The Filipino Community of Hills campus celebrated the Filipino Independence Day at the Hillsong Convention Centre main foyer on the 21stof June, 2019.
Winston and Mariel Ilag, who organised this year’s event, discuss the theme and preparations for the event.
Tell us the reason why we celebrated Filipino Independence Day.
As a church we celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of different cultures. We wanted to celebrate and cultivate a Kingdom-culture — a culture in which Jesus Christ is the centre; a culture of excellence, stewardship and community. This can be coupled with our rich Filipino heritage, hospitality and warmth, and bayanihan – the spirit of communal unity, work, and cooperation to achieve a particular goal.
What was this year’s objectives and theme?
Aligned with the vision Pastor Brian set out, the inspiration for this year’s theme was “Gather Home”. We prayed and believed that ‘even a small family will become a thousand’, and that the gathering will signal growth and momentum within the Filipino group.
We aimed to connect more people to the life of church – to place more people into connect groups so that they can experience community and growth.
What were the highlights from this year’s celebration?
The entire night was a success, praise God! We were ecstatic with the turn-out and the exceeding generosity of our community. Despite the cold winter weather, the night was oozing with joy, warmth and genuine fellowship.
The main foyer was packed, even onto the overflow seating on the second floor. The program started with a celebration of praise and worship, and then powered through the main program with amazing cultural and folk dances, song numbers from talented Filipino vocalists and an acapella group.
Sumptuous dishes were served with an array of Filipino favourites: pancit, lumpia, adobo, beef asadoand the most coveted lechon (whole roasted pig) and of course, desserts like leche flan and ube-macapuno!
Pastor Sam, our campus pastor sealed and ended the event with a prayer and encouraging words that people may know the grace and favour and hand of God in their lives.