Press Release

Kalayaan SF to regale the Bay Area with Philippine Independence Day Celebrations

SAN FRANCISCO, California — The Bay Area is gearing up once again for a series of events this month commemorating the 117th Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence.KalayaanSF, an organization of Filipino-American community leaders in partnership with the Philippine Consulate General of San Francisco, will be offering up their largest collection of events to date.


Conrad ‘Radi’ Calalang, chairman of KalayaanSF, remarked, “Every year in June, we have a unique opportunity to collectively empower the Filipino American community.  There’s no better time to create momentum, partly by stoking pride and patriotism within the community, and also by proudly showcasing the unique talents and contributions of Filipino Americans.”
That momentum is apparent as KalayaanSF has grown each year in size and participation.  “It’s time to bring the Filipino community out from the shadows,” Calalang added. “As the largest Asian-American community in California, Filipinos are still very much under-represented politically and culturally.  We need a louder voice and KalayaanSF helps focus a bright, positive spotlight on the community.”


Adding to the theme, Consul General Henry S. Bensurto Jr., explained, “Empowerment cannot come from a vacuum, and it cannot be without direction. To begin with, you must start by recognizing who you are.” Bensurto added, “These activities in June help serve the purpose of establishing connectivity, which is to ensure that people are able to construct a bridge to link their first generations all the way to present and future generations.”

Philippine Independence Day Gala


On Friday, June 12th, a formal, black-tie event will be held at the beautiful San Francisco City Hall.  This premiere event, which coincides with Mayor Ed Lee’s raising of the Philippine Flag at City Hall, will bring together officials from the City and State government, consular representatives from various nations, and a cross section of guests hailing from the worlds of business, arts, politics, education, and community service.

Highlights of this year’s Gala include distinguished speakers, performances by top Filipino artists including Broadway star, Joan Almedilla and classical phenom, Matthew John Ignacio, and the traditional Rigodon de Honor to be presented by community leaders and dignitaries.

Arts Forum & Exposition


On Saturday, June 20th, an arts exposition and lecture series will be held at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco, featuring fashion Icon, Patis Tesoro and other major visual artists and designers.

KalayaanSF Festival & Concert


On Saturday, June 27th from 12 noon to 8PM , KalayaanSF’s main event will once again be held in the grounds of the iconic Union Square.  Drawing thousands of revelers each year, the KalayaanSF Festival remains free to the public.

This year’s festival will continue to feature the very popular and energetic street performances for which past events have been known for.  Spread throughout all corners of Union Square, colorful dance troupes, Filipino-Eskrima martial artists, painters, singing groups, and musicians will be performing simultaneously throughout the day.

The festival grounds will be home to various exhibitors, as well as food and craft vendors offering Filipino themed cuisine and wares to the public.

On the main stage, this year’s Kalayaan Heroes inductees will also be introduced to the public in a formal awards ceremony.  KalayaanSF seeks to provide inspiration by honoring and presenting the accomplishments of select individuals from the Filipino-American community who have exemplified the highest ideals in the fields of sports, politics, arts, business, and community service.

Capping the KalayaanSF Festival will be a free, full-length concert produced by ABS-CBN/TFC (The Filipino Channel), to be held in the main stage of Union Square.  This exciting concert will be headlined by international star and American Idol top-2 finalist, Jessica Sanchez and the immensely talented, Gab Valenciano.

For more information on these and other KalayaanSF events in the month of June, or for inquiries on sponsorship, volunteer and vendor opportunities, please visit,, or email
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