First-Ever Independence Day Commemoration Parade

10 June 2011 - The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur said today that a 1,200-strong Filipino-Malaysian community paraded the streets of Kuala Lumpur in commemoration of the 114th year of Philippine Independence on the morning of June 10.

The parade, led by Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia J. Eduardo Malaya, Embassy officers and staff and their families, and members of the Filipino Malaysian community, headed by Federation of Filipino Associations in Malaysia (FFAM) President Amializa Francisco, showcased the diversity and richness of Philippine culture in their colorful costumes and festive music.

Adding color to the parade is the presence of Princess Jacel H. Kiram of Sulu, the Kuala Lumpur Marching Band and the Philippine Off-Road Land Rover Team, who were in Malaysia in time for the parade.

Philippine-based artists such as Paloma Esmeria and Filipino band Rivermaya vocalists Jayson Fernandez, also joined the community as they paraded the streets of Kuala Lumpur.

"We are happy and heartened that the Filipino-Malaysian community came out in force to celebrate our unique heritage, especially that we celebrate the 114th anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine Independence," Ambassador Malaya said, in what can be termed as a "coming-out" party for the Filipino community in Malaysia.

"We are deeply touched that the our brethren here in Malaysia took time out to join us in this event, some of them travelling great distances to just be here for the parade. It is a big honor for us to be able to showcase what is great about the Philippines and true to the tourism slogan, that it is 'more fun in the Philippines'," Ms. Francisco said.

The parade was extensively covered by Malaysian media, and stopped traffic in its route, with onlookers stopping in their tracks to watch. Some even whipped out their cameras and camera phones to snap pictures or take videos of the parade.

This was the kick-off of the day-long Independence Day commemoration of the Embassy, with an open house at the Embassy to welcome those present. There was the airing of the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley match at the Embassy's consular area, as well as booths offering Filipino dishes and other items to those present.

In the afternoon, a cultural program will be held at the Embassy grounds, with Filipino artists from the Philippines and those based in Malaysia showcasing Philippine talent at its best. The Ramos-Nebrija Guitar Duo, who is featured in the Kolej Tuanku Ja'afar International Youth Festival 2012, and vocalist of popular Filipino band Rivermaya, Jayson Francisco, are expected to perform during the program.