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Last updateThu, 20 Jun 2019 12am

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    Tuesday, June 18, 2019-8:39:00A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Filipino community celebrates Philippine Independence Day

FILIPINO community members on Saipan led by the honorary consul, Eli Arago, celebrated the 121st anniversary of the Philippine declaration of independence with CNMI officials at Kanoa Resort on Tuesday.

The program was highlighted by a parade of flags and a flag-raising ceremony led by the Emo Lodge No. 179 of the Free and Accepted Masons in the hotel’s parking area.

Click to enlarge
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan join Honorary Philippine Consul to the CNMI Glicerio “Eli” Arago, partly hidden, and the Emon Lodge No. 179 freemasons in a flag-raising ceremony on Wednesday at Kanoa Resort.
U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan with Honorary Philippine Consul to the CNMI Glicerio “Eli” Arago, Rep. Sheila Babauta and Grandvrio Resort chef Samson Tan.  Photos by Junhan B. Todiño

One of the guest speakers, U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, said many Filipino community members have called the Northern Marianas their home for years if not decades.

Sablan said he will continue to seek justice and fairness for long-time residents, including Filipinos and those of other nationalities, who have contributed to the growth of the CNMI.

“It’s really difficult, especially nowadays but I have never given up. On the day I got sworn into office, I found this problem on my doorstep. I picked it up and made it my issue…to give back to you what is fairly earned,” he added.

In his message, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said the Marianas and the Philippines have a unique relationship, and their friendship has helped make the Commonwealth one of the most diverse communities in the world.

“You have given so much for our islands, and you are truly an important part of our community,” he added.

“On behalf of the people of the Commonwealth, we extend our warmest greetings to our ‘kaibigan’ in the Filipino community on the occasion of the 121st anniversary of Philippine Independence,” he said.

“Here in the CNMI, we want to ensure that you and every single person who call these islands home have a prosperous future. We thank you for your friendship, and we look forward to working with you all now and to the future.”

Philippine Honorary Consul to the CNMI Eli Arago said the friendship between the CNMI and the Philippines is getting stronger.

“We are very thankful that you [the people of the CNMI] accepted us as members of this community,” he said, adding that Filipino community will continue to work together with the CNMI people for the good of the Commonwealth.

The message of Philippine Consul General to Guam Marciano de Borja was read by Angelita Mamaril, president of the Marianas Institute of Filipino CPAs and Accountants, while Ariel Villanueva, vice president of the Marianas Association of Engineers and Architects, read the message of Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.

Arago read the message of Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

Also attending the event were United Filipino Organization president Gerry de Guzman, Japan Consul Kazuhiko Ono and his wife, Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang and CNMI lawmakers led by Speaker Blas Jonathan Attao and Sen Vinnie Sablan.

Ulysses Torres Sabuco was the master of ceremonies.