holidays/special days, pinoys in korea

Filipinos at Banpo Hangang Park for the Philippines Independence Day 2016

After the Ballet Philippines cultural treat organized by the Philippine Embassy-Seoul last Thursday, the Korea-based Filipinos were once again treated to the 118th Philippine Independence Day celebration at the Banpo Hangang Park.

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Filipinos celebrating the 118th Philippine Independence Day

It was a fun day and seeing Filipinos from all over Korea converge in one venue for a day of festivity was the closest we could get to have a feel of the Philippines. It was nostalgic. I go back home regularly and I felt that way. How much more did the other Filipinos who haven’t gone home for so long must have felt? And the judgmental side of me took a guilty bow seeing how much hard work the organizers had been doing to come up with all kinds of festivities all year round for the Filipino community. Hey, some of them have not stepped on Philippine soil for the past decade… even more. The tie that binds them to our country is the actual and physical celebration of our culture. Aside from the feeling of guilt, I am getting sentimental writing at this very moment. This should teach me to be more appreciative than judgmental. Kudos to the people behind every festivities here in Korea… especially those on the ground and behind the scenes who have not gone back to the Philippines for so long.

Last Sunday’s celebration was the 118th year of Independence from Spain’s 377 (1521-1898) colonial rule over our country and our people. The first taste of Independence was declared on June 12, 1898 at Kawit, Cavite by the country’s first President, Emilio Aguinaldo. Why we celebrate July 4 as another holiday to commemorate our independence from the Americans deserve another post and just goes to show the complexity of international relations.

Fast forward to today, Filipinos all over the world are celebrating this freedom. Here in Seoul, our Philippine Ambassador H. E. Raul Hernandez led the symbolic releasing of doves.


Today, we enjoy a fusion of cultural influences from our colonizers and immigrants. Here are some of the photos I took:

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I didn’t take too many photos. I learned to enjoy the moment and rely on tagged photos these days. And I rarely bring my DSLR especially when I have the boylets with me. OK, enough justification.

It was a good day. I enjoyed the picnic with friends. There were Pinoy food on site from several Filipino communities but we also brought our own food. I brought adobo and bought some bread from the kiosks. My friends bought Filipino dishes and delicacies and we shared while watching the program.

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picnic at the park
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watching the festivities

It was my first time to bring the boys to a public Philippine festivity like this one. They may not have grasped the full significance but the experience, hopefully, brings home the message that they are Filipinos who, though living in a foreign land, should learn and appreciate the Filipino in them.

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our Philippine Flag
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18 thoughts on “Filipinos at Banpo Hangang Park for the Philippines Independence Day 2016

  1. I feel SO connected to the Philippines, and let me explain why. Although I’m Canadian-Jamaican, I’ve grown up around many Filipinos (I went to a Catholic school) and am extremely close with my Filipino best friend’s family and exposed to their culture. Also, it doesn’t help that I commonly am mistake for a “blasian”, as others like to call it (Filipino, or any other Asian ethnic group, & black as they like to overly simplify it). If I knew about this event I would have definitely gone. Thank you for sharing! Which part of the Philippines are you from?

    1. Hi Chelsea, I am from Iloilo. Thank you for letting me know about your Philippine “connection”. I hope to bump into you in one of our festivities, then.

  2. How special to be able to share your cultural heritage with your family, even while being away from home.
    And all those beautiful colours! The Phillipines was one of my favourite holidays!

  3. That’s great! I enjoyed seeing all the people during the parade, dressed up in colorful outfits and beautiful princess-like dresses. So glad you have a chance to celebrate your culture and country in such a wonderful way!

  4. Hi Ms. Wendy. Good for you you were able to attend that event. I have other appointment that time so I didn’t attend. It’s always nice to be with our Kababayan here in South Korea and I am glad you enjoyed it. From the photos you shared here, I can see the festivities and the Filipino culture.

    Anyway, it’s sad we were not able to meet during the presscon of TFC Korea, I met Ms. betchay already. Hopefuly next time we’ll see each other. ๐Ÿ™‚
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  5. I have come to realize the necessity of these kinds of events being a part of a Filipino family in diaspora myself. I watch how nostalgic my mom gets at our community events eating halo-halo from little stands that resemble bahay kubos. I know she would want us to have our own Filipiniana outfits one day every time she sees dancers come out in their finest regalia. I wish I had known their were annual Philippines Independence Day gatherings while I was in Korea because I definitely would have attended.
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  6. This looks like fun, Wendy! I didn’t know much about the Philippines but this is very informative. Such a colorful event; I hope one day I’d get to witness this myself.
    Happy Independence Day!

    1. Ahh… The girl wearing hanbok is a daughter of one of our friends. She sang the Korean national anthem, thus the hanbok among us.

      For Filipino food, we have Filipino restos: Cebu Grill in the Yonsei area, JR Pub and Resto in Itaewon serves Filipino dishes every Sunday.

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