Today marks 126 years of the Philippines' independence from Spain.

The matter is being recognized locally by not only the Filipino association of Swift Current but also by the City of Swift Current which offered the group an official proclamation on the matter during Monday's city council meeting.

Representing the Filipino Association of Swift Current at that meeting was Icasiana De Gala, where she broke down how Philippines independence isn't as sturdy as it may seem. 

"Unfortunately, the Filipino people are still fighting for independence from foreign power, China to be exact," said De Gala. "From corrupt officials within the Philippine government and from poverty."

The fight to remain not only diplomatically independent from foreign powers territorially, but also culturally and economically is something that is on the forefront of her and others' minds. 

While their children may be born here, they want to encourage them to consider these issues and to remain tied in with their ancestral home and culture. 

"It is important to celebrate to make us aware and make even our young generation aware that we need to keep fighting and persevere," said De Gala. "To show the world what we can do to show our strength."

De Gala also touched on how in 1946, America declared Philippine Independence for them, stating their Independence Day would be July 4th. 

"The Americans said we are giving you your independence," De Gala said. "But then in 1962, it was returned to June 12 by the then President of the Philippines because he said June 12 is the Independence Day because we chose to be independent. We declared that for ourselves."

The Filipino Association of Swift Current is proud of the history and culture that they have brought with them to the community. They share it in their day-to-day lives, businesses, and cultural exchanges. 

Filipinos are one of Canada's largest growing ethnic groups, making up 26 per cent of total immigrants in Saskatchewan according to the 2021 census. In that same census from three years ago, it stated that over 20,000 Filipino people currently reside within the province.