San Francisco celebrates 120th Philippine Independence Day with a concert and Gala reception

A Concert and Gala Reception in commemoration of the 120th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence was held at the Marines Memorial Theater and the Philippine Center on Saturday, 09 June 2018.

In remarks directed towards an audience of elected and appointed leaders, members of the consular corps, and the Filipino-American Community, Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr.noted that the Philippines’ and the United States’ shared history and values serve as the foundation of our two countries’ multifaceted relations, amd reaffirmed the Philippines’ “partnership and cooperation with the U.S., who has been with us in our continuing journey as a people and as a nation”.

Representing the United States Government in the event were District 18 Assemblymember of the California State Assembly, Rob Bonta, and Acting Regional Director of the Office of Foreign Missions Matthew Davis, both of whom emphasized the long and strong history of working together, serving together and dying together side by side, by Filipinos and Americans.  Both praised the existing cooperation between the the Philippines and the United States, which is a result of the similarities, communication, compromise and camaraderie between the two countries, andtheir peoples.

The program consisted of a rigodon de honor, a performance that is traditionally done by members of the Filipino Community, to welcome guests to the event.  This year’s court was headed by Consul Andre C. Estanislao and Balitang America Anchor Henni Espinosa.  As was done in previous years, the Consulate honored members of the Community who, through their work, have lifted the profile of the Filipino-American Community.

The concert was opened by the San Francisco Boys Chorus, dubbed by many as “the voice of San Francisco”.  Conductor Ian Robertson led 14 boys to render a few songs for the Community.  This year’s Concert headliner was Dr. Raul Sunico, whose repertoire included Rachmaninoff, Chopin and Debussy, as well as sentimental favorites by George Canseco and Gerry de Leon.

Guests were escorted to the Philippine Center after the program for the Gala Reception, where they were provided with “passports” that allowed them access to the Kalayaan Hall and the 2nd and 6th floor consular sections of the Building.  The Consulate partnered with vendors to showcase Filipino chefs and Filipino food for the guests’ enjoyment.  The event culminated in dancing at the Kalayaan Hall.