Republic of the Philippines

50 Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand 6011

Filipinos and New Zealanders celebrate the Philippines 117th National Day at Christian Service in Wellington

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As part of the series of celebrations for the 117th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence, Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez and the officers and staff of the Philippine Embassy joined the Abundant Life Centre (ALC) in its special worship service on 14 June 2015 dedicated to the Philippines and the Filipino people. Mr. Rey Non, Senior Leader of the Filipino group, his wife Ella and the Filipino members and their families in ALC welcomed all the guests and thanked them for their presence on this significant occasion. Ms. Dinna O’ Meara hosted the event’s programme.

In her remarks, Ambassador Benavidez highlighted the shared Christian faith which strengthens the bonds of togetherness between Filipinos and New Zealanders as friends and partners, and the Philippines’ continued growth and recognition as one of Asia’s newest economic success stories and fast growing market stars which best described this year’s Independence Day theme of “Triumphs Through Reforms, Within Nation’s Reach.” She then introduced the highly acclaimed, nationally and internationally famous and award winning Loboc Children’s Choir (LCC) of the Philippines who was set to showcase Filipino musical artistry and talent during the service. Ambassador Benavidez appreciated how the LCC share their talents in the performing arts with the Filipino communities, children, youth and people of New Zealand and help raise funds for the rebuilding of their school and restoration of churches, homes, schools and heritage sites of Bohol which were devastated by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in October 2013 and were also affected by typhoon Haiyan in November 2013.

ALC’s Senior Pastor Hamish Thomson congratulated the Philippines and the Filipino people on the auspicious occasion of the 117th National Day and spoke on the significance of a nation’s independence and the legacy of freedom and equality.

The Loboc Children’s Choir’s much applauded and greatly appreciated presentation of beautiful songs showcased the children’s pure and angelic voices that touched and warmed everyone’s hearts.

After the Service, the congregation and guests enjoyed the lively fellowship and feasting around the table featuring Filipino cuisine amidst the Filipiniana ambience of ALC made possible by the contributions and cooperation of the Philippine Embassy Team and the Filipino group in ALC. The Church Pastors, elders, members, families and friends reiterated their deep appreciation to the Philippine Embassy and the Filipino group for allowing them to experience and enjoy a special Philippine national day celebratory event for the past four years. Ambassador Benavidez thanked ALC for the wonderful opportunity to share the Philippines’ history and culture.

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