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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

PH Mission to the United Nations Commemorates 126th Philippine Independence Day, Reaffirms Commitment to Multilateralism and Rule of Law

New York – The Permanent Mission of the Philippines to the United Nations hosted a diplomatic reception to commemorate the 126th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine independence on 12 June 2024 at the Official Residence in New York.

Speaking before members of the diplomatic corps and high-level UN officials at the diplomatic reception, Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations Antonio M. Lagdameo explained that the independence day theme “Kalayaan, Kinabukasan, Kasaysayan” (Freedom, Future, History) “recalls the struggles of our heroes and their triumphs that gave birth to a free Philippines, Asia’s first republic and a founding member of the UN.”

“Seventy-nine years since the creation of the UN, we remain committed to the UN Charter, to multilateralism, rule of law, peace, and sustainable development,” Ambassador Lagdameo emphasized. “Multilateralism is critical, more than ever. The United Nations needs to deliver concretely. Inclusivity in, and sustained relevance of, the organization are key.”

The Ambassador underlined that “amidst global challenges, we have engaged and continue to engage constructively on a gamut of pressing global issues that requires decisive global collective action.”

“The Philippines, as a responsible member and partner of the international community, engages to be part of the solution, to be a bridge builder, a peacemaker,” he emphasized.  

Ambassador Lagdameo stressed that the Philippines adheres to the “rules-based international order which promotes the peaceful settlement of international disputes, anchored on the UN Charter and the Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes.”

The Ambassador added that “with a proud tradition of more than 60 years of peacekeeping missions, we hope to reinvigorate our contribution to UN peacekeeping operations next year with more Filipino peacekeepers on the ground, including the deployment of highly-trained women peacekeepers.”

He also cited the Summit of the Future in September, which will be held at the United Nations headquarters in New York, “as an opportunity to collectively chart our common path with the unveiling of action-oriented commitments through the Pact for the Future, the Global Digital Compact, and the Declaration for Future Generations.”

As a candidate for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for the period 2027-2028, the Ambassador expressed appreciation to UN Member States that have confirmed support for the Philippine candidature.

He highlighted that the Philippine candidature for a non-permanent seat in the Security Council underlines the country’s intent, commitment and thrust to be a “Partner, Pathfinder, Peacemaker” in maintaining and advancing international peace and security.

The reception was attended by members of the diplomatic corps and high-level UN officials, including UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and UN Undersecretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu.

In her brief remarks, Undersecretary-General Nakamitsu lauded the Philippines for its excellent record and the participation of Filipino peacekeepers in various UN peacekeeping operations around the world for more than 60 years.


Friday, June 14, 2024

Opinion: Senator Hontiveros Meets FilAm Media Group in New York; NJ FilAms also Gave the Senator a Warm Welcome By Manuel Caballero

Lambert Parong




New York City - PH Sen. Risa Hontiveros, fresh from her committee's investigation of the now suspended Mayor Alice Guo of Bamban, Tarlac, and the scamming POGO operations in Guo's town, answered questions for over an hour from members and officers of FilAm Press Club of New York. The press con was held in an uptown  restaurant in the east side of Manhattan.

In a separate meeting at lunch, the lady senator also met with other Fil Ams from NY.

The press con was a free-wheeling Qs & As dominated by the POGO issue which has become a popular topic with FilAms because of the Hontiveros hearing.

Other pending issues in Congress, like divorce and perceived corruption during the Duterte years in office, were also discussed.

The press con was moderated by Asian Journal Executive Editor Momar G. Visaya, president of FilAm Press Club. Other attendees aside from this writer were Don Tagala, Lambert Parong, Marivir Montebon, Richie Rillera, Marilyn Abalos, Cesar Loverita, Lindy Rosales, Dave Llavanes, and Alex Vidal.

Another meeting between some NJ FilAms and the senator is scheduled in Jersey City after the NY meetings. This was learned from Roberto Ticzon.


After the two New York meetings, some New Jerseyan and D.C. FilAms treated the lady official to dinner at a restaurant in Jersey City.

The lively dinner was followed by an open forum where PH-related questions were thrown to the lady senator. Some of  the subjects raised were possible fraud during the 2022 elections; the danger that POGO  corruption and criminal activities could have already penetrated some government offices; accountability of former President Duterte to possible acts/decisions inimical to the interests of the Philippines and Pilipinos during and even after his presidency; West PH Sea issue. 

Senator Risa answered every question that came from the attendees.

Seemingly endless picture-taking with the senator followed the question hour.

Note: Acclaimed Author Loida Nicolas Lewis made the initial arrangements for the NY luncheon and press conference before she left for her European talks.


Thursday, June 13, 2024

Senator Risa Hontiveros: "OK Lang Matakot, Kasi Minsan Nakaka Takot Talaga, Huwag Lang Tayong Maduduwag"

Senator Risa Hontiveros. Photo by Lambert Parong.

Senator Risa Hontiveros in conversation with members of the Filipino community during lunch at Cafe Evergreen in Manhattan. June 9, 2024. New York.

“…in my last four years in the senate, what I want to achieve is to have a bigger, effective, scarier minority in the senate, to pass more progressive legislation that would contribute not just to the chances for the opposition in the Philippines - but definitely that; but to pass more progressive legislation that can contribute to a more democratic, more equitable, more solidarity based and humane society in our country.”

Lambert Parong

“…about courage, a lot of younger activists and leaders, once in a while would ask, so how is it if, when we’re afraid?
And I always tell them, it’s okay to be afraid because it’s sometimes, it’s really scary, the important thing is not to be cowardly."

"Okey lang matakot, kasi minsan nakaka takot talaga, huwag lang tayong maduduwag,”

Lambert Parong

"And then, I mean all of us chose the life we’re in now because of our inspirations, so I just keep returning to those. I’m inspired by the people I love and who love me, I’m inspired by just pride in being Filipino, I’m inspired by the beauty of nature, I’m inspired by the beauty of our arts and cultures 
and also by my faith, like many of us, I think, in our different movements, including us in Akbayan party, I was also inspired to be an activist by faith, by liberation theology, by the social teachings of the church, active non violence and all that."

"I think, like any of us, I just keep returning to those springs ka-Pepe Diokno wrote about, Gustavo Gutierrez wrote about that - to drink from our own wells, so I just keep returning to that “balon” - that well; to drink the water, to be inspired and to recharge and refresh, Maraming Salamat."

Senator Risa Hontiveros in conversation with members of the Filipino community during lunch at Cafe Evergreen in Manhattan. June 9, 2024. New York. Photos by Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media © 2024 All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Photos: 'Sarah Duterte Supporters NY - Hakbang ng Maisug USA' with former Exec Sec Vic Rodriguez, March at New York's Annual Philippine Independence Day Parade

Atty. Vic Rodriguez and Atty. Arnedo Valera. Photo by Lambert Parong

'Sarah Duterte Supporters NY - Hakbang ng Maisug USA' with former Exec Sec Vic Rodriguez, March at New York's Annual Philippine Independence Day Parade. June, 2, 2024. Madison Ave, NYC.

Photos by Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media © 2024 All Rights Reserved.

Lambert Parong

Lambert Parong
Lambert Parong
Lambert Parong

Lambert Parong

Lambert Parong

Lambert Parong

Lambert Parong

Lambert Parong

Photos by Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media © 2024 All Rights Reserved.

In Albany, As the Filipino Community Gather for the 2nd PH Independence Day Commemoration, the State Assembly Adopts a Resolution Memorializing Gov Hochul to Proclaim June 12, 2024 as Philippine Independence Day in the State of New York

ALBANY, NY – For the second consecutive year, the Filipino community gathered at the New York State Capitol in Albany on Tuesday, June 4th to commemorate the 126th Philippine Independence Day. This event, co-organized by the Office of Assemblymember Steven Raga and the Philippine Consulate General in New York, highlights the enduring and strong bonds between New York State and the Filipino community. 

“It is an honor to serve in the state legislature and be able to celebrate the rich heritage and vibrant culture of the Filipino community in New York State. This celebration is not just a commemoration of our history but also a testament to the enduring spirit and contributions of Filipinos in New York. I am immensely proud to represent such a dynamic and resilient community, not only in Assembly District 30 but throughout the state. Together, we will continue to build bridges of understanding and collaboration, ensuring that everywhere we go–our voices are heard, and our presence is felt,” said Assemblymember Steven Raga. 

The day began with a floor introduction in the Assembly Chamber. Assemblymember Steven Raga, the first-ever Filipino and Southeast Asian American to be elected to office in New York State, introduced the Filipino American community and recognized the presence of Consul General Senen Mangalile, special guests, and the delegation from the Philippine province of Misamis Oriental, including their Kuyamis Festival dancers. Assemblymember Raga’s colleagues responded with a round of applause, joining in the commemoration of Philippine Independence. 

“As we gather for the second year at the state capitol to commemorate the 126th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence, the historic halls of the Legislative Office Building again bear witness to the strong bonds between the Filipino community and the great state of New York. We celebrate under the theme ‘Kalayaan. Kinabukasan. Kasaysayan.’ – ‘Freedom. Future. History.’ – which echoes the spirit of the Katipunan, whose bravery and patriotism laid the foundation for the freedom the Philippines now enjoys. I call on the Filipino community in New York to draw inspiration from the Katipunan’s courage as we work together to build a prosperous and united future for a Bagong Pilipinas (New Philippines). Thank you to Assemblymember Steven Raga and his office for their initiative and invaluable support in co- organizing this celebration with the Philippine Consulate,” said Consul General Senen Mangalile.

Afterward, a brief meeting with Assembly Deputy Speaker Philip Ramos took place in the Assembly Parlor Room following the official floor introduction. During this meeting, Deputy Speaker Ramos shared his affinity for the Philippines and voiced his admiration for the Filipino community. The Deputy Speaker reiterated his interest in sending a New York State legislative delegation to the Philippines to explore mutual opportunities and proposed forming a task force to address the labor market opportunities between the Philippines and New York State. 

The celebration continued at the Well of the Legislative Office Building with a vibrant cultural program featuring performances by various Filipino American community members and organizations. The program included singing performances by Azia Sky Barao, Carla Mongado, Luz Sanchez, and Raffy Tragico from the band Brown Sugar, as well as a dance presentation by the Kuyamis Festival dancers from the province of Misamis Oriental. Attendees also enjoyed Filipino food, prepared by Kusina Resto, a local Albany food caterer. 

The program also featured greeting messages from several state legislators, including Deputy Speaker Philip Ramos, the New York State Asian Pacific American Task Force Co-Chair Zohran Mamdani, and Assemblymembers Harvey Epstein, Emily Gallagher, and Jenifer Rajkumar. Deputy Director of Asian 

American Affairs Sibu Nair from the Office of New York State Governor Kathy Hochul and Director of Asian American Affairs Adam Chen of the Office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James also delivered messages of support, on behalf of their principals. 

Later that day, the New York State Assembly adopted a resolution memorializing Governor Hochul to proclaim June 12th, 2024, as Philippine Independence Day in New York State; this resolution was sponsored by Assemblymember Kenneth Zebrowski and cosponsored by Assemblymember Steven Raga. 


Photos: ‘Marcos Loyalists para sa Bagong Pilipinas’ March at New York’s Annual Philippine Independence Day Parade

‘Marcos Loyalists para sa Bagong Pilipinas’ March at New York’s Annual Philippine Independence Day Parade. June 2, 2024. Manhattan, New York. 

Photos by Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media © 2024 All Rights Reserved.

Photos by Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media © 2024 All Rights Reserved.

Philippine Community in New York Celebrates 126th Independence Day with a Manhattan Parade

Consul General Senen T. Mangalile (center), US Senator Chuck Schumer (fourth from left), PIDCI Grand Marshall Charina Amunategui, PIDCI President Arman David (6th and 7th from left), and other elected officials kick off the 126th Independence Day Parade with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the corner of Madison Avenue and 38th Street. (Photo by Joey Jose R. Magaso)

New York, NY – The Philippine Consulate General in New York, in partnership with the Philippine Independence Day Council Incorporated (PIDCI), kicked off the commemoration of the 126th anniversary of Philippine independence in the United States with the annual Independence Day Parade on Madison Avenue in Manhattan, New York that featured 135 floats, organizations, and marching bands, some of which came all the way from the Philippines.

The officers and staff of the Philippine Consulate General display their Filipiniana fineries as they parade down Madison Avenue. (Photo by Maria Annette F. Aquino-Herrera)

US Senator Charles Ellis Schumer led other state and city officials in paying tribute to the huge contributions of Filipinos to American society and cited their work ethic, love for family, desire for higher education and cheerfulness as their best qualities. New York State Assembly Member Steven Raga,  Mayor Arvin Amatorio of Bergenfield, New Jersey, and Phoenixville, Pennsylvania Mayor Peter Urscheler represented Filipino-Americans in elected office at the parade.

Consul General Senen T. Mangalile and Ms. Maria Fe Mangalile march with the Consuls General of Thailand, and Malaysia and the Consuls of Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam as a show of ASEAN solidarity. (Photo by Joey Jose R. Magaso)

For only the second time in its 34-year history, the Independence Day Parade featured local government units in the Philippines. Misamis Oriental brought 80 street performers to introduce the province’s colorful Kuyamis Festival to the United States, while the floats of Aurora and Pangasinan featured their local attractions. They complemented the vibrant performances from various community organizations in the Tri-State area which vied for the honor of being named the best participating group of the parade.

Consul General and Mrs. Senen T. Mangalile (center) are joined by the leaders of the Filipino community at the Flag Ceremony at the Lobby of the Philippine Center on Fifth Avenue. (Photo by Joey Jose R. Magaso)

Upon the invitation of Consul General Mangalile, ASEAN Consulates General in New York participated in the parade to underscore the spirit of ASEAN solidarity, shared values and common heritage. Consul General Amir Farid Abu Hassan of Malaysia, Consul General Somchai Taphaopong of Thailand, Consul Chew Ee Lin of Singapore, Consul Nadia Marlene Eunike of Indonesia, and Consul Bui Dang Quan of Vietnam marched down Madison Avenue and gamely posed for pictures with various Filipino community organizations.

Most Rev. Efren Esmilla, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia, celebrates a Thanksgiving Mass at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center in New York. (Photo by Joey Jose R. Magaso)

The day commenced with a Flag Ceremony held at the Lobby of the Philippine Center on Fifth Avenue with young Filipino-Americans leading the Panunumpa sa Watawat. In the presence of the PIDCI President, Grand Marshal, Board of Directors, Past Presidents, and Past Grand Marshals, the officers of the Philippine Consulate General in New York, accompanied by visiting officials from Philippine local government units, joined Rev. Fr. Patrick Longalong, Imam Shamsi Ali and Rev. Henry Janiola in praying for the Philippines, its people and its government. A Thanksgiving Mass officiated by the Most Reverend Efren Esmilla, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia, followed at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center.

Misamis Oriental’s Kuyamis Festival takes center stage at the 34th Philippine Independence Day Parade in Manhattan. (Photo by ConGen Senen T. Mangalile)

The festivities continued where the parade ended at the corner of Madison Avenue and 26th Street. A street fair showcased various purveyors of Filipino food, services and products from participating local governments. Local artists from the Tri-State area took the stage to present a cultural extravaganza which starred Filipino balladeer Nonoy Zuñiga and vocal stylists 4th Impact.


The collaborative efforts between the Philippine Consulate General in New York and PIDCI for this year’s Independence Day celebration yielded a palpable sense of pride and camaraderie among the members of the Filipino community whose support was crucial to the commemoration’s success.