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The Philippine Consulate General in cooperation with a number of Filipino associations on island launched the Philippine Independence Month festivities with activities that showcased Filipino culture, world-class Filipino talents in the field of visual and performing arts, and truly satisfying Filipino food.

(Left photo) Miss Teen WVCST Alumni Association;  (Middle photo) Sen. Shirley "Sam" Mabini as one of the Reyna Elenas is escorted by Mr. Frank Kenney of Jamaican Grill, and Ms. World Guam Jeneva Bosko (in purple gown) escorted by Sen. Chris Dueñas; (Right photo) Consul General Mangibin giving his inspirational message to the organizers and participating organizations.

On Saturday, 02 June 2012, the Filipino Ladies Association of Guam (FLAG) held the annual Santacruzan at the Agana Shopping Center.  This Filipino tradition, which depicts the finding of the Holy Cross by Queen Helena, has also become an annual event on Guam and is joined by beautiful little misses and elegant ladies representing various Filipino associations.  Several local government officials and politicians also join the parade.  For this year, the participating associations included the Aklan Association of Guam, Capizeños Association of Guam, Iloilo International, Guimaras Families Association of Guam, and Western Visayas College of Science and Technology (WVCST) Alumni Association of Guam.  Governor Eddie Baza Calvo and First Lady Christine Calvo, who was one of the Reyna Elenas, led the local government officials who participated in the parade.  Members of the 31st Guam Legislature also joined the event including Speaker Judith T. Won Pat, Sen. Shirley "Sam" Mabini, Sen. Frank Blas, Sen. Chris Dueñas, Sen. Adolfo Palacios, Sen. Dennis Rodriguez, Jr., and Sen. Tony Ada.  The other Reyna Elenas during the procession were FLAG president Leonila Ronquillo, Filipino Community of Guam president Leah Beth Naholowaa and Miss World Guam 2012 Jeneva Bosko.

The Consulate General fully supported the annual celebration with the Consul General, Hon. Bayani V. Mangibin, delivering an inspirational message for all the participants and their families and for all those who supported the event.  The Consul General's wife, Mme. Carmen Mangibin, was also one of the judges for the best in gown and arch competition for the event.  Children of the officers and staff of the Philippine Consulate General also joined the procession.

Among the winners of the event were the Guimaras Families Association of Guam, which won the children's best gown competition; the Aklan Association of Guam, which won the ladies' best gown competition; and the WVCST Alumni Association, which won the best arch competition.  The Iloilo International won the special award for the most number of participants.

In the evening of the same day, Filipinos on Guam were treated to a world-class performance by the ArtiStaRita, a theater group which performed a zarzuela entitled "Mikit Tamu King Milabas" (Romancing the Past), a musical almost entirely in the Kapampangan language.  One of the main goals of the theater group is to preserve and promote the Kapampangan culture.  Guam was the last stop to the group's US tour which also included performances in California, particularly in San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and in New York.  The show was produced by Mr. Peter Marcelo of Serendipity Hype Productions and choreographed by ArtiStaRita founder and former Miss Saigon choreographer, Mr. Andy Alvis.

Consul General Mangibin congratulating ArtiStaRita for its world-class performance of an original Kapampangan zarzuela.

The Guam community was likewise treated to an artistic feast by the Guam Filipino Artists, starting with the holding of the 1st Annual On-the-Spot Painting Contest for High School students at the Agana Shopping Center on Saturday, 02 June 2012 and the grand opening of OBRA II, an art exhibit in celebration of the 114th Philippine Independence, on Sunday, 03 June.

From a field of 19 high school students, three winners were selected by a board of judges comprised of known artists and art enthusiasts on island.  The third place winner was Kamaka Aquino, a 12th grader from George Washington High School, while the second place winner was Ralph Patacsil, a 10th grader from Father Dueñas Memorial School.  The grand prize went to Alyssa Hughes, a 12th grader studying in a home school program.

(Right photo) The winners of the 1st On-the-Spot Painting Contest with officers of the Philippine Consulate General, headed by Consul General Bayani V. Mangibin (3rd Left), Sen. Dennis Rodriguez, Jr. (3rd Right), Speaker Judith T. Won Pat of the 31st Guam Legislature, and GFA President Rolly Zepeda. (Left photo) The ribbon-cutting ceremony of OBRA II was led by Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio and Consul General Mangibin.  Honored guests during the event also included (L-R) Mr. Emelio Uy, Sen. Tina Muna-Barnes, GFA President Rolly Zepeda, Consul General Hyun Soo Park of South Korea, Consul General Mangibin, Mrs. Mila Moguel of GFA, Lt. Gov. Tenorio, Sen. Frank Blas, Jr., Consul General Hisatsugu Shimizu of Japan and Sen. Dennis Rodriguez, Jr.

After their successful OBRA exhibit during the Philippine Independence month celebration last year, the Guam Filipino Artists was officially born as an organization.  This year, with a bigger venue at the Agana Shopping Center, more GFA members were able to display their works, which included paintings in oil, charcoal and water color, metal embossing, quilting, and photography.

An installation work by GFA president Rolly Zepeda, which made use of recycled crab shells and an old mannequin, was one of the main attractions of the exhibit.  Entitled "Stop! Enough!" the art work depicts an outcry for Filipinos to do away with "crab mentality" or the seeming penchant to pull others down.

On Monday, 04 June, the Guam Reef Hotel officially launched its 6th Annual Filipino Food Festival entitled "Fiesta sa Nayon sa Guam", bringing to Guam two Filipino chefs from Plantation Bay Resort in Mactan Island, Cebu.  Consul General Mangibin and GRH General Manager Eichi Koyama, together with officials of United Airlines, led the ribbon-cutting ceremony that opened the sumptuous buffet showcasing fine Filipino cuisine.END

(Left Photo) Chef Henry of Plantation Bay Resort, GRH General Manager Eichi Koyama, GRH Promotions Manager Chito de Guzman, Ms. Paula LG Monk and Ms. Tess Reyes of United Airlines and Consul General Mangibin cutting the ribbon to open the Filipino Food Festival.  (Right photo) Chef Henry of Plantation Bay Resort, Ms. Chito de Guzman, Mr. Samuel Shinohara and Ms. Paula LG Monk of United Airlines, GRH GM Eichi Koyama, Consul General Mangibin and his wife, Mrs. Carmen Mangibin, Ms. Tess Reyes and Ms. Marissa del Rosario of United Airlines.