TORONTO – After they cast their ballots to use one of their democratic rights as Canadians on June 12, Filipino-Canadians in Toronto flocked to the Philippine Consulate General Office to commemorate the day when their home country became a free, democratic nation. Filipinos from all over the GTA came dressed in their best Filipiniana attires for a day of Kundiman, OPM (Original Pinoy Music), fashion show, Arnis demonstration, and “salu-salo”.
The Philippine Independence Day celebration began with a prayer led by Rev. Fr. Ben Ebcas of Our Lady of The Assumption Parish, who then blessed the new Consulate General Office. The Consuls in Toronto also delivered the official statements on Philippine Independence issued by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, Philippine President Noynoy Aquino, and other Philippine Government officials during the event.
Representatives from the Toronto Fire Services and the Toronto Police had also partaken in the event and shared their stories of the great volunteer work they did in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) devastated Tacloban, Leyte.