Philippine Independence - Flag Raising Ceremony
Clifton enjoyed one of its many great traditions on Saturday morning. In celebration of Philippine Independence Day, a flag-raising ceremony was hosted by Bible Church International (BCI) Clifton Campus.
Many of the Filipino community in Clifton gathered on City Hall’s front lawn to recognize the day's significance. Mayor Raymond Grabowski, Councilman Antonio Latona, City Manager Nick Villano, and BOE Commissioners Anthony Santiago and Richie Mejia were all present. Mayor Grabowski spoke to the crowd about his relationship with members of the community and how important music has been to them, recounting his own choir singing with Filipino parishioners at church. BCI’s Choir sang multiple selections including the national anthems of both the United States and the Philippines.
One of the youth choir members, Benaiah Thomas (CHS Junior) when asked about the importance of the day said, “The sharing of cultures is important….This is how we celebrate diversity.” A diversity celebration it was. Following the flag-raising, the public was invited to a barbecue at the Clifton Campus church, which is rented from Hope Reformed Church at 308 Burgess Place.
Benaiah, who also gave the “History of the Philippine Flag,” enlightened the crowd to its true meaning. The Philippine flag was officially established during the Proclamation of Philippine Independence by General Emilio Aguinaldo on June 12, 1989. This proclamation came after more than three hundred years of Spanish rule. Details of the flag were read, citing the meaning of each color. Blue symbolizes peace, truth, and justice. The red stripe stands for patriotism and valor, while the white triangle symbolizes equality, liberty, and fraternity. The country is celebrating its 124th year of independence.