In my almost three years in Suriname, I was finally able to set foot in the Paramaribo Zoo which is only a few minutes away from my house. My place is near the center, so it will take a 5-minute taxi ride and a 7 SRD (1 US) fare.
The Paramaribo Zoo was officially opened in 1972 and was founded by Prime Minister Johan Adolf Pengel in 1966. It was recently renovated and you can see newly built pathways and beautiful landscapes. There are on-going constructions in some areas, but you can just roam around.
Fort Nieuw Amsterdam is located at the junction of the Suriname river and the Commewijne river. It was supposed to be a barricade to protect the crops from the river between 1734 to 1747. The materials used to construct the fort were supplied by the Netherlands and built by the slaves.
It was also a former sugar cane plantation. In the second world war, the Americans and the Dutch armies helped defend Suriname from the Germans. The Germans were interested in the supply of aluminum from Suriname.
Suriname maintained the fort and made it an outdoor museum for people to learn about the colonial and slavery period.
It’s the time of the year again when the Greenheart trees in Suriname turn to yellow and shower their petals on the ground, making it a bed of flowers. This happens usually around August to November, a sign that the dry season has come.
The Philippine Independence Day also known as Araw ng Kalayaan is celebrated every 12th of June, but the Filipino Community in Suriname decided to celebrate it two days earlier (June 10) because the date falls on a Sunday when most of the Filipino workers are free.
Invitations were sent to all Filipino expats and the organizers even went on a live radio interview to invite the locals and other nationalities as well.
JUNE 10, 2018
Most of the Filipinos in every part of Suriname gathered at Sana Budaya to observe the first ever Philippine Independence Day in the country. Some even traveled 3 to 4 hours just to attend the event. The Filipino food and products were the highlights of the occasion. Most were sold before 3 in the afternoon, so there weren’t a lot left for people who came a little later.
The celebration started with the singing of the Philippine anthem and opening prayer. A group of Javanese girls performed their traditional dance and some of my kababayans (countrymen) showcased their talent in singing. The program included: a zumba dance organized by B-Fit Sportschool with local and Filipino participants, a few games and an on-the-spot singing contest.
It was a small but fun get-together. The best part of my day was eating Filipino delicacies that I hadn’t eaten for years especially the isaw. 😋 Yummers!
Though there weren’t a lot of activities prepared, I guess it was still a success thanks to all the Filipinos who were present. It was really nice to see how the Filipino Community in Suriname grew in numbers each year. Cheers to more celebrations together! 🍻
For Filipinos who gave birth in Suriname, there are two ways to apply for a Report of Birth: Send the requirements to the Philippine Embassy in Brasilia or wait for the embassy to conduct an outreach program in Suriname and apply for it personally.
After two years of being married to my Dutch husband (and after receiving our Report of Marriage documents), I finally decided to change my surname to his. It wasn’t really a top-priority to change my last name, but I did it anyway thinking it would be a lot easier to apply for my son’s passport and stay permit if both his parents
I brought my little one to the RGD (Regional Gezondheid Dienst) or the Municipal Health Center today for his second vaccination. I wrote second because he already got his first Hep B shot right after he was born. A few days before going to the RGD, we went to the house doctor first to get his approval that our son can get the vaccine.(This is mandatory!)