First-ever Philippine Independence Day Gala in Madrid Honours Sampung Pinakamatagal Na Manggagawang Pilipino Sa Espanya At Andorra

(Left) Mr. Bayani Javier Lugto is awarded the Gawad Philippe Lhuiller Pinakamatagal na Manggagawang Pilipino sa Espanya at Andorra 2019 (Right) Ambassador Lhuillier addresses the audience

The Barrio Fiesta Association of Madrid, in collaboration with the Philippine Embassy in Madrid, celebrated the 121st Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence on 9 June 2019 at Hotel NH Ventas with its first ever Philippine Independence Day Gala.

A highlight of the event was the awarding ceremony of the Gawad Philippe J. Lhuillier para sa 10 na Pinakamatagal na Manggagawang Pilipino sa Espanya at Andorra. The award, on its second-year, honors Filipinos who have been working in Spain for more than 40 years and shines the spotlight on the sacrifices and triumphs of overseas Filipino workers in Spain and Andorra.

Special mention was given to this year’s top awardee, Mr. Bayani Javier Lugto, who has been in Spain for 46 years. He once served as the chef for former Philippine Ambassador to Spain Jose Manuel Stilianopolous. Other winners were Ms. Helena Velasco Ceria, Ms. Nancy Calanog Reynoso, Ms. Soledad Sarmiento Villas, Ms. Flordeliza Dres Embuido, Ms. Norma Vitales Escobar, Ms. Virginia Mendoza Jarabe, Ms. Cecilia Fernandez Taylan, Ms. Dominga Fernandez Bayangat and Ms. Eufemia Rebaldo Villanueva.

In his remarks, Ambassador Philippe Lhuillier congratulated the awardees and thanked them for their perseverance and commitment to provide and create opportunities for their families. He also emphasized the need for communities to unite, and urged the community to be guided by this year’s Independence Day theme: Tapang sa Bayan, Malasakit sa Mamamayan.

Ambassador Lhuillier also congratulated the Barrio Fiesta Association for the successful holding of the gala that celebrated Philippine culture in Madrid. 

The newly-elected Barrio Fiesta Association President Ms. Nery Napilot Madrid Lacuin thanked the Philippine Embassy, attached agencies POLO-OWWA and ODAFA, the cooperative leaders and members of Filcom associations in Spain, and other members of the Filipino community for their generous assistance which led to the success of the activity.

The event was attended by over 300 members of the Filipino community and featured different dances representative of Philippine cultures from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.