- Special Pages
The Philippine Independence Day Organising Committee during the ‘Gabi ng Saya’ event yesterday at Swiss-Belhotel Doha.
BY RAYNALD C RIVERA
DOHA: The 115th anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence would include new elements, making it the grandest Independence Day celebration, according to Philippine Ambassador Crescente R Relacion.
Addressing the ‘Gabi ng Saya’ event hosted by the Philippine Independence Day Organising Committee (PInOC 2013), Relacion said he had been receiving very good suggestions from the community ‘to spice up’ the upcoming celebrations which Filipino expatriates have been looking forward to every year.
“This year’s celebration should bring in new elements to spice up the event, and among the suggestions I have received were a series of mini-Olympic game competitions prior to the big event and a Filipino bazaar which would promote our country’s food, handicrafts and culture,” he said.
The last three celebrations have seen noticeable advancement, he said, with last year’s festivities being the biggest.
He said there are also suggestions to revive Filipino Community Organisations’ Alliance’s (Filcoa) role as an umbrella organisation of Filipino groups in Qatar whose elected president would serve as the PInOC chairman.
“Filcoa would be a vehicle to promote unity among all organisations of Filipinos in Qatar,” he said, adding they would be seriously considering all the suggestions.
The ambassador also encouraged Filipino organisations to put up umbrella organisations along various categories such as sport and culture, following the recently established Philippine Professional Organisation (PPO), an organisation of professional associations of Filipinos in Qatar.
Last night’s event which featured stunning performances by Doha-based Filipino talents also served as soft launch of PInOC 2013.
“This is the soft launching of PInOC 2013. We organised this to establish camaraderie among community forums and this is also a good gesture for us to attract potential sponsors for the Philippine Independence Day celebration on June 14,” said Flor Cabrito, PInOC Chairman.
There are around 160 Filipino organisations in Qatar under the auspices of the Philippine embassy, 48 of which are active, Cabrito noted.
He said the Independence Day celebrations would be the biggest yet with a line-up of activities they are planning, including those to be held before June 14.
“We already started these series of activities in January, in the run-up to the big celebration on June 14. This event is the second. The third would be in March, to be held in observance of Environment Day,” he said.
More than 2,000 people from different nationalities, mostly students, including those from Philippine schools are expected to participate in a beach clean-up event in Mesaieed.
Leo Dote, PInOC 2013 Programme and Event Chairman, urged all leaders of Filipino organisations to work together to come up with an Independence Day celebrations dedicated to all Filipinos here. “I hope we can sustain the same enthusiasm and endurance until the day we celebrate our freedom once again,” he said.
‘Gabi ng Saya’ saw spectacular performances by Banyuhay dance troupe and Farenhayt band as well as songs by Allan Bulan and Kantahan sa Doha 2012 Champion Almira Baroña.
The Search for Stars of the Night and a presentation on ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’ tourism campaign also featured in the event.