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Amazing Display of Culture and Pride at the Philippine Parade on Madison Ave.

4 Jun

Flew In For A Celebration

     After a quick jog from the Israeli parade on 5th Ave. to Madison Ave., the 28th annual Philippine Independence Day Parade was well under way with lots of colorful costumes and beauty queens in convertible cars. Although there was some internal controversy earlier in the year, the parade sponsors, PIDCI, decided to move forward and elected to name Grand Marshalls Archbishop Bernadito Auza, Dr. Restitio Estacio and Ambassador Mario Lopez de Leon Jr. for the event. The parade commemorates the 120th year of Independence from Spain and displays cultural pride and contributions to the fabric of the city. Once the mounted police signal the start of the parade, all dignitaries, VIPs and parade sponsors make their way to the reviewing stand between 30th and 29th Sts., which happens to be one of the best spots to watch the parade. All of the marchers and performers make their presentation at the reviewing stand but get there early as it fills up quickly. Marchers come from all parts of the Tri-state area to participate in one of the largest parades of its kind outside the Philippines.


Dr. Restie Gives His Approval


One of Many Beauty Queens


Iloilo Dancers Showing Off Their Moves


     Marchers help to bring light to many social issues, including human trafficking and either pro or against Philippine President Duterte. There were many floats with beauty queens and celebrities from the Philippines. Each year in January, a big festival happens in the Philippines for best dance and cultural representation. The winner of that festival is usually flown to NYC to be the main attraction of the parade. This years winner were from the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival and  they did put on a grand show for everyone. The groups lead held a representation of the Santo Nino (Holy Child) while the dancers had amazing costumes and had a fun time dancing and getting everybody worked up. After the parade wraps up, everyone heads over to 25th St. where there plenty of food kiosks and then to Madison Square Park where a stage was set up for the Festival and more entertainment.  Once again the group from Iloilo stole the show.




Happy Independence Day

Israelis Turn 5th Ave, Into a Sea of Blue and White

4 Jun

Celebrating In Style

     June is a busy parade month with major parades celebrated throughout the city. The first Sunday of the month has two parades going on in close proximity. The first leg of the dual parade day was the 54th annual Celebrate Israel parade on 5th Ave. starting from 55th St to 74th St. Thousands of marchers and revelers came out to celebrate the nation of Israel and all its contributions to NYC and the US. Security was extra tight with all the heightened tensions after the US decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem recently. Every large marching group had their own security detail and NYPD deployed the bike patrol to ensure everyone’s safety.  Better safe than sorry. The usual protesters were confined to a block in front of the Plaza Hotel where a heavy police presence maintained order and kept the parade moving so that the celebration of the 70th year of Israel as a nation continued without disruption.   The mounted police signaled the start of the parade with this years theme for all participants being Sababa, which means super, fantastic, awesome. Bestowed with the high honor of sending notice to all present with the sounding of the ceremonial Shofar was Stanley Hochhauser, riding on the backseat of the convertible cruising up the parade route on 5th Ave.


Taking Pride In Israel


Raider Drummers Doing Their Thing


Traditional Wear In Celebration


     This parade is known for all the colorful handmade banners displaying the years theme made by the many groups participating. Many banners were very creative and colorful. The parade gives all the local politicians a chance to meet with the crowd and put some good words in with potential voters. The Israeli Government also sends a delegation to greet the crowd and make the day more festive.  Some of the better drum and bugle bands from the area get to show off their moves. A perennial favorite is the Raiders Drum and Bugle Band from Burlington, NJ. Not to be outdone were the Bushwackers Drum and Bugle Band from Princeton, NJ. They were both excellent and helped make the event a memorable one. Everyone that witnessed a marvelous display of culture and pride would agree this years theme was felt by all. Israel, you are Sababa!  I had to leave  the Israeli Parade ahead of schedule to make it to the second leg of the dual parade day. The Philippine Independence Parade was under way on Madison Ave. near Madison Square Park…Only in NY…Oy Vay.

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Let’s All Celebrate Israel

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