• Stars to grace June 26 Friendship Day in Jersey City • Picnic with a hero

Iza Calzado

Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy has been invited to the Philippine-American Friendship Committee’s (Pafcom) 21st annual grand parade and festival on Sunday, June 26.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Lincoln Park in Jersey City.

“This is an effort to continue the tradition of celebrating the friendly relations between the United States and the Philippines,” the organizers said in a statement. “The event serves to celebrate Filipino solidarity and culture.”

Consul General Mario de Leon, Jr. and CBS 2 news anchor Kristine Johnson will be leading the parade along with Pafcom President Isagani Puertollano and this year’s grand marshal, Nena Lozada Kaufman. The public is invited to join the parade featuring the biggest organizations in the Northeast, diverse groups, regional and professional associations. There will be colorful floats and marching bands.

Friendship Day will be graced by four GMA network contract artists: model, actress and TV host Iza Calzado, Star Struck singing champion Jennylyn Mercado, actor and singer Mark Bautista, and the ‘Ultimate Hunk’ Aljur Abrenica. Local singers Kirby Asunto and Alyssa Shoemaker are among the performers.

Jennylyn Mercado

The event kicks off with a thanksgiving mass at Our Lady of Victories Church on Kennedy Blvd. and Ege Ave. at 10 a.m.

The parade’s opening ceremony and ribbon cutting will be at 11:30 a.m. on West Side and Claremont avenues. The actual parade where GMA artists will be featured starts at noon from Claremont Ave. down to Lincoln Park, where the street fair and cultural festival are to take place from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Co-organizers of the event are the Philippine Consulate General, the Jersey City Mayor’s Office Department of Cultural Affairs, and County Executive Board of Chosen Freeholders of Hudson County.

Pafcom is a nonprofit organization that promotes inter-culturalism, advocacy and inter-generationalism. Visit www.pafcom.org for more information. – Elton Lugay
In honor of the 113th celebration of Philippine Independence and the 150th birth anniversary of Jose Rizal, The Filipino School of NY & NJ will be joining the Knights of Rizal and Ladies for Rizal, NJ Chapter at this year’s Bayanihan Spirit picnic. As part of its summer program, The Filipino School will host an outdoor class at the Jose Rizal Park at the corner of Columbus and Brunswick avenues in Jersey City. It will be held June 11 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Along with a Tagalog lesson, this session will teach the children the background and history of the Philippine flag, as well as the life and works of National Hero Jose Rizal. There will be an exhibit showcasing the evolution of the Philippine flag, to be conducted by Mary Rose Amistad, executive director of FAHNS NJ chapter.

“We hope to inspire our Filipino children to follow Rizal’s example as our mentor,” said Venessa Manzano, founder of The Filipino School.

Children between the ages 5-12 are welcome to register. There will be an arts & crafts flag-making workshop at the end of the lesson. The cost is $18 per child.

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