipino of British Columbia and Likha-Pilipino Folk Ensemble of San Francisco, California, performed their full show, “Pagsilang:Birth” to a full house at the Queen Elizabeth Theater.

Consul General Zenaida Tacorda-Rabago pose with the performers from the Kababayang Pilipino of British Columbia and the Likha-Pilipino Ensemble of San Francisco after the cultural performance.

On Sunday, 12 June 2005, the Consulate General sponsored the traditional Independence Day mass at the St. Patrick’s Church. This was followed by a thanksgiving breakfast at Josephine’s Filipino restaurant for the leaders of various Filipino organizations.

The Consulate General was also represented at the June 12th flag-raising ceremonies in New Westminster, BC, which is the sister city of Quezon City.

Filipino community in Edmonton and Calgary hosts celebrations

The Filipino Community in Edmonton held flag-raising ceremonies at the Edmonton City Hall on 10 June and 11 June 2005. At the June 10th ceremonies, which was graced by the Honorable Deputy Premier of Alberta and covered by the local media, His Worship Stephen Mandel, Mayor of Edmonton declared the week following June 12th as “Philippine Week.” More than 300 people witnessed the ceremonies. Honorary Consul in Edmonton, Mrs. Esmeralda Agbulos, represented the Consul General in the flag-raising ceremony.

The volunteer tourism coordinator, Ms. Melanie Nakatsui, in cooperation with the community also organized a picnic on 11 June 2005, where nearly 4,000 people reportedly attended.

On the evening of 12 June 2005, the Consul General attended an Independence Day dinner gala in Calgary, Alberta, hosted by Philippine Honorary Consul General Felixberto Guerrero at the Calgary Westin Hotel. It was attended by some 300 guests including members of the Legislative Assembly and the Consular Corps of Calgary and leaders of the Filipino community.

Consul General Zenaida Tacorda-Rabago and the officers and staff of the Philippine Consulate General pose after the cultural performance;

The declaration of Philippine independence from more than 300 years of Spanish rule was led by General Emilio Aguinaldo, who would then be installed as the new Republic’s first president, in Kawit, Cavite on 12 June 1898. During the ceremonies, the Philippine flag was unfurled and the national anthem publicly played for the first time.

Download the text of the original Declaration of Philippine Independence.

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