28September2021

Filipinos March along KL’s Major Business District in Festive Independence Day Parade

10 June 2013--Rains did not dampen the spirit of the Filipino community in Malaysia as it took over major streets of Kuala Lumpur on June 9 to commemorate the 115th Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence in a colorful parade and program.

Traversing major Kuala Lumpur streets, including major shopping and tourism district Jalan Bukit Bintang, around 2,000 Filipinos and Malaysian showed up in full force and in costumes representing the Philippines' ethnic groups. Twelve floats from Malaysian companies and Filipino community organizations also joined the parade.

It was also a celebration of color and music, as the groups sang and danced as they proudly marched the streets of Kuala Lumpur, stopping passersby in their tracks as they whipped out their camera phones to take photos and videos of the parade.

Kuala Lumpur joined cities such as New York and San Francisco which have Filipino community parades to commemorate the anniversary of Philippine Independence. This is the second year that Filipinos in Malaysia have conducted an Independence Day parade.

"We are pleased that many more people have participated in this year's parade than last year. We certainly added color and splendor, with a Filipino touch, to the streets of Kuala Lumpur. Many community members brought along their children. These festive events are manifestations of the strengthened unity of the Filipino communities in Malaysia, as well as of the vibrant partnership between Malaysia and the Philippines," Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia J. Eduardo Malaya said.

The parade was also well covered and featured by Malaysian media (http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/6/10/nation/13219685&sec=nation).

A contest for best float was won with the float by Filipino association BIBAK winning top honors, followed by the floats by the Philippine Ladies of Kuala Lumpur and Malaysian company Sri Nadin.

According to BIBAK member Annie Rose Batuyog, it took them two to three weeks to make the float, utilizing recycled bamboos used during the recent Malaysian general elections to make the flag poles, and dap-ay house (village house) and other structures which depicted their ancestors' way of life in the mountains of Northern Luzon.

The June 9 events were part of a series of activities commemorating Philippine independence, which included an art exhibit featuring Mindanao-based artists at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center last May 6, a full-length performance of the highly acclaimed University of the Philippines Concert Chorus at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah in Kota Kinabalu last June 4, which was graced by the presence of Toh Puan Norlida RM Jasni, the consort of the Governor of Sabah, and a National Day reception on June 10.

Embassy's Labor Attaché Dr. Alicia Santos, together with the Federation of Filipino Associations in Malaysia, headed by Johor Overseas Filipino Association chairperson Ricardo Limson, spearheaded the preparations for the Independence Day community parade and program.

The "Fiesta sa Embahada" (Feast at the Embassy) program followed after the parade, where a festive atmosphere pervaded the Chancery grounds, featuring Filipino food, games, music and a program showcasing the talents of Filipino community members, with a performance by Manila-based singer and artist Mark Bautista.

Corporate sponsors for the events included Pag-ibig Fund, BDO Bank, Cebuana Lhullier remittance center, LBC Cargo, MoneyGram, UAE Exchange and Western Union.

The National Reception on June 10 at the newly renovated Chancery is expected to be attended by members of the diplomatic corps, senior Malaysian government officials, business leaders and members of the Filipino community. The event's musical presentation will feature Manila-based pianist Najib Ismail and soprano Camille Lopez-Molina and locally-based Filipino artists.

Foods and drinks will be catered by Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral Hotel, while ZestAir also provided generous assistance to the event. END