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By Mareta Prill


The raising of the American and Philippine flags on September 27th was a historic event. This was the first time that the two flags have flown side by side on government property, in the state of Wisconsin. It was a thrill to watch this ceremony complete the partnership that started several years ago between the Milwaukee County Parks System and the PCCCF.

The beautiful flag poles welcome visitors to our Philippine Center and were made possible through the generous contribution of the Philippine Medical Association of Wisconsin Auxiliary.

The PCCCF board members and officers, dressed in traditional Filipino costumes, were joined by dignitaries that included the American Legion Post 416, Milwaukee Parks Director John Dargle, Philippine Vice-Consul Ricarte Abejuela III, Greenfield Mayor Michael Neitzke, Milwaukee County Board Supervisor John Weishan Jr., Kaye Garcia representing Forest County Potawatomi Foundation and Jim Marks, the former Vice President of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

The raising of the flags was accompanied by the voices of our Munting Tinig Children’s Choir singing the Star Spangled Banner and the Philippine National Anthem, Lupang Hinirang. The choir is under the direction of Jojo Ramos and assisted by Amy Schemenauer, Manika Clemente and Noni Dijamco. As the two flags waved proudly in the air, our outside program ended with a 21 gun salute fired by the American Legion.

The program then moved indoors to provide a more personal setting for the remarks by our honored guests, more selections by our choir, a solo rendition of Bayan Ko by Camille Ramos Rhodes, and the closing remarks by PCCCF Chairman of the Board, Dr. Henry Ravelo. The festivities ended with a traditional merienda featuring Filipino delicacies.

We look forward to the installation of a memorial plaque near the flag poles which will forever memorialize this event and this partnership.

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