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17/06/2011: 113Th Independence Day Celebration in San Francisco



Philippine Consulate General   
447 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA 94108

415-433-6666 ext. 313 (public information section)




13 June 2011






Consul General and Mrs. Marciano A. Paynor, Jr. and the officers and staff of the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco at the Philippine Heritage Gala in City Hall on June 12







Flag Raising Ceremony at the Official Residence of the Consul General

San Francisco, California – The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco celebrated the 113th Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence with two major activities on June 12. First, the traditional flag raising ceremony and singing of the Philippine national anthem were held early morning at the official residence of Consul General and Mrs. Marciano A. Paynor, Jr. at Lake Street, San Francisco. Consulate personnel and invited guests participated in the ceremony which officially marked the start of this year’s Independence festivities. Later, everyone partook of a sumptuous Filipino breakfast.

That same evening, the Philippine Consulate General co-hosted with the Bay Area Filipino American community the Philippine Heritage Gala at the San Francisco City Hall. It was the first time that the national reception of the Philippines was held at the City Hall. More than 500 guests attended the event billed as a celebration of Philippine culture and heritage. It was also organized to commemorate three (3) historic events: 1) the 113th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence; 2) the 150th Birth Anniversary of the Philippines’ National Hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, and 3) the 50th Anniversary of the San Francisco-Manila Sister City Committee (SFMSCC).

The Philippine Heritage Gala started with a cocktail reception held at the North Light Court of the San Francisco City Hall. Guest speakers included California State Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Fiona Ma, California State Senator Leland Yee, and San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee.



Cocktail Reception at the North Light Court of the San Francisco City Hall




Mayor Edwin Lee being greeted by Consul General and Mrs. Paynor, Jr. at the reception line  

Consul General Paynor, Jr., who delivered the opening remarks, thanked the guests for joining the Philippine Consulate General and the community in the national day celebration, which he said was a recognition of the Filipino Americans’ empowerment and their long and arduous journey toward success and fulfillment of their promise and potential as an ethnic community in the United States. He added that the holding of the Philippine Heritage Gala at the San Francisco City Hall was a symbol that Filipino Americans have definitely “arrived” as a community to be

reckoned with and one that has merited recognition and



Consul General Marciano A. Paynor, Jr. with CA Speaker Tempore Fiona Ma, Mayor Edwin Lee, and CA State Senator Leland Yee

Both CA Speaker Pro Tempore Fiona Ma and State Senator Leland Yee congratulated the Philippine Consulate General on the occasion of the National Day and expressed their support to the Filipino American Community. The two California lawmakers echoed the Consul General’s statement that Filipino Americans have indeed “arrived” as a community in the U.S. and commended their significant contributions to the political, economic and social development of the United States. They presented Consul General Paynor, Jr. with California state assembly and state resolutions in honor of Philippine Independence.

Mayor Edwin Lee thanked Consul General Paynor, Jr. for inviting him to the event which he said was fittingly held at the City Hall, the seat of political power in San Francisco, a city that has long celebrated diversity and multiculturalism as a way of life. Mayor Lee  acknowledged that Filipino Americans have not only “arrived” in the United States, but are “already there” as evidenced by their growing potential as voters, their rising level of participation in the political process of Northern California, and the increasing number of Filipino American elected officials in various cities and towns across the Bay Area. He explained that it is only a matter of time when this mass of future leaders from the Filipino American community can be utilized to serve the greater interests of San Francisco and the Bay Area. Mayor Lee presented Consul General Paynor, Jr. with a city proclamation making June 12 as Philippine Heritage Day in San Francisco.


Guests enjoying the program at the Grand Rotunda of the San Francisco City Hall

At the start of the Gala dinner held at the Grand Rotunda and the Mayor’s Balcony of the San Francisco City Call, a video presentation on President Benigno Aquino III’s Independence Day message was played.  Later, guest speaker Mona Pasquil, former California Lt. Governor and currently Appointments Secretary of California Governor Jerry Brown, talked of her pride as a Filipino American and the emergence of the community as a political and economic force in California. Ms. Pasquil also emphasized that the success achieved by Filipino Americans was paved by a path of struggle and sacrifice by the early Filipinos to the United States. She urged the current generation of Filipino Americans not to forget the past sacrifice of their forebears but use it as a motivation to continue to attain greater recognition and appreciation in the American mainstream.


The Philippine Madrigal Singers performing at the Philippine Heritage Gala

The evening’s entertainment was provided by the Philippine Madrigal singers. They performed a number of songs, including the Philippine and U.S. national anthems and were the lead performers in the singing of “The Power of the Dream.” Other entertainers included local Bay Area talents from the American Center of Philippine Arts, the Philippine Arts Dance Company, and San-Francisco-based musical artists Leon Palad and Mitch Franco. Mr. Edwin Lozada read Dr. Rizal’s poem Mi Ultimo Adios in both Spanish and English as part of the program honoring the national hero’s 150th birth anniversary.


The evening’s program concluded with the singing of “Ikaw, Ako, Tayo ay Pilipino” led by the Philippine Madrigal singers as the guests and VIPs were asked to go back to the North Light Court for dancing and more entertainment. END