CFAO Celebrates 117th Philippine Independence Day


Orlando — The Council For Filipino American Organizations of Central Florida (aka CFAO) held last June 20, a special “ Fiesta Flipina” marking the celebration of the 117th Anniversary of the declaration of Philippine independence. The red letter date in Philippine history was June 12, 1898, 117 years ago when the country declared its independence from the tyranny of Spanish colonialism, hoisted a Filipino flag and played a national anthem for the first time. It marked the end of the country’s almost four centuries of its bloody struggle for nationhood. With this significant act, the Philippines established the first constitutional democracy in Asia, and announced to the world the inherent nobility and dignity of the Filipino people.

Photos: C.K. Lau (To view the photo album, visit

“Fiesta Filipina” was held at Mark Street Senior Center in Orlando. The day was proclaimed Philippine Independence Day in the City of Orlando by Mayor Buddy Dyer.The proclamation was read by Luis Martinez, the City’s Director for Multicultural Affairs. The celebration began with a parade presentation of the evolution of Filipino Flags by members of the Knights of Rizal under the direction of Valentin Dagani, Jr. An entertainment program followed featuring the music of Asia Trend’s Gary Lau, the songs of Diana Roz and Ria Cristobal, and native dances performed by the University of Central Florida’s Filipino Student Association, the API Broadcasting Dance troupe, and Tampa’s Philippine Performing Arts. Mario Ordona and Lita Martija, past CFAO Chairs, emceed the program.

CFAO is chaired by Val Dagani, Jr. with Dr.Naty Ordona vice-chairing, Tess Snow serving as secretary, Rey Curva as treasurer, and Alan Ababon, as auditor.

The Council’s member organizations are Bayanihan International Ladies Association (Leilani Fontanilla, president); Ilonggo Association (Jeanette O’ Meara, president); Order of the Knights of Rizal (Alex de Guzman, Commander); Ladies For Rizal (Dr.Naty Ordona, president); Philippine American Chamber of Commerce (Ting Bouffard, president); Vismindaluz of Florida (Tina Cathy, president); Filipino Community of St. Cloud Florida, Inc.(Cristina Salizon, president).

Long live the Philippines and MABUHAY!

Article: Lita Abril Martija