OCEANSIDE — The ninth annual Filipino Cultural Celebration celebrated Philippine Independence Day with music, costumes and food on June 12.
Nonstop entertainment filled the main stage at the Civic Center. Traditional songs and dances were performed as well as a showcase of contemporary entertainment.
Mrs., Miss, Junior Miss and Little Miss FilAm were crowned for raising the most funds to support the Filipino American Association community service work. Awards went to toddlers, teens and women 70 years old, of all ethnicities. “It’s a diverse community, everybody is entitled to join (the association),” James Viado, Filipino American Association board member, said.
Scholarships were awarded to four North County high school youth who won the annual essay contest sponsored by the Filipino American Association. “Not only Filipino, but all ethnic groups can compete and write essays,” Viado said. Essays must show student leadership. “They need to be outstanding students,” Viado said.
Traditional Filipino food was sold by vendors throughout the day and proved to be a big draw to many who attended.
The celebration is an opportunity to share Filipino culture and history. The Philippines has two independence days, June 12, 1898, when it gained its independence from Spain and July 4, 1946, when the Republic of the Philippines was recognized as an independent nation by the United States.
“My dad marched in the June 12 parade when the Philippines gained its independence and I marched in the July 4 parade,” Felix Saguing, an Oceanside resident, said.
For almost 40 years July 4 was celebrated as Philippine Independence Day, then in 1964 the traditional day of June 12 was once again recognized and celebrated as Independence Day.