ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — You wouldn’t recognize the Legislative Office Building, looking much more like a vibrant Filipino festival rather than a workplace Thursday afternoon.

Famous dancers and dignitaries flying in from the Philippines to join New York State as it celebrates of 125 years since the Philippines officially declared independence from 300 years of Spanish colonization.

“It felt like we are so home and we felt like we belong here in New York,” says Sol Kapunan, president of the Kalayaan 1521 Council.

The gathering of traditional dance and culture is the first ever Philippine Independence Day celebration at the State Capitol. All organized by Assemblyman Steven Raga who is also the first Filipino-American elected to state office.

He says he hopes this shows New Yorkers there’s more Filipinos among you than many realize.

“There’s a lot of us. We’re everywhere. Often we’re not loud—I might be one of the loudest—but we have a lot to be thankful for in our Filipino-American community in New York,” Raga says to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton.

Kapunan’s organization along with the Bayanihan Association of the Capital District and the FUNRaisers of New York coordinate school donations, support immigrant families, and organize cultural events, including the annual Filipino Grand Parade in Washington Park.

Kapunan says he hopes more Americans meet and learn about their Filipino neighbors and for local Filipinos to feel proud of their culture’s contributions to the United States.

“Wherever there are people, there are communities, there are Filipinos. We are here to assimilate, we are here to contribute, we are here to be one,” he says.