13 May 2017, Dubai, U.A.E. The Philippine Consulate General in Dubai in partnership with the Filipino Community in Dubai and the Northern Emirates successfully held its 2017 Philippine Independence Day Celebrations at the World Trade Center last 12 May 2017 from 7am to 6pm. World Trade Center Security estimated the total crowd at about 20,000, a record crowd for the Consulate-Filipino Community annual Independence Day celebrations. Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes and his spouse Dr Yasmin B Cortes led the Opening Ceremonies which drew the participation of about 5,000 Filipinos in the Opening Parade. The Philippine Consulate General officers and staff led by Vice Consuls Marianne Bringas and Beth Ramos, POLO-Dubai, and the other attached agencies also joined the Opening Ceremonies along with the Philippine schools in Dubai and Sharjah, community organizations and their leaders.
Also joining the Celebrations were Ambassador Constancio Vingno Jr and his wife Yoko Vingno, and Embassy officers.
Among the segments of the day-long event include the On the Spot Painting Competition, a Hairstyling Competition, an OPM Singing Competition, Mr and Ms Teen Philippine Independence Day 2017, and Battle of the Bands. Dubai’s media covered the event and marveled at the scrupulously-organized show.
The celebrations were a product of a 10-week planning and coordination between the Consulate and the FilCom of Dubai, a group composed of the leaders of the various Filipino organizations in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.
In his interviews with various media outlets, Consul General Cortes explained that 12 June 2017 falls within Ramadan, the community decided to move the celebration a month earlier to accommodate the Filipino students whose school calendar would have ended if the Independence Day celebrations were to be held after Ramadan. He also commended the organizing committee for their collaboration and endeavor to highlight Philippine music, art, dance, ingenuity, and creativity and that the event was a manifestation of the excellence of the Filipino in these fields and how they have helped shape the global creative and art scene.
The Consulate and the Filipino Community hold two big events annually - the Philippine Independence Day Celebrations and the Bayanihan, held in December to celebrate UAE National Day and as a Year-end Fiesta. END