Kalayaan Picnic Cooking Contest
Kalayaan Picnic Cooking Contest

Preparations are now under way for the Filipino community’s  celebration of Philippine Independence Day in Michigan, a well attended event. Popularly known as Kalayaan Picnic, the event is held every year at Halmich Park in Warren.

Spearheading the celebration is the Filipino American Community Council (FILAMCCO), which is the umbrella organization of 40 Filipino-American groups.

In the Philippines, Independence Day is celebrated on June 12 of every year. Filipinos all over the world are celebrating this year the 116th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine Independence in 1898.

Here in Michigan, we will hold the Kalayaan Picnic on June 7, 2014 (Saturday). The festivities will start at 9 a.m. and will end at  4 p.m.

The planning committee is preparing a whole-day of festivities.

A “Freedom Walk” to be held at 8 a.m. is expected to set the tone of the celebration. The release of 116 colorful balloons will be done shortly before the traditional parade organizations at 11 a.m.

FILAMCCO-affiliated organizations will be asked to participate in the parade and carry their respective banners.

One new feature of this year’s celebration is the participation of the “Ginang Diwa ng Kalayaan.” A ceremonial ribbon-cutting will signal the opening of the celebration which will be led by FILAMCCO President Imelda Martin-Hum who will be assisted by local officials.

A brief program will be held after the parade. This will be followed by the community, potluck-syke luncheon at noon. This will generate a fiesta atmosphere with festival-goers sharing delicious Filipino dishes with one another.

An adobo-cooking contest will be one of the highlights of the celebration. The contest is open to the public. Read related story on Page 3 of this Filipino Star issue.

A cultural program set at 1:30 p.m. will be presented by Fil-Am talents. There will be plenty of time for community dancing.

Last year, some 3,000 people attended this popular event which is also an opportunity to meet again our fellow Filipinos.

See to it that you don’t miss this event. See you at Halmich Park on June 7.

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Willie is a teacher at the Detroit Public School. A very popular and influential leader in the Filipino-American community in Michigan, Dechavez is the incumbent Michigan state chairperson of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA) and public relations officer of both the Filipino-American Community Council (FILAMCCO) and the Philippine American Community Center (PACCM). A native of Sorsogon, Philippines, he is also vice president of the Bicol Association of Michigan. He is recipient of numerous awards.

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