More than 20,000 Filipinos are expected to attend the 115th Philippine Independence Day celebrations next month.
The Philippine Independence Day is observed on June 12 every year. However, as many overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Qatar take their weekly off on Friday, the Philippine Independence Day Organising Committee (Pinoc) has decided to hold the celebrations on June 14 this year. The event will be marked by a series of activities, running from 6am to 11.30pm.
Pinoc chairman Flor Cabrito told Gulf Times that the stage was set for the most celebrated annual Filipino event in Doha. A flag-raising ceremony and a short programme will start the proceedings at 6am at the Philippine embassy in Jelaiah, which will be followed by breakfast. The event will also feature a motorcade, to be led by embassy officials and community leaders.
The rest of the activities will be held at Sheraton Doha Resort & Convention Hotel. These include a trade fair, food festival, magic show, face painting, children’s show, cultural show - Kantahan, Sayawan, Bandahan sa Doha (singing, dancing and bands), “transhow”, flower show, medical mission, Gupitan Pinoy (haircut) and a Philippine Tourism presentation. “We are inviting everybody to support and attend this year’s celebrations. Most of the activities cater to the entire family. Other nationalities are also welcome,” said Cabrito.
The flower show will showcase a variety of bouquets and flower arrangements, with 115 women receiving roses from the organisers.
Members of the United Pinoy Motor and Motorcycle Group will spearhead a “transhow”, which will feature some of their best and most fascinating cars.
To help underprivileged Filipino workers, Pinoc will hold a medical mission at the same venue and cater to those who want to avail of free check-up.
A singing competition has also started recently with a number of participants qualifying for the semi-finals.
Those who want to buy edible and other Philippine-made products can visit the trade fair and food festival booths.
Pinoc has also organised traditional games for children, such as Patintero, Tumbang Preso, Sipa, Shato etc. “We hope to double the number of attendees this year,” said Cabrito, who is also the president of BalitangQ.
Pinoc has launched seminars on health, safety and traffic safety. It will also conduct a beach clean-up in the last week of May.
The group has also started Qataerobics, which is being held every Friday on the Corniche with hundreds of OFWs and other expatriate workers participating. Besides, some organisations have held “activities for a cause” to help distressed OFWs at the Philippine Overseas Labour Office.
Last year, more than 10,000 OFWs in Qatar joined the Philippine Independence Day celebrations at the Sheraton.
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