2 events to mark PH Independence Day in Oslo

by Macel Ingles, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at May 22 2012 09:40 AM | Updated as of May 22 2012 05:40 PM

 Independence day parade at Karl Johan in Oslo held last year/Macel Ingles, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

OSLO - All efforts to unite Filipinos in Oslo for a single Independence Day celebration failed, as two Pinoy umbrella organizations decided to hold their own celebrations next month.

Filcom Norway will hold its Independence Day celebrations on June 2, while the New Filipino Working Group (NFWG) will be having it a week later, on June 9.

Both groups are set to have a fiesta themed-celebration at the same venue, the St. Hanshaugen Park in Oslo.

A parade at the city's main avenue, Karl Johan, will kick-off the June 2 celebrations of Filcom Norway at 1:00 p.m. All participants are being encouraged to wear national costumes to enliven the event. It will be followed by an Independence Day "fiesta" at the nearby St. Hanshaugen Park.

The first 100 participants to the parade will be given free lechon coupons according to its Facebook event page.

Organizers are also holding a two-part Filipino talent show "Pasiklaban sa Araw ng Kalayaan" (Search for most talented Filipinos in Norway) at the park.

Meanwhile, the New Filipino Working Group will hold a celebration on June 9 celebration, starting from 9 a.m. It
will feature the search for Bb. Kalayaan 2012 and have a barrio fiesta at the park offering Pinoy foods, product and services to the participants.

ABS-CBN Europe had been privy to attempts by representatives from both groups to negotiate for a common celebration of Independence Day this year.

Before a meeting was supposed to take place, the NFWG withdrew from the forthcoming talks after the Filcom event was announced at a gathering.

Last year, two separate events were held by Filcom Norway and the NFWG, causing confusion to a lot of Filipinos who came to the events held in two separate venues.

However, both groups conceded that there will be no unified celebration this year either.

When asked to comment on the separate celebrations, Filcom Norway coordinator Nene Puyat told ABS-CBN Europe that she “hopes that this will be seen as a kind of 'week-long' celebration, rather than 2 different celebrations. We understand that a group is initiating a kind of 'food fair' during the weekdays that follow, with different Filipino delicacies offered in some restaurants in town."

She also expressed hopes for a unified celebration in the future saying, " to have one grand celebration would surely come one day; but as of now, having several celebrations, in different Filipino communities around Norway, close to the actual day of 12th June, celebrates the Filipino spirit of fun, positiveness, optimism, the celebration of freedom, and of the Filipino way of life".

Meanwhile, NFWG Coordinator Jean Langerud expressed dismay at the decision of the Filcom to hold its celebrations a week earlier writing in a text message to ABS-CBN Europe that "Filcom's action will send a wrong signal to our Filipino community" and will create confusion among Pinoys and Norwegians who had been attending the annual Independence day celebrations held at the park since 2004.

She said that her group, then called Filipino Working Group (FWG) started the park celebrations for Independence Day, and has since become an annual traditional celebration for Filipinos in the capital city of Norway.

The NFWG is reconstituted group from the Filipino Working Group (FWG) formed to unite all Filipino organizations in Oslo under one umbrella organization. It broke away from the FWG and formed its own organization in 2010. Former members of the FWG left after the NFWG breakaway formed the Filcom Norway.