10 June 2023 - Ambassador Jose Manuel G. Romualdez poses with some of the children at the Filipino street festival.
WASHINGTON D.C. – In a vibrant display of solidarity and celebration, Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez and embassy officials joined our kababayans in celebrating the 125th Philippine Independence Day at a street festival organized by several Filipino Community Organizations for the greater area of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV). The event showcased the richness of Filipino heritage, culture, and community, and served as a testament to the strong bilateral ties between the United States and the Philippines.
10 June 2023 – Filipino community organizations prepare their banners for the mini-parade.
The festival this year took place in Virginia and drew a diverse crowd of locals, Filipino community members, and international visitors. The streets were adorned with the vibrant colors of the Philippine flag, and the air was filled with the joyful sounds of music, dance, and laughter. It was organized by the Philippine Independence Day Committee (PIDC) – DMV which was mainly led by 16 Filipino Community Organizations and supported by more than 40 others.
10 June 2023 – Deputy Chief of Mission Jaime Ramon Ascalon, Jr. presents the prizes to the winners of the PIDC-DMV Essay Writing Contest.
Ambassador Romualdez conveyed his heartfelt appreciation to PIDC-DMV and their partners and supporters who worked tirelessly to create a captivating showcase of Filipino traditions. The ambassador recognized their dedication and commitment in upholding the spirit of unity and pride that define the Filipino people, both in their homeland and abroad.
10 June 2023 – Festival organizers prepare the Philippine flag for the mini-parade.
“The Philippine Independence Day Street Festival embodies the indomitable spirit and resilience of the Filipino people,” said Ambassador Romualdez. “Today, we celebrate not only the freedom we won over a century ago, but also the unbreakable bonds between the people of the Philippines and the United States today.”
10 June 2023 – Ambassador Romualdez (right) visits PH Tourism Attache Francisco Lardizabal and the booth of the Philippine Department of Tourism during the street festival.
The festival featured a diverse range of cultural performances, including traditional dances, vibrant musical showcases, and mouthwatering cuisine that tantalized the taste buds of attendees. From intricate folk dances to pulsating beats that had the crowd dancing along, the event offered a captivating experience for all.
11 June 2023 – Ambassador Jose Manuel G. Romualdez leads the flag raising ceremony at the Embassy with PIDC-DMV and its partners for the 125th anniversary of Philippine Independence.
The day after the street festival, the Ambassador welcomed the PIDC-DMV and representatives of the supporting organizations at the Philippine Embassy Chancery Annex Building for a flag-raising ceremony and appreciation event. Mr. Ben de Guzman, Director of the Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (MOAPIA), was also in attendance and delivered a message on behalf of DC Mayor Muriel Bowser.
11 June 2023 – Ambassador Romualdez thanks the PIDC-DMV and encourages everyone to remain proud of their Filipino heritage.
With the national anthem resounding through the historic halls of the Chancery Annex, the crowd stood together, heads held high, arms placed over their hearts as a symbol of respect for the sacrifices made by those who came before them.
The Ambassador personally commended the organizers for their meticulous planning, which ensured a safe and enjoyable environment for all festival-goers. Their dedication in bringing together the rich tapestry of Filipino culture has not only strengthened community bonds but also fostered cross-cultural understanding and appreciation.
He reiterated the importance of preserving and promoting the rich heritage and values that define the Filipino community, emphasizing that events like these foster cultural understanding, unity, and appreciation for diversity. As he closed his inspirational remarks, the Ambassador called on everyone to “raise the Filipino banner high!”