- There are more than 300,000 Australians who were born in the Philippines and figures are expected to grow.
- Different Filipino communities across the country commemorate Philippine Independence Day with a simultaneous Flag Raising ceremony.
Listen to the audio:
Ipinagdiwang ang ika-124 na anibersaryo ng Araw ng Kalayaan ng Pilipinas noong ika-12 ng Hunyo sa iba't ibang estado at teritoryo ng Australya.
Consulate General of the Philippines in Melbourne led the Flag Raising ceremony with The Filipino Choir of St. Francis Inc. or Kiko Choir singing the national anthem and patriotic song "Ako ay Pilipino".
As the lyric goes, Filipinos in Australia has been very proud of their identity.
The Filipino Choir of St. Francis, Inc. or Kiko Choir Source: SBS Filipino
We spoke to Filipinos in Australia and they shared why is it important to celebrate Philippine Independence Day even if they are miles away from home.
Beng De Leon Source: SBS Filipino
Beng De Leon, 31 years in Australia
"Even though we are not in the Philippines anymore, Filipino blood runs through our veins. Never mind if we are not in the Philippines but we have to celebrate Independence Day because this is the symbol of our freedom and that we are not colonized anymore. This is a symbol of empowerment given that Filipinos are an empowered community and we are empowered people especially here in Australia."
Walter Villagonzalo Source: SBS Filipino
Walter Villagonzalo , 35 years in Australia
"Especially we know that situations in other countries that don't enjoy freedom, we have to acknowledge our independence that was attained because of the sacrifices of our ancestors like wars fought by our heroes like Dr Jose Rizal, (Andres) Bonifacio, Lapu-Lapu and others. We have this independence now and we have to preserve it and while we have, we need to celebrate it.
Marjorie Rose Source: SBS Filipino
Marjorie Rose, born and raised in Australia
"Celebrating Independence Day is very important especially in Australia, of course being born here in Australia you don't really get to understand or get to be educated on the Philippine culture unless you be educated by your parents, so for me coming to Independence day today makes me proud to be a Filipino."
Marlon De Leon Source: SBS Filipino
Marlon De Leon, 13 years in Australia
"We appreciate more being free in the Philippines when we came here in Australia given the democracy. We have realised that it is very significant to value the freedom and independence of the Philippines. We have this gala night and other events because we value being Filipino and being a free nation."
Melvin Mata Source: SBS Filipino
Melvin Mata, 12 years in Australia
"We are in a free country and we are very fortunate for that freedom. You can look at other countries that don't enjoy what we have like expressing whatever you want or being whatever you are. The ultimate pride of Filipinos is we fought for our independence, we are cherishing our independence and we know how to sustain our independence. "
Lt. Johnson Lamug, Philippine Navy Source: SBS Filipino
Lt. Johnson Lamug, Philippine Navy (Philippine Secondment Officer with Australian Defence Force)
"Being a soldier, it is our duty to protect the d freedom of our country that's why it is very significant to commemorate this. And as Filipino citizens, remembering Independence is our pledge to remain loyal to our country and not just our country but our nation as a Filipino people. "