The Philippine Independence Day Council Inc. (PIDCI), a nonprofit organization best known for the largest Philippine Independence Day Parade outside the Philippines, is all set to host its annual Philippine Independence Day Parade. The all-day street fair and cultural festival will take place this Sunday, June 1, from 11:45 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The events will take place from 38th Street down to 23rd Street and Madison Avenue in New York City.
Expected to participate in the day-long celebration are: The Black Eyed Peas Co-Founder apl.de.ap; multi-platinum award-winning recording artist David Pomeranz; boxing and mixed martial arts superstar Ana Julaton; First Filipina Miss World Megan Young; Original Philippine Music (OPM) icons Kuh Ledesma, Cecile Azarcon, Edlyn Peregrina, Lirio Vital, and Ogie Alcasid.
Other personalities who will attend include first Filipina Carnaval Queen in Brazil Bessie Badilla; Grand Marshals Drs. Emilio and Felicisima Quines—both longtime medical mission volunteers. Nearly 200 Filipino American-related nonprofit and for profit organizations are also expected to participate including AARP’s section that assists Asian American and Pacific Islander families; and My Shelter Foundation, which promotes solar bottle bulbs called “Liter of Light.”
Attendance is projected to peak 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.
Also confirmed to join the festivities are Retired Major General Tony Taguba, who will march with the contingent of AARP; Mazda Road to Indy Driver Michele Bumgarner; Hollywood and Broadway actress Anna Maria Perez de Tagle; and performing artists-singers Miguel Vera and Charmaine Clamor.
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 will also ride one of the many festive floats featured in the parade.
Other beauty queens will be onboard the float along with 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.
The Grand Marshals’ float, on the other hand, will pay tribute to Filipino American doctors, nurses, dentists, medical technologists, and humanitarian volunteers, featuring the “Gifted Hands/Surgeons” riding the float: Dr. Molave Adaniel, Drs. Ramon and Nancy Alcala, Dr. Alex Bobila, Drs. Antonio and Aurora Gonzales, Dr. and Mrs. Nicolas and Lisa Lansigan, Drs. Emmanuel and Zenda Lat, Dr. Nestor Sagullo, Dr. Loreto Tanael, and Dr. and Mrs. Napoleon and Evelia Valdez. Marching and holding the banners are Dr. Elna Prado, Dr. Eppie Adaniel, Dr. Celia Sagullo, Dr. Deborah Bobila, Dr. Dennis Bernardo, and Dr. Rizalina Lavarro.
Leading the parade, along with the Grand Marshals, are PIDCI President Fe Martinez; Philippine Consulate General New York, led by Consul General Mario L. De Leon Jr., who also acts as an honorary adviser to PIDCI; Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Luis Cuisia; Permanent Representative to the United Nations Libran Cabactulan; U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Lorna Schofield; New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Jersey City Council President Rolando Lavarro and New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) President Ram Raju, MD will also attend.
“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 such as the onslaught of typhoon Haiyan last year,” says Fe Martinez, PIDCI president.
Fitting in well is this year’s celebration theme, “Triumphs of the Filipino: Pride of the Philippines.”
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 and international 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, Lirio Vital, Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, Miguel Vera, Charmaine Clamor, Bessie Badilla, David Pomeranz, and apl.de.ap, among others, 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 (which is also celebrating its silver anniversary this year) will also hold its annual Philippine Independence Day Ball on Saturday, June 7, at Marriott at Glenpointe, Teaneck, New Jersey.
The event will be 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.