Tag Archives: mother cabrini high school

Polish Pride and Power Appear at Pulaski Parade

5 Oct

     Early October is one of the best times to be in NYC. The weather is usually pleasant. The Yankees are in the playoffs  as is tradition and the parade season is winding down with a resonating boom. On Sunday, Rachel and I made our way to 5th Ave. and 39th St. where the 74th annual Pulaski Day Parade was getting ready to kick off.  The pre-parade buzz was felt in the air as soon as we walked around the side streets of the start of the parade route which started on 39th St. and went up to 53rd St. The traditional colorful costumes of both young and old made one feel as though they travelled to the old country.  All parts of the tri state area were represented as well as marchers from Poland and other parts of the US in preparation for a day of pride and celebration of custom, tradition and contribution to America.  For without the heroics of General Casimir Pulaski, America might be a far different place. Rachel made her way to reviewing stand by the famous NYC Public Library on 41st St. to take some great shots. The mounted police announced the start of the parade soon followed by the Highlander Band of West Milford, New Jersey in their colorful tartan marching attire.  Parade VIPs and marchers in traditional Slavic costume gave the crowd a preview of the fun waiting for them.

     Polish power was shown in the float for the Bricklayers Local Union#1. The laborers helped to contribute to many of the biggest projects in the city. Polish beauty was displayed with all the many Miss Polonias from all the towns that sent marchers to the parade. Getting most of the attention was the beautiful and graceful Miss Polonia from Manhattan, Kasia Markowska. In keeping with this year’s parade theme of Polish Youth is America’s future, many children dressed in traditional costume. Central to Polish society is religious devotion to the Roman Catholic Church as was seen in many marching groups throughout the parade especially with Maspeth Holy Cross Parish.  A parade just isn’t a parade without a marching band and one of the highlights was the Mother Cabrini marching band with their precision and discipline but they had some close competition from the Fort Hamilton marching band. You decide. A crowd pleaser were the dancers from the Hudson Valley but the authentic dancers were the Warsaw dancers.    Parades are always a way for groups to try to educate the crowd about issues of concern and the issue of visas was presented by some marchers. Poland has always been an ally of the US and has contributed greatly to society. Several politicians including US Sen. Chuck Schumer gave recognition to this issue.


     Although there was a fair share of motorbikes, the Husaria bike club had some of the coolest bikes. There were plenty of tricked out cars but the one that stole the show was the elegant Rolls Royce with the mayor of Wallington, New Jersey sitting proudly in the back. One of the largest groups to march were from Williamsburg Brooklyn with a live band and lots of happy viewers. Rachel and I met up later towards the end of the parade and were glad to see the mass of red and white all over 5th Ave. had a great time seeing their country and heritage celebrated in grand style.


For additional photos go to the photograph links on the right column.

Filipinos Celebrate in Style on Madison Ave.

11 Jun


  With summer fast approaching, NYC has a parade happening almost every weekend throughout the 5 boroughs.  As it turned out the first weekend of June had two parades happening not too far from each other.  Albert and I headed down to 5th Ave to check out the preparations for the Israeli parade early Sunday morning.  After taking some photos at the Israeli parade, I would run over to Madison Ave and 38th St. for the start of the Philippine Parade.  This is the largest celebration of Philippine Independence outside the Philippines for the last 17 years.


   When I arrived a large crowds had already gathered on two cross streets with floats, marching bands, dancing groups and children ready to walk in the parade. Everyone and I included was waiting for much-anticipated guest of honor the Vice President of the Philippines Jejomar Binay and the Philippine ambassador to the US Jose L. Cuisia. The parade was scheduled to start at noon but was delayed and started about 45 minutes later. Leading the parade was Grand Marshall Mr. Nick Libramonte  followed by representatives of the Philippine Consulate and other dignitaries. The parade started on Madison Ave. and 38th St.with marching contingents in brightly colored traditional costumes or uniforms, floats and open cars with winners of different Philippine beauty pageants waving to the cheering crowd.  Classy ladies walked down Madison Ave. in their elegant dresses and the fancy parasols that made one think of another era. Loud cheers came from the crowd when one of the floats made its way down with matinée idol from the Philippines, Jericho Rosales and pop singer Karylle Padilla.

     Social issues were not to be lost in the celebration as a large group of young students protested loudly about the need to stop human trafficking and sending their people to other countries for cheap labor. I sent Albert a text to come down to this parade as it was a blast. A parade just isn’t a parade without a marching band and the crowd was pleased to see the all girl marching of Mother Cabrini play loud and proud. The parade came to a climatic end when visiting from Iloilo, Philippine the amazing group Tribu Pan-ay of Fort San Pedro National High School danced to the cheering crowd. They had just won the grand prize in the Festival Street dance Competition, part of the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival. Their choreography and vivid costumes were crowd pleasers as revelers followed them as they danced their way down the parade route to fast drums and loud cheers.

The cultural festival started at the end of the parade on an open air stage in the center of Madison Ave. and 23rd St with performances by talented Philippine and Philippine-American singers, dancers and musicians. The crowd sang along with the famous Annie Brazil who is tagged as Asia’s Queen of Jazz.  At 78-year-old, the iconic singer could still belt out those ballads. It was a real treat for Albert and me to listen to her and watch the crowd sing along to her old tunes made famous in the Philippines.  Then Tribu Pan-Ay returned for a repeat performance that just wowed the crowd with their high energy dance moves and drum beat. They were fantastic.


Just for fun–can’t forget our 4 legged furry friends who took part also in the parade. Tyronne the police dog and friend wearing the Philippine flag. This was Tyronne’s first parade. After all the attention he received from both police and spectators, I am sure he will be back next year.

Two great parades in one day.  Only in New York.

Next Parades:

June 12th – Puerto Rican Day Parade ~ 5th Ave and 47th St 11am.

June 18th ~ Mermaid Parade ~ Surf Ave and 21st St, Coney Island, Brooklyn 2pm

June 26th ~ Pride Parade ~ 36th and 5th Ave at noon.

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