Phl Embassy in KL Commemorates Independence Day with Parade, Bayanihan Dance Performance, Food Festival

25 June 2014 - The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur marked the 116th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence through the third Philippines-Malaysia Independence Day community parade and Fiesta sa Embahada on June 8, a Gala Performance of Bayanihan, Philippine National Folk Dance Company and Filipino Food Festival on June 12, both in Kuala Lumpur, and a benefit show by the Bayanihan in Kuching, Sarawak on June 14.

"The Philippines has such a rich and diverse culture and it is our honor to showcase it, may it be on the streets and theatres of Kuala Lumpur, or in regional centers such as Kuching. We are heartened with the overwhelming response from those who came to the show and the parade," Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya said.

Around 2000 Filipinos came out in colorful costumes and bearing flower-festooned arches as Filipino community members paraded along the streets of Kuala Lumpur during the Filipino-Malaysian Independence Day community parade on June 8. Joining the parade were Apprentice Asia winner Jonathan Yabut and singer-actress and the voice behind the "Malaysia truly Asia" jingle Maria Jazsmine, as Honorary Grand Marshalls, and Manila-based artist Alden Richards.

As the parade traversed along Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur's main shopping and tourist district, the group briefly stopped to dance to the "It's more fun in the Philippines" jingle, to the delight of those in the area. Tourist and passers-by took photos and videos of the parade.

In the afternoon, the community converged to the Embassy grounds for the "Fiesta sa Embahada", which featured performances by the members of the Filipino community, raffle draws and Filipino food and drinks.

Sponsors during the event include AirAsia, Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-Ibig), Smart Pinoy, LBC Malaysia, Petron Malaysia, Merchantrade, BDO and Filinvest.

On June 12, the Embassy commemorated Independence Day with members of the diplomatic corps, the business and arts community and members of the Filipino community in a gala performance of Bayanihan, the Philippine National Folk Dance Company and a Filipino Food Festival at the Amphitheater of the Kraf Kompleks in Kuala Lumpur.

The event's guest of honor was Malaysian Minister for Home Affairs Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Also gracing the event were Yang Amat Mulia Tunku Zain Al'-Abidin Ibni Tuanku Muhriz of Negeri Sembilan, and showbiz personalities Carmen Soo and Maria Jaszmine.

Filipino chefs Jose Marco Antonio Legasto, Nelmar Pedernal, Bernardo Taboso and Juanito Dominguez were flown in by Aloft Hotel Sentral Kuala Lumpur, and showcased their mastery of Filipino dishes composed of seafood kilawin, lumpiang sariwa, beef and tofu skewers with soy vinegar like tokwa't baboy, tinapa and laing cigars, adobo, chicken bicol express and ginataang kalabasa at sitaw pockets, lamb calderata, beef mechado carving station, pancit malabon, turon with langka and maja blanca. There were also cards containing the recipes of these dishes placed near their service areas. Those present were also given Mama Sita cookbooks as giveaways.

The food festival was followed by the Bayanihan's gala performance, which featured dances from the country's mountain tribes and Muslim regions and highlighting its Spanish roots and country life. Audiences were also impressed with the group's singing, breaking into chorus when the Bayanihan sang popular Malaysian folk song Rasa Sayang.

Audiences stayed well after the performance to have their photos taken with the group, and to praise them with their performance.

The event was made possible through the support of the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Kraf Kompleks, AirAsia, Smart Pinoy, Filinvest and Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral Hotel.

The Bayanihan proceeded to Kuching and gave a scintillating performance before an 800-strong crowd of Malaysian officials, Filipino-Malaysian community members and other guests at the Grand Ballroom of the Imperial Hotel last June 14. Gracing the event was Senior Minister and Minister for Social Development Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom as Guest of Honor.

It was held in cooperation with Soroptimist International of Kuching, where the proceeds from the performance will be used for projects for migrant workers in distress and victims of violence, as well as for rural training and women empowerment.

Corporate sponsors for the Kuching performance included AirAsia, Smart Pinoy, 360 Hotel, Straits Central Travel and Tours, Telang Usan Hotel, Plaza Merdeka, Kuching In & Out magazine and Sarawak Cultural Village. END