The APCO Freedom Day Ball is an annual gathering of the members, friends and supporters of the Alliance of Philippine Community Organisations, Inc (APCO) to celebrate Philippine Independence.

Guests come in their best Filipiniana or formal attire as the host, APCO, serves up a three-course dinner and an entertainment program featuring some of the country's best local Filipino-Australian talents.

This year, renowned writer and director Dr. Mars Cavestany was the overall artistic director of the night's opening production number.

Through his vision and stage interpretation of cultural identity and social inclusion, guests enjoyed a four-part program that showcased the best in Philippine traditional music, native dance and costumes.

Songs performed on the night include the classics Dandansoy, Baleleng, Sa Kabukiran, Babalik Ka Rin and Dahil sa Isang Bulaklak.

He completed the repertoire with songs that roused patriotic longings among the audience, namely Magsimula Ka, Kailan, Pilipinas Kong Mahal and Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo

The standout performances of Linda Natividad, Brian Lorenz and Marcus Rivera made Cavestany's concept on stage a sight to behold. The dance performances of Rudy Reyes and the Mindanao Ethnic Dance Group once again captivated the audience.

Meanwhile, injecting a contemporary feel to the program was Oliver Gadista from Sweet Mojo, Jerry Salvador and Rica Sey's ballet dance as Cecile Germo sang 'Nasaan Ka Irog' (see picture).

Besides the opening production by Dr. Cavestany, the finale production number, this time directed by Albert Prias with help from Rudy Reyes and Emma Braceros, was also one of the night's entertainment highlghts (see pictures).

As the images selected by The Australian Filipina show, the evening was a great exhibit of the Philippines' traditional music and all things Filipiniana. What a great way to celebrate Independence Day!

Photo credits: APCO, Bob Reyes, ALKEI Type & Graphics

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Ruben Amores

Thanks for this beautiful reportage!

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