UAE: Colourful performances, lively music mark Philippines Independence Day

Late festivities held under the theme 'Celebrating Resilience' honour Filipinos' strength throughout Covid-19 pandemic


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Sun 26 Jun 2022, 3:18 PM

Last updated: Sun 26 Jun 2022, 9:58 PM

Colourful performances, lively music and an air of festivity marked the 124th Philippines Independence Day celebrations at Dubai World Trade Center on Sunday.

Inaugurated by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, the event celebrated the 1898 independence of the Philippines after 300 years of Spanish rule, observed on June 12. In his opening remarks, Sheikh Nahyan thanked the people of the Philippines for inviting him to join in the celebrations.

“The UAE and Philippines, we share common interests and aspirations,” Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan. "We have developed a friendship that has been beneficial to both the countries, and I am sure our friendship will continue to prosper."

Organized by the Philippines Business Council in the UAE and @EmiratesLovesPhilippines, the event was held in cooperation with the Dubai Police and the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines under the theme Celebrating Resilience. The theme commemorates the resilience shown by the Filipino community over the last two years of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We Filipinos like to think that resilience come to us naturally," said Renato Duenas, the Consul General of Philippine Consulate General, Dubai and Northern Emirates. "Probably because of the natural disasters that we have to deal with year after year. And how we, despite the hardships, weather the storm to rise above it and even laugh about it."

Duenos commended the essential Filipino workers in the UAE who did their part in keeping several government and private industries running. He also thanked the UAE government for their economic efforts that helped several Filipino-owned businesses thrive despite the pandemic.

Duenos praised the UAE government for their tolerance.

"The year 2019 was the year of tolerance for the UAE," he said. "But it was not just in that year that the country celebrated and practised tolerance. The UAE has an entire ministry dedicated to tolerance and coexistence and over 200 nationalities call this country their second home. And it does not stop there. The @EmiratesLovesPhilippines, a long-term campaign by the UAE Media Office, along with other campaigns, reminds us of this."

Duenos also called on his fellow Filipinos to show resilience, tolerance, social responsibility, mutual respect, cooperation, solidarity, and friendship to continue cultivating a sense of pride in being one of the many communities in the country.

With cultural performances, a parade, game shows and food stalls, the event brought together hundreds of Filipinos.

The ceremony opened with a band performance of over 50 performers, many of whom were students, some as young as 10. Various members of the community staged several cultural dances and performances. The event received distinguished support from the UAE Food Bank and several educational institutions and schools.


"This is a late celebration for us," said Josie Conlu, head of Emirates Loves Philippines, referring to the Independence Day being on June 12. "But we the Filipino community will always make sure that we have one of the best celebrations on the Philippines Independence Day. We call the UAE our second home. We have a huge community over here and we love to get together even for a day just to have fun, forget about our problems and just celebrate our culture and traditions in this foreign land. We want to highlight the love between the two countries and the UAE government is always open to allowing us to celebrate in a vibrant manner."

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