SAN DIEGO — At 4:47 pm, the Philippine flag was raised high in San Diego’s Balboa Park.
119 years ago, at 4:47,the Philippines raised its flag claiming its independence from Spain.
The Filipino American community has been celebrating Philippine Independence Day at the house of the Philippines at exactly June 12th at 4:47 PM.
“I’m so happy we Filipinos are going to celebrate our independence day,” said Juliet Pastor Cavite Assoc of SoCal Inc chair. “At the same time back in the Philippines, [they are] back home in cavity.”
“This is something that is very good with fellow Filipinos, we are very resilient and we are known as happy people despite all the tragic events,” said Fermia Dianne Ramos, Miss Republic of the Philippines.
This ceremony brings back fond memories for many Filipinos in this region, specially needed during challenging times in the Philippines.
“Please continue to pray for our beloved soldiers in Marawi City fighting for the freedom and safety of our fellow men there,” said Adelio Cruz, LA Consul General. “I would also like you to pray for all the victims, innocent souls lost during the siege in Marawi, the recent fire that broke out in Resort World…”
“It’s really important; especially since there are these kinds of issues these kind of troubles going on in the Philippines, that we all get together for Philippine Independence Day, and celebrate how proud we are of our culture our identity our country… also proud to be Filipino,” said Ed Pimantuan from Cavite Assoc of SoCal Inc.
As the celebration honored Philippine soldiers past and present, the city of San Diego also paid tribute to a local Filipino American hero who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect his city.
July marks the one year anniversary of when Police Officer Jonathan DeGuzman’s death was shot dead in the line of duty.
The Filipino community is now raising $5 to 8 thousand in funds to have a state bridge renamed after him.
“So many others have joined in to honor officer Deguzman in naming the Palomar Bridge … so close to his family’s own home, by naming it now the officer Jonathan M. Deguzman memorial bridge,” said Francine Maigue, Fil-Am community leader. “We hope those that see it, they remember him with pride and with gratitude. He embodied the Bayanihan spirit. ”
The naming of the bridge has already passed state legislation, Maigue says they are hopeful the funds can be raised by July 28th — the one year anniversary of Deguzman’s death — giving San Diego Filipinos another reason to come together and celebrate the achievements of their heroes.