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San Francisco, June 17, 2013 – Filipino-Americans in the Pacific Northwest kicked off celebrations of the 115th Anniversary of the Philippine Declaration of Independence with the start of June, culminating in a grand outdoor celebration and business expo in historic Union Square, located in the heart of downtown San Francisco.

The Consulate opened the month with the launch of the 115th Philippine Independence Day Commemorative Golf Tournament at Shadow Lakes Golf Course in Brentwood, CA on the first Saturday of June. The tournament, which was open to the public, drew in close to 100 people, who took the opportunity to network with Filipino community leaders participating in the event.

From Brentwood, Consul General Marciano A. Paynor, Jr. traveled to Vallejo, CA to join the Filipino community there in holding their annual Pista sa Nayon. This year’s Pista sa Nayon, which targeted the Fil-Am youth, featured Philippine historical figures such as Rizal and Bonifacio in the parade, in an effort to educate the public on salient points of Philippine democratic history.

The next day, June 2, saw the Consulate coming out in support of the Filipino Fiesta of Sacramento, held every first Sunday of June.

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L: Consul General Paynor joins the parade at the Pista sa Nayon in Vallejo;

The Consulate General also came out in support of the community celebrations of Seattle, Alameda, and Milpitas, all of which were held on the second Saturday of June.

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Top Left: Consul General Paynor addresses local government officials and the Filipino-American community at the celebration in Alameda; Top Right: Milpitas Mayor Jose Esteves welcomes visitors to the Independence Day celebration, and thanks Consul General Paynor for joining the event; Bottom: The Philippine Consulate booth at the Annual Pagdiriwang Festival in Seattle.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - INDEPENDENCE DAY

In observance of the 115th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine independence, the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco opened the day with the traditional flag-raising ceremony, held at the Consul General’s official Residence. This was immediately followed by a flag-raising ceremony and small reception at San Francisco’s City Hall, hosted by the Office of the Mayor.

Mayor Edwin Lee took the opportunity to present Consul General Paynor with a resolution recognizing the day as Philippine Independence Day, and lauded him for “being a bridge between our two countries”. Consul General Paynor later hosted a small reception in City Hall’s South Light Court for Filipino-American employees of City Hall.

Flag Ceremony at the Philippine Consul General’s home

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Flag Ceremony at SF City Hall. Top Left: PCG personnel line up to salute the flag as SF Mayor Edwin Lee and Consulate officers join them at the balcony; Top Right: Consul General Paynor joins Mayor Edwin Lee in a toast to Philippine Independence; Bottom: Consul General and Mrs. Paynor with Filipino-American employees of SF City Hall, who they hosted in a small reception after the official flag-raising ceremonies.

That evening, the Philippine Consulate General hosted a Vin D’Honneur at the Intercontinental Hotel at 888 Howard Street in San Francisco. The event was graced by State Senators Ellen Corbett and Leland Yee, both of whom took the opportunity to present proclamations in honor of the occasion.

Top Left: Consul General and Mrs. Paynor, Deputy Consul General Jaime Ascalon and Mrs. Ascalon with California Senator Leland Yee (center); Top Right: The Filipino American Law Enforcement Officers (FALEO) Association conducts the Parade of Colors; Bottom Left: State Senator Ellen Corbett presents a copy of a Proclamation recognizing June 12, 2013 as Philippine Independence Day to Consul General Paynor.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

On Thursday, Philippine Consul General Marciano Paynor, Jr. joined State Senator Ellen Corbett at the California State Capital to witness the latter present a resolution that recognized June 12, 2013 as Philippine Independence Day and calling on the state to acknowledge the occasion with appropriate programs, displays, and activities. The resolution was passed unanimously, with Senators Jim Beall (District 15), Ron Calderon (District 30), Kevin de Leon (District 22), Ted Gaines (District 1), Mark Leno (District 11), Bill Monning (District 17), and Leland Yee (District 8) all speaking up in strong support of the bill.


Consul General Paynor and PCG officers with Senator Ellen Corbett in her office at the State Capital.

Friday, June 14 2013

In partnership with the Kalayaan 2013 Organizing Committee and the Science and Technology Advisory Council (STAC), the Philippine Consulate General and its attached agencies launched a business conference, Latitude Longitude: A Closer Look at the Philippines and Other Emerging Markets at the newly-renovated Philippine Gallery on the ground floor of the Philippine Center on 447 Sutter Street.

Well-known techpreneur and investor Diosdado Banatao of Tallwood Ventures opened the conference as its keynote speaker.

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Diosdado Banatao addresses attendees of the Latitude Longitude Business Conference.

Later that afternoon, Consul General Paynor joined the Kalayaan 2013 Committee at Galleria Park Hotel to present their headlining performer,, together with the event’s presenting sponsor, Western Union.

2013-0614 Kalayaan PressCon with

L to R: Ms. Esther Chavez of moderates the press conference, participated in by Ms. Sonia Delen of the Kalayaan 2013 Committee; Mr. Allan Pineda Lindo of the Black-Eyed Peas, popularly known as “”; Consul General Paynor; and Mr. Bob Fan, Director Americas for Western

“The Consulate General would like to express its full support of Kalayaan 2013, and will be joining them in celebrating Philippine independence in Union Square,” Consul General Paynor said. “We would also like to recognize Apl’s invaluable support of this event, and want to thank him for all the work he has done, both here and in the Philippines, to give back to our country.”

Saturday, June 15 2013

San Francisco woke up to the sights and sounds of Philippine independence, as the Filipino-American community across the Bay Area joined forces to showcase their heritage and achievements at the business expo and outdoor celebration held in Union Square.

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Top: Consul General Paynor addresses the crowd at Union Square, welcoming them to the celebration; Bottom Left: Kalayaan 2013 Chairperson Al Perez and Consul General Paynor present with a Certificate of Recognition from the Consulate, and a Certificate of Honor from the Office of the Mayor of San Francisco; Bottom Left: Consul General Paynor chats with young visitors to the outdoor festival.

“We’re glad that you could join us,” Consul General Paynor told the assembled crowd in Union Square, as he opened the program. “We hope that you have enjoyed yourself so far, and from what I gather, the best is yet to come.”

“The best” referred to the evening’s performance by, which capped the day’s festivities. Consul General Paynor and Kalayaan 2013 Organizing Committee Chair Al Perez, who also serves as San Francisco’s Entertainment Commissioner, surprised the performer by presenting him with two awards – a Certificate of Recognition from the Philippine Consulate, and a Certificate of Honor from the Office of San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee. The awards recognized Apl both as a gifted performer and a genuine philanthropist, acknowledging his work to provide underprivileged children from the Philippines with better access to education and technology.

Apl returned to the stage moments later to rouse the crowd with performances of pop favorites “Where is the Love” and “Bebot”. He paused briefly during his set to urge Filipino-Americans in the crowd to “go back to the Philippines, give back”, just before launching into his last song, “The Apl Song”.

“Man, it feels good to be back home!” he shouted, as the music built. In the crowd, young Filipino Americans, many of whom have never visited the Philippines, cheered, chanting the Tagalog lyrics with him and bringing the Filipino spirit to life in San Francisco.