Festive Parade Awaits Madison Avenue for Philippine Independence Day, 6/1
First Filipina Miss World Megan Young; Original Philippine Music (OPM) Icons Kuh Ledesma, Cecile Azarcon, Edlyn Peregrina, and Ogie Alcasid; First Filipina Carnaval Queen in Brazil Bessie Badilla; Grand Marshals Drs. Emilio and Felicisima Quines; and Nearly 200 Filipino American Organizations to Lead Annual Festive Parade (Photos: AJ Images)
New York--The Philippine Independence Day Council Inc. (PIDCI), a nonprofit organization best known for the largest Philippine Independence Day Parade outside the Philippines, which is also celebrating its silver anniversary this year, is all set to host its annual Philippine Independence Day Parade, accompanied by an all-day street fair and cultural festival, stretching from 38th Street down to 23rd Street and Madison Avenue, on Sunday, June 1, from 11:45 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
First Filipina Miss World Megan Young, who recently partnered with PIDCI to raise funds for the victims of super typhoon Haiyan in central Philippines; Original Philippine Music (OPM) icons Kuh Ledesma, Cecile Azarcon, Edlyn Peregrina, and Ogie Alcasid; First Filipina Carnaval Queen in Brazil Bessie Badilla; Grand Marshals Drs. Emilio and Felicisima Quines--both longtime medical mission volunteers; and nearly 200 Filipino American-related nonprofit and for profit organizations, which include AARP's section that assists Asian American and Pacific Islander families, and My Shelter Foundation, which promotes solar bottle bulbs called "Liter of Light"; will lead the day-long celebrations, whose attendance likely peaks at 100,000 people, made up mostly of Filipinos and Filipino Americans who come from the New York Tri-State area, Pennsylvania, California, Canada, and the Philippines.
PIDCI's Goodwill Ambassadors 2014 Mrs. Kalayaan (Mrs. Independence) Josephine Vilar Rafael, an accomplished medical technologist and pianist from Long Island, New York, and 2014 Diwa ng Kalayaan (Spirit of Independence) Mikaela Alexa Rada, 16-year-old high school student from Bayonne, New Jersey, and their "court of beauty queens," will also ride one of the many festive floats featured in the parade, alongside world-renowned Filipino cultural festival live acts such as Bacolod City's Masskara Festival, Cebu City's Sinulog Festival and Kalibo, Aklan's Ati-Atihan Festival.
"What started out as a small Independence Day Parade that passed by a few blocks near the Philippine Consulate on Fifth Avenue in the early '90s has grown into a huge annual celebration along Madison Avenue, where around 100,000 of our own kin walk the city's main streets. We owe that to the Filipinos' strong family ties and genuine concern for one another, especially in times of hardship and natural disasters," says Fe Martinez, PIDCI's president.
Fitting in well is this year's celebration theme, "Triumphs of the Filipino: Pride of the Philippines," whose rationale states, "Everyone in the world was in awe of the Filipinos' capacity to persevere and triumph over adversity, especially when Haiyan, one of the most powerful tropical storms in history, struck central Philippines last year, but never destroyed the unflagging optimism of the Filipino spirit. On our 25th year celebrating the Philippine Independence Day--its 116th anniversary--in the center of the world, no less--we honor the shining triumphs of Filipinos across different fields and industries: from business and technology to sports; from world ambassadorship to entertainment; and from volunteerism to social activism wearing only national pride in our hearts..."
Scheduled activities include the following:
- 8:30 to 9:00 a.m.: FLAG CEREMONY AND INDEPENDENCE DAY MASS at the Philippine Center, 556 Fifth Avenue. Contact (212) 764-3749.
- 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.: STREET FAIR, 26th Street down to 24th Street and Madison Avenue.
The Street Fair is a mini-Filipino food festival and expo. Vendors will sell Filipino barbeque, halo-halo dessert, fish balls, pancit (noodles), and other native products.
Contact Chairpersons Gheng Pingol (917) 669-0505 and Jesse Arteche (908) 482-1398.
- 11:45 a.m.: PARADE OPENING CEREMONY, 38th Street and Madison Avenue
- 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.: INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE, 38th Street down to 27th Street and Madison Avenue.
The Independence Day Parade shows off some 200 contingents of marching members of Filipino American organizations interspersed with brightly colored floats, open cars, and whatnots. The Fire Department City of New York's (FDNY) Phoenix Society members are joining the parade for the first time. CBS New York Reporter Hazel Sanchez and host-comedian Jojo Mabolo will serve as master of ceremonies.
Contact Chairperson Albert Diala (347) 260-8063 and Co-Chair Ner Martinez (347) 837-5853.
- 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.: CULTURAL FESTIVAL, 23rd Street and Madison Avenue
The annual cultural festival features local talents and performing artists from the Philippines. Singer-songwriter Ogie Alcasid, whose regular musical variety, comedy drama shows are broadcast on TV 5, Kuh Ledesma, Cecile Azarcon, Edlyn Peregrina, and Bessie Badilla will perform live on stage. Performing artist Sigh Robes and Jojo Mabolo will serve as emcees.
Contact Chairpersons Ner Martinez (347) 837-5853 and Vivian Velasco (917) 623-3827.
Besides the parade, street fair, and cultural festival on Sunday, June 1, PIDCI will also hold its annual Philippine Independence Day Ball on Saturday, June 7, at Marriott at Glenpointe, Teaneck, New Jersey hosted by PIDCI President Fe Martinez, Vice President Albert Diala, Secretary Antero Martinez, Treasurer Violeta McGough, Internal Auditor Annie Ortiz, General Counsel Manny Quintal, Esq, and Board Members Sofia Abad, Elvira Reyes, Vivian Velasco, Jesse Arteche, Dr. Prospero Lim, Angie Molina, Maryann Sanagustin, Olivia David, Rolly Postadan, Artistides Uy, and Margie Wisotsky.
Corporate sponsors are Kapatid 5, Aksyon TV International, Solana Land, 1st &2nd Mortgage of NJ, AARP, Greenfield Properties, SMDC, Ramar Food International, Miss World Organisation, Fiesta in America, United Staffing Registry, Fritzie's Bakeshop, Fiesta Grill, Moneygram, Doty's Restaurant, Five Chris, New Barbecue Pit, and LMBB.
Media partners include Asian Journal, Inquirer.net, Filipino Express, Filipino Reporter, Philippine Daily Mirror, TheFilAm.net, New York Balita, Fil-Am Who's Who, OPMB Worldwide, and Philippine Star.
For updates, like PIDCI on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pidci.