Kalayaan 2024: Filipinos celebrate Philippine Independence Day in Dubai

Estimated read time 3 min read

At Kalayaan 2024 at the Dubai World Trade Center on June 9, 2024. EXPAT MEDIA

Thousands of Filipinos converged at the Dubai World Trade Center on Sunday (June 9) for the biggest Philippine Independence Day celebration in the UAE.

The day-long event started with a grand parade at 8am featuring Filipino community groups, private and business sectors, educational institutions and Philippine and UAE government agencies.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, graced the event and congratulated the Philippines on its 126th Independence Day celebration while also praising the country on its impressive progress with the help of the global Filipino community. Sheikh Nahyan also stressed on the immense contribution of Filipinos in the UAE.

Kalayaan 2024 showcased Filipino culture to the UAE’s diverse population and witnessed  the participation of a group of diplomatic, economic and social figures, as well as a number of businessmen, entrepreneurs and Filipino groups in the country. The program included entertainment and cultural shows, including performances from actors Kim Chiu, Paulo Avelino, Jerome Ponce and Krissha Viaje.

The event was graced by Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Ferdinand Alfonso Ver and Philippine Consul General to Dubai and Northern Emirates Marford Angeles. Philippine former basketball star Benjie Paras was also seen mingling with the crowd at Saeed Hall 1. Ver emphasized that Kalayaan 2024 comes as the UAE and the Philippines celebrate their 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

Kalayaan 2024 is an advance celebration of the 126th anniversary of Philippine Independence Day on June 12. Kalayaan 2024 is organized by Infinite Communities and co-presented by Emirates Loves Philippines for the third consecutive year, and The Filipino Channel.

Kim Chiu, Paulo Avelino perform

Adding star power to Kalayaan 2024 are Kim Chiu and Paulo Avelino, who came for a meet and greet with fans at the venue before their grand show at the main stage. Answering Expat Media’s question, Kim said it was her first time to perform with Paulo in Dubai after their online pairing in the hit series “Linlang” and “What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?”

Jerome Ponce, Krissha Viaje perform

KrisshRome tandem Jerome Ponce and Krissha Viaje were also at the venue for a meet and greet with fans. The pair then hit mainstage for a performance in the finale of the Kalayaan program.

Earlier on Sunday, the duo was at Chicking in Al Rigga Dubai for lunch and a meet and greet with fans. They joined Filipinos in a pre-celebration of Philippine Independence Day and urged fans to watch their performance live at the Dubai World Trade Center.

“This annual extravaganza has evolved into a symbol of unity, talent, and diversity, with the 2023 edition attracting an estimated 30,000 footfall from across the UAE and beyond, solidifying its position as one of the world’s largest Filipino migrant community celebrations,” according to Infinite Communities. ICA/Expat Media

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