‘Overwhelming’ turnout for independence parade

Jericho Rosales and Karylle Padilla entertain the crowd that jammed Madison Avenue. Photos by Elton Lugay

By Elton Lugay

An estimated 100,000 Filipino Americans trooped to Madison Avenue June 5 to celebrate the 113th Philippine Independence Day in song, dance and cuisine.

Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay graced the occasion along with ABS-CBN artists Jericho Rosales and Karylle Padilla.

Organized by the Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc. in cooperation with the Philippine Consulate General, the annual event is considered the largest outside the Philippines.

“This year’s turnout is overwhelming, we had to request for additional officers from the NYPD to help us control the crowd,” said festival chair Catherine Uy.

The foot-and-float parade that kicked off the celebration included hundreds of contingents from various civic and religious groups, alumni and nonprofit associations, local government units. Tribu Pan-ay, the award-winning group from the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo, made a special appearance.

CBS 2 reporter Hazel Sanchez anchored the parade, introducing each contingent. When gaps in between groups took a stall, seasoned entertainer Archie D was on hand to keep the celebratory mood of the crowd going.

The float that featured Jericho, Karylle and other personalities of The Filipino Channel, rolled to a halt when hundreds of fans crossed the perimeter fence just so they could take close-up shots of their favorite celebrities. It took some time for the marshals to clear the streets and prevent any disruption to the celebration.

At the cultural stage, the show started with entertainment numbers from more than 20 local talents including mother-daughter tandem Annie Brazil and Rachel Ann Wolfe. Comics Air Tabigue and Jojo Mabolo emceed the program; celebrity jockey, DJ Riddler was impressive.

Consul General Mario de Leon Jr. welcomed the Filipinos – some of them coming all the way from Canada — and later introduced VP Binay for a brief message. PIDCI President Joji Jalandoni introduced her team and thanked the audience for their lavish support.

The highlights of the program included a soulful rendition of the medley “Isang Dugo Isang Lahi” (Heal the World) by the young voices of Michele Semana, Alyssa Schumaker, Nina Mojares, Jellyn Echon and Charisse Trinidad. “Isang Dugo” was composed and arranged by Dodgie Simon. There was a 25-minute production number of Tribu Pan-ay that boasts 30 performers. The TFC Hour featured artists Jericho, Karylle, Gelo from Barangay USA as interviewed by Balitang America’s Don Tagala and Monette Rivera of Adobo Nation. Immigration lawyer Michael Gurfinkel of Citizen Pinoy hosted.

Mounted cops lead the way from 38th Street down to 24th.

CBS 2's Hazel Sanchez, assisted by pooch, hosts.

Dignitaries led by VP Binay, Ambassador Jose Cuisia, and ConGen de Leon.

Women in Ifugao finery have a good time.

Filipinos in the NYPD display Blue Pride.

Dancers show off foot-and-eye coordination to the 'tinikling' beat

A message for reflection, courtesy of the grassroots organization Nafcon

The fervor of faith finds a place amid the celebration

For one day, FilAms in the northeast return to their roots.

Elton Lugay is a journalist, publicist and community events organizer from Queens.

One Comment

  1. […] the Philippine Independence Day Parade this year was jam packed. i have to be perfectly honest, i mainly went for the food. (surprise surprise). hell, i didn’t even get to see any of the parade or performances =X (but you can HERE) […]

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