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Celebrating Filipino Heritage: The 126th Philippine Independence Day in Arizona

The 126th Philippine Independence Day Celebration in Arizona took place on June 8, 2024, at the ASU West Campus. Organized by the Council of Filipino Organizations of Arizona (CFO-AZ), this year’s event also marked 20 years of celebrating Philippine Independence Day in Arizona. It was a day full of community spirit, cultural pride, and delicious food.

The celebration started with a colorful parade featuring different Filipino community groups. The day was packed with cultural performances, including traditional dances, songs, and a fashion show showcasing both traditional and modern Filipino attire. The event created a lively and warm atmosphere that everyone enjoyed.

One of the highlights of the event was the amazing food. Vendors like Halo Halo Kitchen, Manila Sunrise, Soda Bar, and Everything BBQ served a variety of Filipino dishes, adding to the enjoyment of the day.

Photo Credits: Chikka Magazine and Ihman Esturco Photography

After eight years, the Miss Teen Philippines Arizona pageant made a return with seven talented contestants. The young participants competed in various segments such as fitness, talent, evening wear, and national costume. The enthusiasm and energy of the contestants added a vibrant touch to the celebration.

The event also featured free health screenings, cultural dances, song performances, and a poster-making contest for kids. Attendees had the opportunity to enjoy traditional and modern performances, making the event a rich cultural experience.

The cultural show segment ended on a high note with a breathtaking performance by the Filipino American Marriage-Group of Arizona (FAMAZ) along with members of the Novena Prayer Group of Arizona. Their dance, which showcased traditional Filipino games, invoked a feeling of nostalgia and cultural appreciation, uniting the room in shared childhood memories.

Video Credit: Robert Gross

An attendee shared their excitement, saying, “From the moment the doors opened, there was so much energy and excitement.” Many attendees praised the event for its sense of community and enjoyment.

The celebrations will continue with a Gala Night on July 27, 2024, at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, supported by Casino Arizona. The gala will feature the coronation of the pageant winners, performances, recognitions, and a dinner and dance. It promises to be another great event celebrating Filipino culture.

The 126th Philippine Independence Day Celebration in Arizona was a huge success. It brought together Filipinos and the broader community to celebrate heritage, unity, and cultural pride. This event commemorates the day the Philippines declared independence from Spain in 1898, known as ‘Araw ng Kasarinlan’ or ‘Day of Freedom.’ For more details and upcoming events, visit PIDC AZ’s official website.

Michael Lewis

Michael is joined at the hip with the Filipino American community through family, friends, and his love for the food. Over the past 15 years+, he has been an active "behind the scenes" contributor to a variety of Filipino community groups, events, and activities. Michael is also ringleader of the FilAm FamBam crew and in his free time enjoys RV'ing and anything tech.

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