PADUA, Italy – For Veneto-based Filipinos, the importance of the declaration of the independence of the Philippines remains very eminent.
Two weeks after the 113th anniversary of the country's independence, the Filipinos in Italy still celebrated it last Sunday, June 26 in a park managed by Gruppo Alpini.
The Association of Filipino Community Presidents (AFCP), the mother organization of all Filipino communities in the Veneto region, initiated the post-celebration.
The Lakan and Lakambini 2011 pageant highlighted the event. Different Filipino communities from Treviso, Venice, Verona, Vicenza, Bassano del Grappa and Padova participated.
A Eucharistic celebration led by the Filipino chaplain in Padova, Fr. Oscar Cadayona, formally opened the event at 9 a.m. It was followed by a parade and the Palarong Pinoy.
The Palarong Pinoy, which was also the best attraction of the event, showcased the traditional and favorite games the Filipinos adore, such as culliot, dinoron, calahoyo and many more.
Despite the intense heat, participants gladly cooperated while the amused audience enjoyed watching the young and old alike.
The awaited Lakan at Lakambini 2011 pageant started around 3 p.m. with a fashion show of Philippine costumes.
Three candidates vied for Best in National Costume and Best in Talent, each representing Luzon, Vizayas and Mindanao.
Prince JT Pacatang and Diana Grace Halunahan were adjudged Lakan at Lakambini 2011. The pair from Venice also won the Best in National Costume award as they gave the most accurate representation of Mindanao.
Best in Talent Award went to Daryl Afatodo and Maria Shanelin Miranda Limbo, who performed the tinikling, one of the oldest dances which originated in Leyte. They were also the first runners up.
Kerby Averion and Julieann Villapando of Padova were second runners-up.