Proud Filipinos celebrate 114th Independence Day-Minister, bishop and local companies show support


They met for a day of remembrance, friendship and everything “Filipino”, receiving generousThe Filipinos in Seychelles’ logo support from local companies.

The event carried the theme of ‘One History. One Freedom. One Future’ as the country celebrates its historic independence from the Spanish regime that once ruled the South East Asian nation.

The predominantly Catholic population started off the day with a special mass led by Bishop Denis Wiehe, after which the national anthems of both Seychelles and the Philippines were played under their respective flags.

There was a hilarious moment when the crowd of hundreds rushed forward for the souvenir snap with the bishop, displaying the stereotype of Asian’s love of taking photos.

The opening remarks included a special message from Designated Minister Vincent Meriton, who wished the Filipinos the best on their special day, and acknowledged their valuable contribution as hard workers to the Seychelles.

 Bishop Wiehe offering Holy Communion

Afterwards, the hosts and performers got the crowd of about 500 Filipinos from various companies to take part in basketball and volleyball, interactive games, cultural and musical performances.
In between, raffles were held, which had prizes contributed by local companies and personalities. Among these were overnight stays in hotels, spa therapies, wines, cash prizes and much more.

Among the main events was their version of Pinoy Idol, whereby the winner received one of the four complementary seats on a scenic flight that was generously sponsored by the luxury helicopter services company, ZilAir. The other three seats were given as raffle prizes, as presented by Ashvin Seeboo, ZilAir’s commercial director.

The most amazing prize was presented by local telecommunications company, Airtel. Prior to the event, Airtel had organised a special promotion on international calls to the Philippines, and the person who made the most calls would win the surprise prize. The mysterious award was announced to the crowd on Sunday by representatives of Airtel as a return ticket to the Philippines, which received excited and impressed cheers from everyone present. The winning phone number was called live on stage, and funnily enough, the winner turned out to be an Indian expatriate worker! It was joked goodheartedly that perhaps he has a girlfriend in the Philippines to whom he was making all the calls.

As if this was not enough, Airtel announced that it is planning on making another draw in September of this year, making fervent fans of everyone.

The show went on with further performances, including a version of Pinoy got Talent, whereby they showed off their acting, dancing and guitar playing skills.  A large buffet was served and the Filipinos eagerly tucked into their homeland’s dishes and delicacies, which they have all missed as these are hard to prepare in the Seychelles due to a lack of proper ingredients.

The day ended on a high note as everyone joined in a dance performance titled PinoyAko, which translates to “I’m Filipino”.

The Proud Pinoys in Seychelles would like to express their most heartfelt thanks to all the companies that supported their day. These included Airtel, ZilAir, La Habitation Cerf Island, People’s Fashion, Hi-Tech Graphics, Avis Car Hire, NV Shiatsu Beauty Therapist, Essence Salon and Victoria Cold Storage.

Finally, to all Filipinos in the Seychelles, the happiest Independence Day to us all and ‘Mabuhay ang Pilipino’! (Long live the Filipinos)

Contributed by Dianne Dalida