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Independence Fete in SF to focus on heritage and economic growth

INQUIRER.net US Bureau

SAN FRANCISCO–The Philippine Independence Day celebration here will showcase both the Philippine’s cultural heritage and its current position as an emerging economic powerhouse, the Philippine Consulate General and members of the Bay Area’s Filipino-American community announced.

The free event, dubbed “Kalayaan 2013,” will be  on Saturday, June 15 at historic Union Square from 12 to 7:30 p.m.

Silicon Valley tech leader, Dado Banatao joined Consul General Marciano Paynor and a panel of Filipino civic leaders and cultural representatives to explain the vision and theme for this year’s event: “Celebrating a Legacy of Filipino Creativity, Talent and Ingenuity.”

Banatao illustrated the country’s unprecedented rate of economic growth in recent years, fueled by innovation in the technology sectors and sustained by an emerging population of highly educated youth.

“I look at the young Filipino achievers these days and say to myself, If only I could only have been that smart when I was at that age!” says Banatao, who is acknowledged as one of Silicon Valley’s most brilliant engineers and successful entrepreneurs.

Consul General Paynor further notes that “the Philippines is in a very unique position of economic strength and business leadership unprecedented in its history. It is clearly our time.”

Unique to this event, will be a large business component designed to bring the Philippines’ current economic successes and upgraded forecasts to the forefront and promote the Philippines as one of the most important global business and technology destinations.

The Philippines 2.0 Business Expo will feature a lineup of innovative companies benefiting from the wave of change in the country and will run parallel to the day’s cultural events.

Celebrants will also find a variety of food offerings and entertainment by a long list of visual artists, dancers and musical groups throughout the day.  Wrapping up the day’s cultural events will be an evening concert featuring Apl.de.Ap of the Black Eyed Peas and other major Filipino talents.

Al Perez, Chairman of the Kalayaan 2013 Steering Committee, explained that this year’s celebration is a special one. “Filipinos are known for their talent in the performing arts, but we have actually played a significant role in so many other fields. We have invited them to be part of our celebration. We hope people who come to the event will not only enjoy the programs and the showcases, but come away with a better understanding of how Filipinos and Filipino-Americans have contributed to their community and beyond.”

This community-led celebration is a collaborative effort by Filipino American Community leaders from the San Francisco Bay Area in cooperation with the Philippine Consulate General.  For more information on this event, please contact Arnold Pedrigal at arnold.pedrigal@gmail.com or visit the event website at www.KalayaanSF.com.

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