The Filipino community in Madrid, led by Ambassador Philippe Jones Lhuillier, held a series of events and activities to celebrate Philippine Independence Day from June 12 to 17.
On June 10, the Philippine Embassy in Madrid and the Knights of Rizal–La Solidaridad Chapter held a wreath-laying ceremony at Jose Rizal’s monument in Madrid. The event featured live readings of Rizal’s poems including “A La Juventud Filipina” and “Mi Ultimo Adios” by Spanish radio presenter and voice actor, Elias Rodriguez Varela.
“I call on each and every one of us to work together in building our community into one that will provide the care and support we want to see in raising the next great generation of Filipinos who will live up to the ideals of Rizal, the Ilustrados, the Katipuneros, and the valiant men and women who, up to this day, are fighting social injustices in our country,” Lhuillier said as he cited the role of Rizal’s family and friends in raising him to be an extraordinary citizen who responded to the needs of his countrymen and inspired a revolution.
On June 12, Lhuillier led a flag-raising ceremony at the Philippine Embassy where messages from President Rodrigo Duterte, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana were read to the Filipino community.
The Independence Day celebration culminated with the Fiesta Filipina 2018 wherein Filipinos were honored for their sacrifices, dedication to work, and contribution to nation-building.
The “Gawad Ambassador Philippe J. Lhuillier Para sa Pinakamatagal na Manggagawang Pilipino sa Spain at Andorra” was well-received by the Filipino community, garnering many entries from all around Spain.
Among the awardees were Francia De Villa (40 years in Santander), Editha Etrata and Concepcion Zaragoza(40 years in Malaga), Leonida Hipolito and Marjoling De Leña (40 years in Madrid), Armando Gabriel (39 years in Madrid), Ma. Luzviminda Roque (38 years in Madrid), and Reynaldo Manzano (38 years in Lerida).
Ambassador Lhuillier expressed his admiration and respect for all overseas Filipino workers who brave homesickness and difficulties while abroad to provide for their loved ones.
“I am one with the nation in celebrating the 120th Independence Day of the Philippines, it also comes at a very opportune time to honor the modern-day heroes who dedicate relentless service to their home country and adoptive country.”
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