Phiippine Embassy joins Filipino Community Independence Day celebrations in Auckland, New Zealand
The Filipino community in Auckland led by the Council of Auckland Philippine Organisations, Inc. (CAPO) in conjunction with the Federation of Filipino Associations, Societies and Clubs in New Zealand, Inc. (FFASCNZI) celebrated the 119th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence in Auckland on 11 June 2017.
The celebrations started with a wreath laying ceremony at the Rizal Reserve, an Auckland reserve named after the Philippines’ national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal. Located at Corregidor Place, Wingate Subdivision, Avondale in Auckland, the Rizal Reserve was inaugurated on 5 July 1998. Each year in June, CAPO and FFASCNZI spearhead a simple yet meaningful rite to commemorate the birth of Rizal and kick off Philippine Independence Day celebrations in Auckland.
This year, Third Secretary and Vice Consul Glenn Joseph Obach, representing the Philippine Embassy, and Dr. Tony Noblejas, QSM, of the FFASCNZI laid wreaths in front of the monument at the Rizal Reserve. A short program of messages and community singing followed. CAPO President and Philippine Honorary Vice Consul Virginia Araneta-Russell coordinated the arrangements for the wreath laying ceremony.
Just before midday, a Philippine Independence Day Mass was officiated by Fr. Gilbert Ramos at the Good Shepherd Parish Church in Balmoral, Auckland. Asked to speak before the community present at the celebration, Vice Consul Obach highlighted the significance of this year’s theme, “Kalayaan 2017: Pagbabagong Sama-samang Balikatin,” and expressed joy in taking part in events where overseas Filipinos gather as a community as it manifests that love of country is alive in their hearts despite the distance.
After the Mass, a fellowship Filipino lunch and short thanksgiving program followed at the Good Shepherd Parish’s Mary McKillop Hall.