The Filipino community in the UAE gathered at the Philippine missions in Abu Dhabi and Dubai on Wednesday morning to mark their 121st Independence Day.
The Philippines became independent on June 12, 1898, after a bloody revolt against Spain’s 333 years of colonial rule.
Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Hjayceelyn Quintana led the ceremony in Abu Dhabi while Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes led the flag-raising ceremony at the consulate grounds with the leaders and members of the Filipino community.
In a simple ceremony, messages from the President and other Philippine officials were read.
Officials and members of the community also commemorated the sacrifices of the country's heroes for the blood-bought freedom Filipinos now enjoy.
“This day reminds us once again of our inspiring history as we honor the sacrifices and courage of our forefathers who secured the freedom that we, Filipinos, enjoy and cherish as a people. Our Independence Day also gives us the opportunity to reflect on our past achievements and at the same time, examine ourselves as we confront the challenges that lie ahead,” Ambassador Quintana said.
She also encouraged overseas Filipino workers, considered modern-day heroes of the Philippines, to take pride in their country’s ongoing progress.
“On this auspicious day, let us celebrate the country's continued economic growth, massive gains in the peace process in the Southern Philippines, and its enhanced global presence in the community of nations through regional and international engagements and partnerships. We call on all Filipinos overseas, our modern-day heroes, to remain confident in our country's bright prospects, and implore you to participate in nation-building,” Quintana said.
Apart from the morning event, two exciting tributes to Filipinos will unfold in Dubai in the evening.
At 9pm, record-breaking laser and light show IMAGINE show at Dubai Festival City will project some iconic landmarks from the Philippines accompanied by whimsical fountains and lasers lit up with the flags’ red, blue, white and yellow colors choreographed to popular tunes.
By 9.40pm, the world’s tallest manmade tower will light up in the colours of the Philippine flag for the first time.
The 828-metre tower will light up in red, white and blue, accentuated by the flag’s three yellow stars and a sunburst with eight rays.