Saturday, July 01, 2006

First of July:60th anniversary of Fil-Am friendship

A slightly overcast day...
but the rain waited till after the fireworks. It all kicked off for the Forth of July in Manila for the expatriate US community here.
It was fun and lively hosted as part celebration part fund raiser for the American Association of the Philippines, The civic group that has been helping Americans here for the nearly six decades.

Estimates are about 160,000 American Citizens live permanently here with another 60,000 who drift through at anytime putting it at 200,000 Americans in the Country. It is three days away from the official fourth celebration usually held at the US embassy in Manila but today's was more a "people-kids-community event."
Americans and Filipinos gathered at the IS or International School in Fort Bonifacio. In this former US commonwealth which it's Recognition of independence as a Nation 60 years ago - when US President Harry Truman signed the order that was slightly delayed by World War Two. Today was a lot of fun and was there in force; we'll have the story on the web in short order.
US Ambassador Kristie Kenney opened the event with a short speech at this gathering
the kind of a little bit of the town square stage transplanted to Tagig.
The Photo is a video grab on the left it is of the Ambassador and the American Association of the Philippines members who really do a lot to help those Americans who need it.
Kenney in a interview we'll soon have up on the FYI website seems a more mobile and pro-active Ambassador who seems more at home outside the chancery building which is a good idea she has been from Batanes to Jolo in the short period she's been here so far.

I know of some past people who held her post who almost never left the capital. She seems approachable and more low keyed in many ways.

To most Americans it is independence day to Filipinos it was also for many years till the current presidents father changed it to June 12th - in line with the first declaration of independence from Spain - which by the way was signed also by American Naval officers as witnesses! But it was not until the formal recognition by the US Congress and signed by Harry Truman that the US pulled down old glory and up went the Philippine flag a scene you can on any 100 Peso note by the which took place on July 4th, 1946 at the Luneta.

The Celebration link: US Embassy Website

A Double Celebration on July 4: U.S. Independence and Philippine-American Friendship

Click on photo to see full story
Independence Day is regarded as the birthday of the United States as a free and independent nation. Most Americans simply call it the "Fourth of July," on which date it always falls. July 4 also recalls

the establishment of one of our most important relationships: that of the American and Filipino peoples as close partners from independent but closely intertwined democratic nations. Full Story

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