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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

In Albany, As the Filipino Community Gather for the 2nd PH Independence Day Commemoration, the State Assembly Adopts a Resolution Memorializing Gov Hochul to Proclaim June 12, 2024 as Philippine Independence Day in the State of New York

ALBANY, NY – For the second consecutive year, the Filipino community gathered at the New York State Capitol in Albany on Tuesday, June 4th to commemorate the 126th Philippine Independence Day. This event, co-organized by the Office of Assemblymember Steven Raga and the Philippine Consulate General in New York, highlights the enduring and strong bonds between New York State and the Filipino community. 

“It is an honor to serve in the state legislature and be able to celebrate the rich heritage and vibrant culture of the Filipino community in New York State. This celebration is not just a commemoration of our history but also a testament to the enduring spirit and contributions of Filipinos in New York. I am immensely proud to represent such a dynamic and resilient community, not only in Assembly District 30 but throughout the state. Together, we will continue to build bridges of understanding and collaboration, ensuring that everywhere we go–our voices are heard, and our presence is felt,” said Assemblymember Steven Raga. 

The day began with a floor introduction in the Assembly Chamber. Assemblymember Steven Raga, the first-ever Filipino and Southeast Asian American to be elected to office in New York State, introduced the Filipino American community and recognized the presence of Consul General Senen Mangalile, special guests, and the delegation from the Philippine province of Misamis Oriental, including their Kuyamis Festival dancers. Assemblymember Raga’s colleagues responded with a round of applause, joining in the commemoration of Philippine Independence. 

“As we gather for the second year at the state capitol to commemorate the 126th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence, the historic halls of the Legislative Office Building again bear witness to the strong bonds between the Filipino community and the great state of New York. We celebrate under the theme ‘Kalayaan. Kinabukasan. Kasaysayan.’ – ‘Freedom. Future. History.’ – which echoes the spirit of the Katipunan, whose bravery and patriotism laid the foundation for the freedom the Philippines now enjoys. I call on the Filipino community in New York to draw inspiration from the Katipunan’s courage as we work together to build a prosperous and united future for a Bagong Pilipinas (New Philippines). Thank you to Assemblymember Steven Raga and his office for their initiative and invaluable support in co- organizing this celebration with the Philippine Consulate,” said Consul General Senen Mangalile.

Afterward, a brief meeting with Assembly Deputy Speaker Philip Ramos took place in the Assembly Parlor Room following the official floor introduction. During this meeting, Deputy Speaker Ramos shared his affinity for the Philippines and voiced his admiration for the Filipino community. The Deputy Speaker reiterated his interest in sending a New York State legislative delegation to the Philippines to explore mutual opportunities and proposed forming a task force to address the labor market opportunities between the Philippines and New York State. 

The celebration continued at the Well of the Legislative Office Building with a vibrant cultural program featuring performances by various Filipino American community members and organizations. The program included singing performances by Azia Sky Barao, Carla Mongado, Luz Sanchez, and Raffy Tragico from the band Brown Sugar, as well as a dance presentation by the Kuyamis Festival dancers from the province of Misamis Oriental. Attendees also enjoyed Filipino food, prepared by Kusina Resto, a local Albany food caterer. 

The program also featured greeting messages from several state legislators, including Deputy Speaker Philip Ramos, the New York State Asian Pacific American Task Force Co-Chair Zohran Mamdani, and Assemblymembers Harvey Epstein, Emily Gallagher, and Jenifer Rajkumar. Deputy Director of Asian 

American Affairs Sibu Nair from the Office of New York State Governor Kathy Hochul and Director of Asian American Affairs Adam Chen of the Office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James also delivered messages of support, on behalf of their principals. 

Later that day, the New York State Assembly adopted a resolution memorializing Governor Hochul to proclaim June 12th, 2024, as Philippine Independence Day in New York State; this resolution was sponsored by Assemblymember Kenneth Zebrowski and cosponsored by Assemblymember Steven Raga. 


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