Celebrate 125th Philippine Independence Day at Tūranga

Filipinos all over the world will celebrated Philippine Independence Day on 12 June. This day marks the country’s emergence as a sovereign nation, free from foreign rule and this year's celebration is a momentous and significant as it celebrates its 125th year of independence from almost 400 years of Spanish colonisation. 

Like we have done over the past four years, Christchurch City Libraries is once again collaborating with various Filipino groups in Christchurch to prepare an exhibition and performances to commemorate the milestone. The theme of the event is Filipino Heroes, which aims to acknowledge the bravery and sacrifices of the Filipino people who fought for the country’s independence and the modern heroes, who keep on giving honour to the country.

How we are celebrating

We will have special craft sessions creating finger puppets inspired by Filipino heroes across the library network. To find our the time for each session, please check the library calendar.

We also have a two-week exhibition from Banyuhay Aotearoa, in collaboration with Pinoy Cares and Migrante Aotearoa in Auahatanga, Level 4, at Tūranga. Banyuhay Aotearoa is a newly-established and registered Charitable Trust. They aim to enrich, engage and empower the Filipino community in New Zealand, by organising events and forums to learn about Philippine history, culture and current events, with the support of our growing network of volunteers and in partnership with our allied organisations and groups.

The main event will be on 24 June, 1-3pm in Tautoru/TSB Space at Tūranga.

To add more excitement and meaning to the event, several performers will be showcasing their talents. Ritmo Pilipino, an all-Filipina dance group, will perform their unique dance numbers, Musika Filipinas Aotearoa, a Filipino choir, will mesmerise the audience with their harmonious voices. TG Music Studio, a voice and piano school for kids, will showcase their young talents. YSA Photobooth is also available throughout the entire event to add more fun.

Ritmo Pilipino is an all-female Christchurch-based Filipino cultural dance group. The group's name means "Filipinas expressing strong rhythmic steps through dancing. The group mostly represents Filipino culture in various multi-cultural events and recently won the first Aliwan Festival 2022's Champion held at Riverside Market.

TG Music Studio is a Christchurch-based music school founded by teacher Grace Mariano-Atienza and for over seven years, it has been providing music lessons in voice and piano to multinational school-aged children and adults (mostly Filipinos). To date, the Studio has had over hundred students and conducted yearly performance recitals. For this year's event, TG Music Studio will feature its Piano recitalists and Filipino Youth Choir.

Musika Filipinas Aoteaora is no stranger to Christchurch City Libraries. They have been supporting the Christchurch City Libraries' Independence Day for the last three years. For those who are not familiar with the group, Musika Filipinas Aotearoa, which literally translates to Music, Philippines and New Zealand, is an all-Filipino community-based choir in Christchurch and was founded in May 2021 by Kristian Rubi, a Filipino nurse who was a theatre actor/director in Cebu, Philippines. The inspiration to form a group came when Kristian saw the gap in the community for Filipinos who love singing and theatre. As a member of a choir, Vocal Collective, he got inspired to create an all-Filipino choir that is community-based and be with people who share his passion for singing and theatre.

Watch last year's performance of Musika Filipinas Aotearoa:

For those who are interested in learning more about the Philippine culture, the library has a collection of books and resources about the Philippines and around 400 Tagalog books and ebooks. The presence of these materials provides an opportunity to learn more about the Philippines and its culture. These are excellent resource for those who want to learn Tagalog or immerse themselves in Filipino literature. These books can also be valuable for Filipinos in Christchurch who want to reconnect with their heritage.

Overall, the Philippine Independence Day celebration promises to be an enriching and inspiring event. It’s a day to celebrate Filipino culture, heritage and independence, and to honour the brave Filipino heroes who fought for our country’s freedom and our modern heroes. This is a free event and everyone is welcome to join.

Previous Philippine Independence Day celebrations at Turanga

Listen to Filipino traditional and popular songs:

Filipino crafts