Following the success of Kapusong Pinoy concerts in Vancouver and Anaheim recently, GMA International continues to ignite the Filipino spirit around the world through its participation in various events celebrating the Philippines’ 117th Independence Day this June.
“It has been ten fruitful years of bringing Filipinos abroad closer to home through our flagship international channel GMA Pinoy TV and we look forward to many more years of serving our kababayans abroad,” expresses GMA Vice President and Head of International Operations Joseph T. Francia. “We will continue to instill and nurture a sense of pride and love for country among our fellow Filipinos abroad through our programs on GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV and GMA News TV-International and on-ground events,” he adds.
The series of patriotic events opened with the Philippine Independence Day celebration in Carson City, California on June 6, graced by one of GMA’s top leading men Alden Richards. The event was organized by the Philippine Independence Day Foundation (PIDF, Inc.) of Carson in cooperation with the Cities of Carson and Los Angeles.
Alden, who was also one of the featured artists in the recent Kapusong Pinoy events in North America, once again charmed the audience and was presented three certificates of recognition by the Mayor Pro Tem and Grand Marshall Elito Santarino.
Simultaneously, Pagdiriwang 2015 spearheaded by the Filipino Cultural Heritage Society of Washington (FCHSW) was held in Seattle, Washington on June 6 and 7. Alden also joined the celebration and interacted with our kababayans during the meet-and-greet session on the second day.
“Sa lahat po ng mga Kapuso nating nakisaya sa Carson at Seattle, thank you very much from the bottom of my heart, and in line with the celebration of 10th anniversary of GMA Pinoy TV, maraming, maraming salamat po, sana napaligaya namin kayo, and we hope to see all of you again next year! God bless you, mga Kapuso!” says Alden.
Meanwhile, Mabuhay Festival 2015 organized by the Mabuhay Foundation was held in San Diego, California on June 13. The event was a family affair and GMA Pinoy TV’s photo booth became a hit among them. Photos from these events can be shared and downloaded at GMA Pinoy TV’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/GMAPinoyTV.
Apart from the celebrations in the US, the Pinoy Fiesta and Trade Show in Toronto held its successful 5th year anniversary celebration last June 27. And just like the past 4 years, thousands of Kapuso in Canada joined the celebration.
Kapuso actress Heart Evangelista graced the event, and received a warm welcome from the crowd who came despite heavy rains. “Miss na kayo ng Pinas mga kapuso! Maraming salamat! Sana po nag enjoy kayo. Sa uulitin,” posted Heart on her Instagram account.
Organized by the Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation (PCCF), the event was attended by thousands of event-goers including dignitaries - ministers, senators and members of Parliament, Philippine Ambassador to Canada Petronila P. Garcia, and Toronto Mayor John Tory.
From North America to the Middle East
Aside from the festivities in North America, GMA International also participated in celebrations in UAE and Kuwait.
On June 12, dance diva Rochelle Pangilinan and Survivor Philippines: Celebrity Doubles Showdown Winner Betong Sumaya joined the celebrations in Dubai, UAE organized by the Philippine Independence Day Organizing Committee led by the Office of the Philippine Consulate General. The event was jam-packed with 4,000 of our kababayans, who enjoyed performances by Rochelle, Betong and our very talented Dubai-based Filipino artists. The GMA Pinoy TV booth also stood out as games like Pinoy Henyo, Dice, and GPTV Q&A’s drew in crowds of Kapuso fans.
After the show, Rochelle got a chance to meet one of her Dubai-based fans, Mrs. Rose Garreth, who was in tears upon meeting her idol. It was such a heart-warming moment which Rochelle was also able to share with her followers on Instagram. “Maishare ko lang po ang napakasayang karanasan, nung makita ko siya, naiyak siya nung makita ako, natulala ako sa kanya, nung niyakap ko siya, tuwang tuwa siya at ako naman ang naiyak. Ang nasabi ko na lang sa sarili [ko], thank you God sa talentong ibinigay mo, nakakapagpasaya pala ako ng tao katulad ni ate Rose!” she relates.
Betong, on the other hand recalls the “amazing” journey he had in Dubai. “Performing and seeing our kababayans in Dubai up close and personal is an experience I’ll never forget,” he says.
On the same day, another celebration in the UAE took place as Musika at Tawanan 5, mounted by the Alliance of Filipino Organizations in Kuwait (ALLFILL-OK) in cooperation with the Philippine Embassy, kicked off in Kuwait. Kapuso Premier actress Lovi Poe was present and performed song numbers much to the delight of the audience. She was able to visit the Philippine Consular and Overseas Labor Offices, gamely took pictures with our kababayans and even had impromptu performances. In one particular venue, our kababayans were in tears as Lovi sang “Habang May Buhay.”
“My trip to Kuwait was truly an eye-opening experience. I got to spend time with all of these wonderful people who are unfortunately going through a tough time. Sana lahat tayo ay ipagdasal sila dahil isa lang ang hangad nila ngayon - ang maka uwi na sila sa kanilang mga pamilya,” shares Lovi with her Instagram followers.
More Pinoy celebrations are underway
GMA International’s support of Pinoy fiestas abroad will continue throughout the year.
The 6th Annual Tribute to the Philippines will be held the this month from July 17 to 19 at the Music Pier, Moorlyn Terrace, Ocean City, New Jersey, USA. This event will feature a trade fair where Philippine products, foods, services, and tourism information are sold and displayed.
Come August 1 and 2, the 10th Annual Adobo Festival will be held at the Kennedy Park in Union City, California. This event is expected to draw in Filipino families at the Bay Area and participate in the much-awaited adobo cook-off contest, various activity booths and live entertainment.
Indeed, GMA International does not only bring Filipinos abroad closer to their home country, but also continues to uphold national pride and patriotism across the world.