San Francisco, 14 June 2018 – For the first time, San Mateo held a Philippine flag-raising ceremony in commemoration of the 120th Anniversary of the Philippine Independence Day. The ceremony was held on 14 June 2018 at San Mateo County Courthouse Square in Redwood City coinciding with the county’s celebration of the U.S. Flag Day.
San Mateo County Supervisor David J. Canepa, who initiated the Philippine flag-raising in Daly City when he was the city Mayor in 2014, also spearheaded the ceremony in San Mateo. The ceremony was attended by residents and officials from Redwood City and Daly City, headed by Mayor Ian Bain and Mayor Juslyn Manalo, respectively. The Philippine Consulate General’s officers and staff, led by Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr., joined the ceremony.
In celebrating the Philippine Independence and U.S. Flag Day, Supervisor Canepa noted the shared history, values, spirit and the mutual quest for freedom, sovereignty and self-governance of the Philippines and the United States. Recalling that a quarter million of Filipinos fought alongside Americans during World War II, SupervisorCanepa stated that “the price of freedom is not an easy one to take and a never-ending responsibility to uphold.” He encouraged the public to recognize the solemnity and the tremendous story of the Philippine’s quest for independence.
In his message, Consul General Bensurto also spoke about the two country’s shared history and a relationship that was forged during World War II, strengthened throughout the years, and deepened by people-to-people interaction, facilitated in particular by over 3 million Filipinos who migrated to the United States. CG Bensurto extended his gratitude to Supervisor Canepa for allowing the Philippine national anthem to be sung and the Philippine flag to be displayed in celebration of Philippine Independence Day. He noted that while Filipinos and Filipino-Americans assimilated the way of life in the United States, they are still appreciative of the moments that allow them to celebrate their Filipino roots and heritage. Flag-raising also signifies recognition of the presence of the Filipino community and respect for Philippine history.
San Mateo is home to over 175,000 Asians, about 18,000 of whom are Filipinos or Americans of Filipino descent.