Celebration: Traditional Philippine folk dances were showcased during the 116th Philippine Independence Cultural Show held at the Agana Shopping Center, yesterday. Rudy Capistrano/For Pacific Daily News
With performances, entertainment and trivia, residents enjoyed the Philippine Cultural Show held yesterday at the Agana Shopping Center.
The cultural show was the last event held in commemoration of the 116th year of Philippine independence, which celebrates the country's independence from Spanish rule.
The Filipino Community of Guam Ball was held on Friday with special guest speaker Francis Tolentino, chairman of the Metro Manila Development Authority.
Numerous other events were held throughout the week in celebration of Philippine independence, including a wreath laying ceremony, an art exhibit and a thanksgiving mass.
"It's an important occasion for all Filipinos. It celebrates our freedom," said Mila Moguel of the Filipino Artists Organization and Filipino Community of Guam.
Dressed in colorful traditional Filipino kimonas and patadyongs, Eskwelahang Munti students and members of the Filipino American President Club showcased their dancing skills during folk dance performances.
"While our independence is a big celebration for us, we also wanted to showcase our cultural practices," Moguel said. "It gave us a chance to share our culture with the community."
Yigo resident Judy Castillo was among the residents attending the cultural show yesterday. For her, the show was a way to connect with her Filipino roots.
"I was born and raised in Guam, so events like this help me to get in touch with my culture," Castillo said. "I get to meet people who know more about my ancestry that can help me get to know it better."
Tamuning resident Mariel Ramos agrees.
"Things like this help the younger Filipinos in our community get to know where they came from," Ramos said.
Ramos, who grew up in the Philippines, said it was nice to see that Philippine independence celebrations aren't limited to just the country she grew up in.
"Growing up, we always celebrated our independence with big events in Quezon City. It was such a tradition," Ramos said. "There are so many Filipinos all over the world, so I'm glad we get to share the celebration together outside of country, like here in Guam."
Above all, Ramos said, Philippine independence will always be a time for the Filipino community to come together.
"Yes, it's something that happened years and years before me, but it's something that shaped the Filipino community and our way of life," Ramos said. "It'll always be something for us to celebrate."
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