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Filipino breakfast, music, art at Toronto PH freedom fete

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Scarborough Ontario Seniors Association (SOSA) rondalla performing “Pilipinas Kong Mahal.” MARISA ROQUE

TORONTO, Ontario — Drawing on the Filipino’s love for gatherings and celebrating their heritage, Philippine Consul General Rosalita Prospero and staff invited local community leaders and their guests to a salusalo (get-together) on June 12, the 118th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine independence.

Ladies dressed in colorful kimonas and ternos and menfolk in elegant barong Tagalog flocked to the Philippine Consulate at 160 Eglinton Avenue East as early as 7:30 a.m.  Community leaders and members of various civic organizations made up the guest list.

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After registration at 8 a.m., the assembly sang the Philippine national anthem, accompanied by the Scarborough Ontario Seniors Association (SOSA) rondalla.  The Panunumpa ng Katapatan sa Watawat (pledge of loyalty to the flag) followed.

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Teody Asuncion and his Sabong (Cockfight). . MARISA ROQUE

Messages from various heads of Philippine government departments were read to the crowd.  Labor attache Leonila Romulo read Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz’s greetings, Consul Shirley Banquicio relayed Philippine Ambassador to Canada Petronila Garcia’s message.  Deputy Consul General J. Susana Paez read Secretary of Foreign Affairs Jose Rene Almendras’ message, and Consul General Prospero gave the message from President Benigno Aquino III.

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The SOSA rondalla played a medley of Philippine tunes, and The Nightingales, a duo of classically trained sopranos from the Philippines, sang regional folk songs, to the crowd’s delight.

WATCH: The Nightingales singing “Iduyan Mo” by Ryan Cayabyab. MARISA ROQUE

Filipino breakfast staples of daing na bangus, fried rice and adobo, among other viands, washed down with coffee, tea, and calamansi juice, were served to the guests at brunch.

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Frank Cruzet and a grouping of his pastoral reflections. MARISA ROQUE

In the afternoon, Consul General Prospero welcomed guests to the formal opening of the annual art exhibition of the Philippine Artists Group.  Titled “Iniibig Ko Ang Pilipinas.  Ito Ang Tahanan Ng Aking Lahi (I Love The Philippines.  It Is The Home Of My Race.),” the exhibit was sponsored by the Consulate.

Held at the Neilson Park Creative Center in Etobicoke, the show ran from June 6-26 and featured the works of artists Teody Asuncion, Joyce Bondoc, Jun Bueno Silva (guest exhibitor), Frank Cruzet, Jhun Ciolo Diamante, Senator Jun Enverga (guest exhibitor) Marissa Buyco-Corpus Gaa, Tony Hizon, Catalina Jeffers, Gene Lopos, Romi C. Mananquil, Maridi Nivera, Michelle Charmaine Ramos, Mark Edison Salinas, Marissa Sweet, Frank Tonido, and Nelia Tonido.

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Maestro Romi Mananquil and ConGen Prospero in front of modello of his mural of Philippine heroes. MARISA ROQUE

Colorful market scenes, restful nature landscapes, vibrant portraits of heroes, and iconic festivals were featured on canvas, easily transporting the viewer to remembered landmarks of home.

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Guests of honor were Consul General Prospero, Rose Tijam (president of the Philippine Press Council of Ontario), Senator Jun Enverga, and his wife Rosemer Enverga. ConGen Prospero also inducted the incoming officers of PAG at the event.

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TAGS: 118th Philippine Independence Day Celebration in Toronto, Filipino Canadian celebration Toronto, Filipino traditional music Toronto, Neilson Park Creative Center in Etobicoke, Parliament of Canada by Senator Jun Enverga, Philippine Consul General Rosalita Prospero, Scarborough Ontario Seniors Association (SOSA) rondalla, The Nightingales
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