NAT Filipino community leaders discussing Independence Day celebration-1591778786207
Filipino community leaders discussing Independence Day celebration Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Filipino community leaders in Dubai are calling their kababayan (compatriots) to show their patriotic spirit and commemorate the 122nd Philippine Independence Day, albeit via online celebrations this Friday.

“The event will remain a showcase of festive, entertaining, surprising and generous vibe as has been traditionally celebrated,” Jason Roi Bucton, Kalayaan 2020 chairman, told Gulf News.

“Although cultural performances will be pre-recorded, live hosting and on-the-spot giving away of surprise gifts will thrill and excite all viewers. There will be live interactive games and contests as well,” he added.

NAT online celebration on June 12-1591778789519
Planning for online celebrations in the works Image Credit: Supplied

Last year, the Filipino community had celebrations spread for one month in Dubai, including the Imagine Laser and Light show at Dubai Festival City and the lighting of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, in Philippine colours.

Bucton said: “For the first time in the history of Philippine Independence Day celebrations in the UAE, all productions and segments will be done virtually. This is because we want to abide to government rules on health and safety.

Spectacular show

Bucton, however, assured Filipino expats that they would still feel the patriotic spirit as organisers will bring out a spectacular show online (

NAT Philippine Independence Day celebration last year 01-1591778792464
Previous years have seen spectacular celebrations Image Credit: Supplied

“Bringing together Filipinos in the UAE, this year’s celebration will have impressive performances from various Filipino communities in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah with the special participation of Abu Dhabi’s Bayanihan Council,” he explained.

“There will also be colourful performances by students from various Philippine schools in the UAE and special appearances by Filipino showbiz celebrities in Manila,” Bucton added.

NAT Philippine Independence Day celebration last year 03-1591778794670
Traditional dancing and a show of culture is central to the celebration Image Credit: Supplied

Modern-day heroes

Bucton said Filipino expats who have been active in community service during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will be recognised during the “Dakilang Bayani” awards.

“This recognition of our modern-day heroes has been an integral part of our annual celebration,” said Bucton, adding: “The award is given to Filipinos who have exhibited high moral and ethical values.”

Historical trivia

  • The Philippines declared independence from 333 years of Spanish colonial rule to become the first republic in Asia on June 12, 1898.
  • What: 122nd Philippine Independence Day
  • Where to watch:
  • When: June 12, 2020 (from 12pm onwards)