D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - This week, people of Filipino descent are celebrating 120 years of freedom.
South Mississippi saw it's own celebration take place at Lumpia House in D'Iberville as many gathered for the occasion.
After three hundred years of Spanish rule, the Philippines declared its independence from Spain on June 12, 1898.
For Chona Aranda, celebrating her country's independence day means a lot, no matter how far away she is. "Being here in the United States and around the world seeing this, is very important that the Filipino get together and feel the atmosphere of being home," she said.
This celebration at Lumpia House in D'Iberville, brought people from many different cultures together to celebrate the Filipino Independence Day. "We're just doing a budol fight style buffet with the roast pig, it's really popular in the Philippines. We wanted to try to stick with authenticity with the food today," said Alicia Baldwin.
Alicia Baldwin says it's all about celebrating our differences. She explained, "To have people sitting with someone maybe they don't know and then they make a connection so it's all about community for us."
For former Filipino missionary Linda Moore, those cultural differences are what make celebrations like this great. "Whenever you have more cultures that work together, than just having one here one there and one there, when everyone comes together and joins it's fantastic," said Moore.
Jeany Young left the Philippines just three years ago. She says this celebration was a little piece of home. Young stated, "We were glad that we got this Filipino event here because it's like we're far away from our home, our country. We had a chance to celebrate it here in America which is a good thing."
Along with music and conversation, there was of course, all kinds of Filipino cuisine enjoyed by all.
Baldwin says they decided to hold the celebration today so more people could take part. Philippines Independence Day is Tuesday.