Record Breaking Attendance at the Philippine Independence Day Picnic
Spaarnwoude Recreation Park, Haarlem The Netherlands June 7, 2008
The JUBILEUM PICNIC , in celebration of 110th Anniversary of Philippine Independence, was another great milestone of the Filipino community in The Netherlands.
The organizer of the event, The COALITION consisting of Barangay sa Holland, Samahan of the Netherlands and United Filipino Dutch Association as member organizations, truly delivered its promise to make Picnic 2008 the best ever…being the 20th annual Indepedence Day Picnic held since the Picnic began in June 1988.
Stage Igorot Fan Dance
Based on 1200 cars/vans that passed the gate and at least 150 cars that parked outside the picnic area…. plus those who came by public transport…a record breaking attendance of approximately 7000 picnickers came to join the celebration at the sprawling Evenement Terrain of Spaarnwoude Park, coming from all corners of the Netherlands, as well as cross-border kababayans from Belgium and Germany.
As commented by some at the picnic…”Perfectly organized….”; “Professional/orderly traffic guidance at the parking…”.
The event’s security and safety of the picnickers, thanks to the organizer’s close coordination with the Haarlemmermeer’s municipal police and fire department, went smoothly throughout the day without any incident. At about 5:00 pm, Baby Gonzales,designated coordinator of the picnic, (in the absence of Peter Payoyo who was on work mission to Mexico on June 7) was informed by the assigned police that day ….. “ The event went so good…post-picnic evaluation to discuss problems with the authorities is no longer needed.”
The Picnic Cultural Bazaar, lined with stalls, was a shopping paradise for those who came to buy Philippine products…..and for the enterprising Filipinos and Dutch alike…it was a bonanza. The stall area was filled with at least 1000 “clients” at any one time…..”window shopping” , buying various Philippine products…from dried food / fresh mangoes to leather handbags…. and for many….simply savouring the Filipino delicacies offered.!!
Stage entertainments (gratis et amore) in solidarity with the COALITION and the community were provided by three of the community’s professional singers, Nhelley dela Rosa, Ruth Galura and Alyss Andico as well as performances by Filipinas van Overijssel Choir & Children’s dance group, Insomnia Dancers, JIL Dancers, Jesus is Annointed Dancers, vocalist Renzo Quintana, Janna Ramp Wesley Rodriguez, Robmin Dancers, Sunro Trio, BSH Dancers and the UFDA Dance group, ChizBurger Band, Bread of Life Band and some other unnamed artists. Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat.
Security Police Fireman
Representatives from the Philippine Embassy came in full force, led by Ambassador and Madame Romeo A. Arguelles. Also at the picnic was our Honorary Consul General from Rotterdam, Mr. Hendrik Meijboom.
Some works of Filipino painter Al Perez were also displayed at the Philippine Embassy tent. Al Perez showed his painting expertise by making portraits of two picnickers.
Al Perez Al Perez Philippine Independence Day Picnic 2008, a great demonstration of Filipino Bayanihan, indeed was the most successful event ever organized by the Filipino community in The Netherlands. Special thanks to the sponsorship of LEBARA MOBILE, SUNRO CHANGE BV, WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM, MAMA SITA’s and AIDSFONDS as well as donations from Bread of Life, Elma Tours & Travel, Eileen Sari Sari Store, Marian Cargo & Shippping, Renzo Quintana, Robmin Au Pair Agency, Van Vught Adviesgroep and many others who wish to remain anonymous.
Munting Nayon for its part received congratulations for having supported the organization of the Picnic.
As in the past 20 years…MN played the role of communicating this yearly event to one and all. But the direct credits for the successful holding of Philippine Independence Day Picnic 2008 celebration should be addressed to THE COALITION (BSH, UFDA and SAMAHAN) and all volunteers who sweated it out for 6 months preparing/planning…..to give their kababayans and friends the grandest ..…most fun-filled gathering of the Filipino community in The Netherlands.!!
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