Monday, June 4, 2007

RECAP: 2007 Philippine Independence Day Parade

The NAFCON (National Alliance for Filipino Concers) contingent
bore our different member organization flags: Migrante, Katutubo, FiRE, Anakbayan, Sandiwa, and the Queer flag. The different colors of each flag was stark amidst the sea of maroon shirts that donned "Justice for the Sentosa 27++" and "Justice for All Overseas Contract Workers".

Our contingent projected the calls supporting one of the campaigns FiRE is involved in currently, demanding to "Shut Down the Sentosa Agency!" and rightful benefits and justice for all the nurses and healthcare workers exploited by the Sentosa Agency.

Sisters from past Pinay Power Brunches, Joseline and Jen, joined us in the march proudly holding banners, flags and passing out hats! We loved that we had more women chanting with us side by side!

As our contingent continued down the parade and into the main grandstand, we were greeted by the parade onlookers and the grandstand members with standing ovations and feverish applause! We chanted "Ang Tao, Ang Bayan, Ngayon Ay Lumalaban" loudly as we walked in full formation. The feeling was electric.

After the we finished marching, the NAFCON contingent of more than 75 community members collected ourselves and unleashed a mean "hoy-hoy" fashioned after the South African anti-apartheid chant, "toyi-toyi" (thanks to David Canham from NJ!). With the energy running high and the collision of music, beats and dancing from the ati-atihan contingent the parade became a street synergy of Filipino culture and political chants. All of us were dancing in the streets together!

Yes, flag dances were involved. Yes, street silhouettes were involved. And yes, we're classy like that.

We were all pretty hungry after and hunted for good bbq. We did a quick wardrobe change with the shirts Kimmie made (ooh, oh so geeed up!) slaving over a silkscreen all day and all night..and it was so worth it. More shirts coming..promise. We ran into so many folks including but not limited to Corinne aka Calamity and also the youth we work with at Philippine Forum! Woo!

At the end of the day, after flyering and chanting and parading, the rain came and everyone walked away with that good kind of tired.

We did that damn thang and celebrated our culture and our pride in our people by uniting on the issues of our communit!

Mabuhay ang Migranteng Pilipino!
Mabuhay ang Sentosa Nurses!
Mabuhay ang Kababaihan!