Abu Dhabi: Filipinos around the world celebrated the country's 112th Independence Day on Saturday as groups geared up for a protest against outgoing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
In the UAE, Filipino expatriates gathered at the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi to celebrate the country's Independence Day.
Grace Relucio Princesa, Philippine Ambassador to the UAE, hoisted the national flag at a ceremony at the embassy premises in the presence of more than 200 community members.
The messages of the Philippine president, secretaries of foreign affairs, labour, trade and industry, and the head of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration were read out at the function.
A documentary film on a Filipino military general who fought in the Philippine revolution was a also screened.
In Manila, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and other allied groups staged a rally in Manila to condemn Arroyo, who will step down on June 30, according to media reports.
The protesters said the march will serve as a reminder of the Arroyo government's failure and as a challenge to President-elect Benigno Aquino III to solve the prevailing problems in the country. Read in-depth coverage of the Philippine elections
Message from US
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton congratulated Filipinos on their Independence Day.
In a video statement, Clinton also praised the Philippines successful election, and called the country's independence day a "momentous time" for the Philippines.
- With input from agencies
Have your say
How did you celebrate the Filipino Independence Day? What do you think are the biggest issues facing the Filipino community in the UAE? Let us know by clicking on the Post a comment link below, or send us your photos.