As I See It
By ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO
July 4th is Independence Day of the United States which was also referred to as the 4th of July. It is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the Continental Congress declaring that the 13 American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation – the United States of America – and no longer part of the British Empire.
Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, meet and greet, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, playing golf, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. They culminate their day-long activities with a 15 – 30 minute fireworks display, depending on the sponsoring organization. Finding a parking and leaving the park is always a problem, taking longer hours waiting for the fireworks display, then another hour or so leaving the parking lot, as everybody is rushing home after the fireworks.
At one time, it was the Philippine’s Independence Day too! When Philippine independence was moved to June 12, which was approved on august 4, 1964, July 4th became US-Philippine Friendship Day. It is a huge event for many Filipino-Americans to rekindle their origin and heritage and to create awareness of the Philippine culture as part of their goal: knowing your roots!
In Milpitas, it was held at the Milpitas Sports Center with fireworks and concert dubbed as “Red, White, & Boom” which featured the Orquesta Borinquen from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Prior to this, there was a pool party dubbed as “Waving the Red, White and Blue” from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with music, family fun, and the Food Truck Mafia. Both affairs were sponsored by the Milpitas Recreation Services with the Santa Clara County partly sponsoring the event. For those who didn’t pay the entrance fees for both “Red, White, & Boom” and “Waving the Red, White, and Blue” at the Milpitas Sports Center, they trooped to nearby Cardoza Park to witness the fireworks display. City officials who were seen attending the activities include Milpitas Mayor Jose Esteves, Vice Mayor Carmen Montano, Councilmember Atty. Garry Barbadillo, and City Commissioners Evelyn Chua and Ray Maglalang.
In Hayward, retired Principal Dr. Bernadette Ortiz-Ordonez, enjoyed barbequing with her 7-year-old grandson Czar Alexander. She had fun preparing the food for her family on 4th of July while waiting for the fireworks at about 9:00 p.m.
In Los Angeles, Pangasinan Brotherhood-USA President Lino F. Caringal, Jr. designated-cook, had barbecue in the park with his family waiting for the 9:00 p.m. fireworks in downtown LA. He greeted all the members of PB-USA and also members of The Global Urdanetanians (TGU), being the founding president of TGU. Meanwhile, TGU President Yvonne San Juan-Sera likewise greeted all members of TGU a “Happy 4th of July”.
From Richmond, Arllan and Gilda likewise were busy preparing their 4th of July food while at the same time busy preparing for the christening of their son Noah on July 23. They are very excited for Noah’s christening day! Lolo Gil and Lola Puring Yap are crazy too for Noah’s day.
My wife Delia prepared spaghetti, palabok, chicken and pork adobo barbecue, string beans with bagoong, lechon kawali, pritong galunggong with suka, and nilagang mais. Filipino food for 4th of July!
It was a day of greetings too! TGU Board member Cris Ramirez, in behalf of our UCHS Batch ‘65 in the Philippines, posted a very colorful and meaningful July 4th flyer saying “Happy Independence Day”, “Happy 240th birthday America… and happy 4th of July to all Batch ‘65 in the USA”. He was joined by Bien Cordingley, Outgoing President of UCHS Batch’65 Ruben Dulay, Gilda Nickel, Judina Cadiente, Rolando Consolacion, Minda Ventinilla, Feliciana Sarga, Romy Collado, Mely Parayno, Incoming Batch ’65 President Diego Consolacion, all members of UCHS Batch ’65.
Grandpa Avelino and Grandma Julieta, with their son Danilo and Danilo’s wife Jeng went to Gilroy shopping at the Outlets and then ate at Jollibee at Tully Road in San Jose as their way of celebrating July 4th independence day.
From Canada, our UCHS ’65 batch mates Rosalinda Tangalin and Roger Andrada also sent a message to us here in the US greeting us “Happy 4th of July”. I also received greetings from our kababayan in Rome Ave Vida. Thanks Vida!
From Australia too came Happy 4th of July greetings! Thanks to Eric & Gigi Malapitan, Julian Reasonda, Leora Mangubat, and Bert & Zeny Lapena.
Greetings came from all parts of the globe as we celebrated America’s birthday on July 4th! We are proud to be Filipino-Americans! Happy 4th of July to all!
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