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‘Uncommon Celebration’

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has ordered the holding of an “uncommon celebration” of Philippine independence day on June 12. Aside from the traditional flag-raising and wreath-laying activities, and messages to mark the 110th anniversary of independence, she said public service programs should be held to “showcase what the current generation is doing to advance the ideals of our forefathers.”
Today, millions of Filipinos in America and around the world have already been engaged in the ‘uncommon task” of advancing the ideals of our forefathers. They are not only involved in the task of spreading Philippine culture abroad; they are helping prop up the economy through their remittances. Many are sharing their wealth and expertise to help alleviate poverty and hunger in their former homeland. And many are engaged in the task of making sure that the ideals of our forefathers are religiously observed by the present-day leaders.
“The fitting way to honor the sacrifices of our heroes is not by words
alone but through deeds that give flesh to their vision,” President Arroyo said.
Filipinos in America are doing just that. And more. Many of them are making sacrifices, walking the halls of the US Congress to lobby for the passage of a bill that would honor the Filipino veterans of World War II. They are using their political clout in official Washington to ensure that the tenets of democracy as envisioned by our forefathers are observed by the leaders in the Philippines.
In Washington D.C. and in all cities around the United States, Filipinos are observing independence day by holding fairs and parades. While the embassy focuses on the meaning of Philippine independence, the community puts more emphasis on promoting Filipino culture as depicted in the dance, music, cuisine and the arts.

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