Soldiers prepare to hoist a huge Philippine flag during the Independence Day celebration, attended by President Benigno Aquino (not pictured) and other government officials, two weeks before Aquino will relinguish his post to newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte (not pictured) in Manila, Philippines June 12, 2016. Image Credit: REUTERS

Filipinos gather at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Friday to celebrate the Philippines' 120th Independence Day. Philippine Independence Day is commemorated on June 12. Since the date falls during Ramadan this year, consulate officials and volunteers have organised celebrations on June 15.

Gulf News' Irish Eden Belleza, Jobannie Tabada and Janice Ponce de Leon bring you the highlights from the Philippine Independence Day celebration in Dubai. Follow our live coverage here:

 

5.35pm

Martin Nievera performs at the Philippine Independence Day celebration in Dubai.

5pm

Filipino actress and singer Arci Muñoz performs at the Dubai World Trade Centre

3.35pm

The band is playing right now the official theme song of this year’s Philippine Independence Day.

Battle of the bands at the Philippine Independence Day celebration at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

10.15am

Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes welcomed more than 10,000 Filipinos at Zabeel Hall on Friday.

"We would like to share the happiness of the celebration of our independence to all Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the UAE," Cortes said in his speech.

"Let's show the world why Filipinos are positive contributors to any society. We are proud to say that we're not only the third-largest community in the UAE but also the most active and happiest people in the country," he added.

For his part, Joel Foronda, chair of the 120th PID organising committee, urged the community to look back and be inspired by the sacrifices of their forefathers to gain the country's blood-bought independence. He also encouraged them, as modern day heroes, to continue to support the country's leadership  in bringing positive and lasting change in the country.

9.40am

There are many events being held on the sidelines as well. Among them is Vegetable and fruit Carving Competition that will begin at 10am. Participants are all geared up to show their mettle. But for now, it's time for a warm-up.

9.30am

At this year's Job Fair, employment opportunities from  different sectors are available including in the retail, oil and gas, hospitality, food and beverage, logistics, and education.

Jobseekers will be shortlisted and interviewed by respective employers on the spot, Yumi Nituda from Filipino HR Club said.

9am

The Dubai World Trade Centre is abuzz with activity.

8.57am 

Among those present are Philippine Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes and wife, Dr. Yasmin B Cortes.

8.30am 

Scores of Filipino organisations from across the country joining the Independence Day parade have entered Zabeel Hall 1 to kick off the daylong event. The New Filipino Private School Band entertains the crowd as the organisations fill the hall.

Participants proudly wear the colours of the Philippine flag -- yellow, red, blue and white -- and traditional Philippine attire, the baro't saya and barong.

A separate queue is reserved for jobseekers. Nurses and teachers will be hired on the spot today.

7.30am

The crowds are gathering in earnest and it looks like we are set for a colourful celebration.

Here's a look at the welcoming act.

7.15am

People are beginning to trickle into the Dubai World Trade Centre; the celebrations are expected to start soon. 

 

Here are the highlights of the event

Opening parade

Hundreds of Filipino groups in the UAE are taking part in the opening parade to kickstart a full day of music, fun and entertainment.

Motorcade

For the first time, a motorcade comprising of vehicles with some of the best Philippine-themed designs makes its way from the Philippine Consulate General in Al Ghusais to the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Celebrity performers

Philippine singer Martin Nievera and actress Arci Munoz take the stage at 3pm for a musical performance to remember.

More events

The daylong event includes a beauty pageant, a hip-hop dance competition, a battle of the bands, and food carving competitions.

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