GARDEN GROVE, CA — Philippine Independence Day is June 12, but in some communities, Filipinos are getting a head start on the celebrations.
As the community keeps close watch on the tragic events unfolding in the Philippines, they find unity in their celebrations commemorating the upcoming 119th Philippine Independence Day.
“We have the opportunity to bring all Filipinos together and really work for that change we want to have, and want to have it in our community,” said Relson Banas, Kalayaan Inc. Chair.
Helping them celebrate Kalayaan is a familiar face — Marciano Paynor Jr, who served as Los Angeles Consul General in the early 2000s.
“It’s nice meeting old friends seeing familiar places, still being the backbone of the community when,” said Paynor.
In his keynote address, the well traveled Paynor touched on the current issues from terrorism to crime, and encouraged the community to be so-called “good Filipinos” during these tough times.
Despite President Rodrigo Duterte looking at Paynor to become the next Philippine Ambassador to the US, the current Chief of Presidential Protocol has no idea if or when that would happen.
“We don’t know that; I don’t know that,” he said. “It’s the President that decides.”
With a strong following and ties in Los Angeles, community members say they are hopeful that he does get the official call.
Even before his speech, Paynor’s call-out has been answered from prayers to charity drives, and even just talking about the issues in the Philippines.
Los Angeles Filipinos and their groups have been doing their part in being “good Filipinos;” supporting their home country in as many ways as they can, especially during these times.