03 June 2018, New York – The annual Philippine Independence Day Parade and Street Fair was successfully held on Madison Avenue in New York City on Sunday, 3 June 2018.
Jointly organized by the Philippine Consulate General New York and the Philippine Independence Day Council Inc. (PIDCI), the events drew thousands of spectators, both Filipino and non-Filipino in the US tristate area. This year’s parade was participated in by 85 Filipino-American community organizations in the US northeast. Some of them showcased festivals in the Philippines. The parade was highlighted by the colorful and festive Manggahan cultural performers from the province of Guimaras and the Dinagyang Warriors from Iloilo, as well as special guest performers, Leo Martinez and Geneva Cruz.
A number of Philippine and US officials joined the parade, including US Representatives Carolyn Maloney from New York’s 12th congressional district and Grace Meng from New York’s 6th district, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez, Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations Teodoro Locsin Jr., Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano’s representative Ambassador Claro S. Cristobal, Deputy Consul General Kerwin Orville Tate, retired Ambassador Mario De Leon, Jr. who is this year’s Honorary Grand Marshal, Guimaras Congresswoman Lucille Ledesma-Nava, Guimaras Governor Samuel Gumarin, Iloilo City Mayor Jose Espinosa, and Councilor Jonathan Wong of Mahwah, New Jersey.
Mr. Aries dela Cruz, Manhattan Regional Representative for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and New York Power Authority President and CEO Gil Quinones presented a plaque each from Gov. Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio to Ambassador Romualdez and PIDCI President Antero Martinez, in recognition of the contributions of Filipino New Yorkers in enhancing every facet of life in the five boroughs of New York and their efforts to share the Philippines’ vibrant heritage and culture to New York’s diverse residents and visitors.
A Street Fair and Cultural Show at the east side of Madison Square Park capped the festivities. Several Filipino-American restaurants and stores took part in the street fair which featured Philippine cuisine and products. The Cultural Show highlighted performances of special guests Leo Martinez, Geneva Cruz and a selection of the East Coast’s finest local Filipino talents. The festivities also included performances of the “Dinagyang” warriors of Iloilo and “Manggahan” cultural dancers of Guimaras, who flew in from Western Visayas to showcase the two festivals in the parade.
A community gathering for the Flag Raising Ceremony and Thanksgiving Mass was held at the Philippine Center in New York in the morning before the start of the parade.
Prior to Sunday’s festivities, the Philippine Consulate General hosted a meet and greet at the Philippine Center on Saturday, 2 June 2018, to welcome the special guests and festival performers from Iloilo and Guimaras.