Mayor Eric Adams to Filipinos: ‘I see you. I recognize you, I respect you, I need you.’

Two Filipina officials in the Adams administration: Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Anne del Castillo (left) and Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres Springer. The FilAm photos

By Lindy Rosales

On June 16, the Philippine flag was raised over Bowling Green park in New York City in commemoration of the 125th Philippine Independence Day. It  was a well-attended event with Mayor Eric Adams telling Filipino Americans: “I see you. I recognize you, I respect you, I need you.”

It was a fiery speech and one roaringly applauded  by the audience.

“If New York City is the greatest city on the globe,” continued Adams, “that makes me the greatest mayor on the globe!” The crowd erupted into cheers.

He went on to proudly acknowledge two Filipina officials in his administration: Deputy Mayor for Economic & Workforce Development Maria Torres Springer and Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Anne del Castillo.

“Your community is so much in the fabric of this city and what we represent,” Adams said. “So yes, we’re raising the flag. That’s our symbol. But don’t miss our substance. The combination of our substance and symbol is saying to you. I see you. I recognize you, I respect you, I need you. You believe in families. You believe in business. You believe in public safety. You believe that there’s a resiliency that comes with the city. We never surrender, we never give in, we’re hardworking, we’re committed, we’re dedicated.”

Mayor Adams addresses Filipinos in flag raising ceremony at Bowling Green park.

Adams stated that America is a country “where you can keep your culture while you embrace the American culture.”

“You never abandon that culture. It’s a combination of all of our cultures that create this great product, this great experience we call the American Dream,” he said.

For his part, Consul General Senen Mangalile commended what he called the “present-day heroes,”  the “Filipinos who have emigrated to the United States mostly for economic reasons and  to be reunited with their pioneering family members.” 

“FilAm history is replete with many stories of overcoming adversity and enduring discrimination,” he said. “Filipino Americans have triumphed over these challenges and proven themselves a positive contribution to the fabric of American society.”    

Another speaker was NYPD Detective Angelica De Leon Velez, who was born and raised in Queens. She shared her life story of perseverance and grit and how she was a teen mom, who eventually carved her own path to becoming a member of law enforcement.

Antonio Lagdameo, Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations echoed most everyone when he said, “This is a very proud day for us Filipinos.”

“I was really overcome by this outpouring of affection and respect which we are now feeling from our hosts here,” he said.

Entertainment was provided by UP Alumni & Friends Rondalla and the San Lorenzo Ruiz Choir of New York. 

The rain came down just as the event was winding down and some unprepared for the weather went home drenched.

(C) The FilAm 2023

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