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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

Filipino school pupils celebrate UAE Flag Day

The school is decked out in red, green, white and black, while hand-made greetings cards thanking the UAE rulers are being prepared by grade 2 and 3 pupils.
Pupils at The Philippine Global School in Abu Dhabi preparing their own flags ahead of Flag Day. Vidhyaa for The National
Pupils at The Philippine Global School in Abu Dhabi preparing their own flags ahead of Flag Day. Vidhyaa for The National

ABU DHABI // For nearly 2,000 pupils at The Philippine Global Schoo, Flag Day is an opportunity to highlight national spirit and express their pride in the UAE flag.

The school is decked out in red, green, white and black, while handmade greeting cards thanking the UAE Rulers are being prepared by Grade 2 and 3 pupils.

Grace Lian Alipit, a second grader, wrote: “I love the UAE flag because it is my favourite flag and Abu Dhabi is where I live. I am happy to be in the UAE.”

Evelyn Natividad, the school’s social studies co-ordinator and the person overseeing the celebrations, said the effort made was a reflection of how many at the school feel about the UAE.

“It sums up how we feel as expatriates in this country, as we prepare to celebrate Flag Day,” she said.

On Thursday, pupils from KG1 to Grade 10 are expected to gather in the school courtyard, each holding a small UAE flag. As the main UAE flag is hoisted, they will sing the UAE national anthem.

“Flag Day is a significant day not only for Emiratis but for ­expatriates as well,” said Ms Natividad, who has lived in Abu Dhabi for 22 years.

“The UAE flag symbolises the union of the seven emirates and as expatriates here, we should show our love, loyalty and respect for the flag, our loyalty to the President, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and to this country. We should uphold the dignity of the national flag.”

The red in the flag is to symbolise the sacrifices of previous generations who laid the foundations for the country’s union and of subsequent soldiers who have died protecting the UAE.

The green symbolises growth, prosperity and cultural renaissance.

The student body at the school is in the thick of preparations for Flag Day celebrations, said Micah Godwin Duyao, 15, a Grade 10 pupil and president of the supreme student council (SSC).

“We have a lot of things plan­ned for the day,” she said. “Flag Day holds a special significance for us. This is our second home and we are extremely proud to be here.”

Kaithlin Faith Junio, 15, the SSC’s academic prefect, agreed. “I was born here and, when the flag is raised, it’s like I’m in my home country,” she said.

On Wednesday, pupils were busy making posters, greeting cards, banners and flags ahead of Flag Day and the forthcoming National Day.

Using their black, red and green crayons, kindergarten children had fun colouring the UAE flag.

A number of classroom-based activities will be held to mark the day, with the aim to spread and instil a sense of national pride, patriotism and unity among pupils.

Elsewhere, the UAE flag will be unfurled and raised across the country in schools, offices, and stretched across villas and apartment buildings to show solidarity with the country’s Flag Day celebrations.

To mark the day, the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge ­Development has a wide range of activities, including a flag walkathon, an operetta, radio contests and an exhibition under the slogan “Raise it High, Raise it Proud” from Thursday until Monday.

rruiz@thenational.ae