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San Francisco -Under the bright blue skies in the afternoon of June 12, 2014,  the Philippine Flag was hoistedat the San Jose City Hall   to commemorate the 116thAnniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence.

The flag-raising ceremony and the ensuing  program were part of the Bayanihan Fil-am Festival, organized under the bannerof the American Bayanihan Spirit. Ms. Evangeline Sangalangheads this  group of “convenor” community leadersfrom other Filipino Americanorganizations and individuals from  the South Bay and Santa Clara County.

Consul Reginald Bernabefrom  the Consulate General, joined San Jose City Officials led by Mayor Chuck Reed, Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen, City Council members and Assemblymembers, Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese, and representatives of Congresswoman Zoe Loefgren and Congressman  Mike Honda at the event.

The Philippine Flag flies high alongside the US Flag during the Flag raising Ceremony at San Jose City Hall’s grounds. Lower left and Right Photos : Officers and Youth Cadets of the Santa Clara county Office of the Sheriff raise the flags during the Flag Raising Ceremony.Lower Middle photo : Mayor Chuck Reed, San Jose City Officials and Consul Bernabe stand at attention as the Philippine and US flags were raised and the anthems played.

Adding meaning to the event  was the presence of  Maribel Aguinaldo Canda,  General Emilio Aguinaldo’s granddaughter and  San Jose resident. Other highlights include the presentation by Mayor Reed of  a Proclamation recognizing June 12 as Philippine Independence Day  as well as a Commendation from Santa Clara County  by District 3 Supervisor Dave Cortese  which were presented to Mrs. Canda, the community leaders and organizers, and Consul Bernabe. Other City Council members also spoke and lauded the Filipino American community. Mr. Ron Muriera, San Jose Art Commissioner and Filipino American National Historical Society officer  gave a historical brief on how Philippine Independence day came about. Performances by Filipino cultural community groups added color and festivity to the event.

Left Photo :Maribel Aguinaldo Canda, granddaughter of General Emilio Aguinaldo and San Jose resident. Middle Photo Mrs. Candajoins community leaders in the presentation of a  City Proclamation by Mayor Chuck ReedRight photo :   Members of the community led by head organizer Ms. Angel Sangalang  with other city officials and Consul Bernabe after the presentation of the  City Proclamation.

Filipino American youth perform Philippine dances that added festivity and color at the program during the Flag raising ceremony held at San Jose city Hall’s.

Mayor Chuck Reed underscored  that“this event is San Jose’s way of  recognizing  the great  contributions of the Filipino American community” He paid particular  tribute to  the Filipino veterans and their partnership with the American forces and their sacrifices during the war.

Consul Bernabe emphasized this year’s Independence Day Theme  “Following the Footsteps of Great Filipinos Towards Permanent and Widespread Change”by calling on the Filipino community to “pay  homage to the endeavors of our heroes and forefathers and following what they did – doing our best and  what is right for the community and the country”. He  alsoencouraged  them to  “go out and actively participate in the development of our communities and having a say in the democratic process  of choosing leaders and policy makers, whether here or in the Philippines.”

Philippine Overseas Voter Registration for the May 2016 Philippine Presidential elections is being conducted by the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco and by all other Philippine Foreign Service posts around the world. It commenced on May 6, 2016 and will continue until October 31, 2015. End