Tag Archives: philippine independence day

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

Pageant Queens and Holy Child Reign Supreme at the Filipino Parade

5 Jun

Cebu Dancers with the Santo Nino

     The second leg of the double parade day brought me to Madison Avenue and 38th St. where the largest Independence Day parade outside of the Philippines is celebrated. In the 27th year of celebrating the 119th year of Independence from Spain, the parade route was packed with colorful costumes and many elegant dresses. The Filipinos praise their beauty queens and why not since Miss Universe 2015, Pia Wurtzbach was on hand to wave to her adoring fans. The recently crowned Miss Pacific World 2017 winner, Beatrice Andrada was also present. In this parade more than any other, there are more tiaras than floats. The ladies dress in their elegant evening gowns while the men dress in their formal guayabera shirts. It really is quite a show to watch.  Marchers came from as far as Canada, Florida and Maryland. They all sent a beauty queen of course. Getting the parade started were this years Grand Marshall, Drs. Rodrigo and Elma Castillo. They have both been in the medical profession for over 40 years and have a thriving medical office in New Jersey. Filipinos have long been known for their contributions in the health field and this was very evident in this years parade.


Barangay Gingoognon Dancers


Beauty Queen Beatrice Andrada


Kylie Versoza and Pia Wurtzbach waving to their fans


     There were a few marchers with political signs both in favor and opposed to the controversial President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte.  Filipinos were happy to display their native representation as Barangay Gingoognon was an energetic group dancing in colorful costumes. A deeply religious people displayed two of the most devoted objects at the tail end of the parade. The Cebu Dancing Group had an amazing colorful costume with the lead dancer carrying the Holy Infant (Santo Nino) statue with much reverence. They were great to watch. They were soon followed by a religious group displaying a statue of the Black Nazarene.  The parade wrapped up with perennial favorite, the Aklan Dancers. Their numbers keep growing every year. The after parade party kept on going in Madison Square Park and on the side streets where a stage was set up for more entertainment and some great food and after two parades I was certainly going to indulge.

Araw Ng Kalayaan Mabuhay!!




%d bloggers like this: