Who will be the next PIDCI president? Oct 7 election will decide

Top: Arman David; Margie Wisotsky (Photo by Ria Serrano)
Lower: Rely Manacay

By Cristina DC Pastor

Three community leaders are vying for the position of president of the Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc., one of the largest non-profit organizations in the FilAm community of New York. PIDCI is the organization that mounts the elaborate Philippine Independence Day parade on Madison Avenue, complete with marching bands, a street fair and beauty queens on floats, said to be the biggest celebration outside of Manila.

Competing to succeed two-time president Nora Galleros, are registered nurse Arman David, construction company proprietor Rely Manacay, and Margie Wisotsky, former president and a familiar name in the beauty pageant circuit. Galleros was president during the widely-hailed celebration of the 125th Philippine Independence and indicated no interest in seeking a third term.

About the candidates.

ARMAN DAVID is a registered nurse working in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) at Christ Hospital in Jersey City. He has over 25 years of experience as an RN. He has served  PIDCI in various capacities through the years from volunteer to director leading to his current role as vice president. Outside of his professional career, Arman is also a photographer and an avid traveler.

As PIDCI vice president, he was named chairman of the Diwa at Ginoo ng Kalayaan Ball and Fundraiser; chairman of the Cultural Festival for the 125th Philippine Independence Day Parade and Celebration; and chairman of the Commemorative Journal Committee.

He is a member of several organizations including JCI North Jersey and JCI New Jersey, Pan-American Concerned Citizens Action League, and Team United Maharlika Foundation, Inc.

Arman said being a ranking member of PIDCI has given him the “insight into all the hard work that the board has done these past few years in regaining the community’s trust.” He said he would like to see PIDCI fulfill its mission to deliver the annual Independence Day celebration “with complete transparency.”

The theme of his campaign: “Keep Progress Moving Forward.”

Running for director under Arman’s ticket are his wife Joycelyn Andes, Maria Villasin Nucum, Czarmel Lopez, Sol Kapunan, Aida Tagle, and Teodora Koltsidis

RELY MANACAY was PIDCI president in 2020, at the height of the global pandemic. During his term, no outdoor parade was allowed. Instead, he initiated the first-ever  virtual Philippine Independence Day celebration, a two-hour and 30 minutes video spectacle shown worldwide courtesy of  the Philippine Consulate in New York.  

He was vice president of PIDCI from 2018 to 2019, during which time he was chairman of the Parade Committee, chairman of the Comelec (2018), chairman of the By-laws Ratification committee (2018); chairman of the Grand Marshall Ball (2018), and co-chair of the Mrs. Kalayaan Ball.

Rely has been chairman of the board of RGI-Alakdan NY, a unit of Guardians Brotherhood, since 2019, and three-time president of the Cagayan de Oro-Misamis Oriental Association of New York, two organizations that are dear to him.  

Rely’s “Tested and Proven”  team includes Bong Echavez, Sol Kapunan, Teodora Koltsidis, Linda Limcaco, Aida Tagle, Paul Versoza and Rico Viray.

Rely said he would like to see PIDCI clean up the ranks of its member organizations. “Per amended bylaws, when I was the chairman, proxy is not permitted.”

MARGIE WISOTSKY was unanimously elected PIDCI president for 2021. Her ticket — under the banner of “United in Love & Service” — has the following candidates for director: Paul Versoza, Rico Viray, Ave Pimo, Marissa Serrano, Gina Espinosa, Linda Limcaco.

This year’s election does not appear to be a controversial one with no issues looming  to be a sticking point. PIDCI in previous years has been dogged by charges of financial mismanagement that ended up in a lawsuit in 2018. PIDCI prevailed against the organizations that filed the case.

The election will be held October 7 at The Pearl Studios, Room 301, 500 8th Avenue from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Arman David’s ticket
The team of Rely Manacay
Margie Wisotsky’s slate

(C) The FilAm 2023

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