One of the biggest Filipino festivals in the entire USA, the Fil-Am Friendship Day Festival is an annual celebration which began in 1971 to both promote and unify the Philippine culture in the Hampton Roads area and beyond. Friendship Day features vendors, showcase, live performances, cultural celebrations, and sports events that embody the Filipino culture.
Fil-Am Friendship Day Festival
When: Saturday July 3rd, 2010 from 9:30 am – sundown
Where: Red Wing Park 1398 General Booth Boulevard, Virginia Beach, VA
On the Fourth of July, we celebrate American Independence. July 4th is, however, also a day to celebrate the beginning of the modern Philippines. July 4th has become known as “Filipino American Friendship Day”, the day the Philippines celebrate independence from Japanese occupation and American colonization. Since the Philippine Islands are also one of the partners in the effort to bring terrorists to justice, it is even more important this year to remember our friendship and alliance with the people of the Philippines.
In 1896, Filipinos rose up in rebellion and successfully led Asia’s first nationalistic revolution. After several attempts, they freed themselves from the yoke of the Spanish rule. On June 12, 1896, the people of the Philippines enjoyed their first Independence Day. For many, that date remains the actual Independence Day for the Philippines.
While they were freed from Spanish rule, after the Spanish-American War, the Philippines fell under the colonial rule of the United States. The Americans did, however, introduce democratic processes and public education, and they developed infrastructure throughout the islands as well.
Japanese rule until 1945, when American and Filipino-American forces liberated them. Only July 4, 1946, they were declared an independent nation for the first time since 1571.
Reformist President, Diosdado Macapagal, returned Philippine Freedom Day to the June 12th date. He felt that the Fourth of July activities in the United States overshadowed the Philippine independence celebration, so he declared July 4th Filipino American Friendship Day” in the islands.
Our friends from AiReal Apparel will be present at the event so don’t forget to check out their vendor booth. Also, for those of you visiting Virginia Beach for the first time please be aware that there is going to be traffic over the weekend. Anyone from Virginia can tell you that a trip that usually takes two hours may take five hours due to traffic. For more information on Fil-Am Friendship Day VA visit www.filamfriendshipdayva.com. (Salamat, J.R.)