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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

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.


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