Full Steam Ahead for the 111th Anniversary Commemoration of Philippine Independence

by Vivian Velasco

NEW YORK (June 4) — The commemoration of the 111th Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence this year is also the 20th year the Filipino communities of the US Northeast are celebrating this historic annual event. This year’s Philippine Independence Day Parade and Street Fair/Cultural Show on Sunday, June 7, 2009. starts off with flag raising in front of the Philippine Center (556 Fifth Avenue) at 9:00 am and immediately followed by the Independence Mass at the Kalayaan Hall.

The Philippine Independence Day parade kicks off at 12:01 pm on 41st Street and Madison Avenue heading south.

Leading the 2009 Independence Day Parade will be Independence Day Parade Grand Marshal Dr.. Teofila Malanum Santos and her family. Special guest dignitaries are Vice President of the Philippines Noli de Castro and Senator Manny Villar. They will be joined by PIDCI 2009 President Gerry M. Austria, the Honorable Consul General of the Philippines, Ambassador Cecilia B. Rebong, and the Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations, Ambassador Hilario Davide, Jr. His Honor, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and other honored guests have also been invited to join the Parade.

Over 100 organizations and businesses, 14 floats, 7 marching/ethno-cultural bands have signed up to participate in the parade.

Channel 2 CBS News reporter Hazel Sanchez and Channel 7 Eyewitness News reporter Nina Pineda will be joined by Ogie Afable as parade emcees on the reviewing stand located on 29th/30th Street on Madison Avenue.

The Diwa Ng Kalayaan 2009 (Spirit of Independence) Monica Castillo Meares. and her court: Miss Filipino American Renee Nicole Lago, Hiyas ng Pilipinas Janette Gomez, Bituin ng Luzon Loriella Reyes, Bituin ng Visayas Alexandra Uy, Bituin ng Mindanao Demellen Faith Cuerda, and Lakambini ng PIDCI Natasha Abella., will be presented as the finale of the parade.

aljurabrenicaAljur Abrenica
Other special guests from the Philippines include Aljur Abrenica a television and movie personality who won Starstruck’s Ultimate Hunk title. His recent appearances include featured roles in Dyesebel, Luna Mystica and Dapat Ka Bang Mahalin.

mylenedizonMs. Mylene Dizon, a versatile, award-winning television and film actress topbills “100”, the Opening Night Selection of the IndioBravo Filipino Film Festival in New York City on June 11-14. In “100”, she plays a cancer-stricken woman who strives to fulfill her goals in life in a span of three months, an outstanding performance that won her the Best Actress award at the Golden Screen Awards and the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival in 2008.

theeffienanasdancentreofmanilaThe Effie Nanas DanCentre of Manila under the modern guru of Philippine ballet scene, Effie Nanas, recently performed and awed the audience in New York and Washington DC. They will be performing Philippine Suites in stylized balletic movements in the cultural stage. The classically trained young dancers with ages ranging from 12 to 15 years old, have recently attended weeks of classes at (2) prestigious NY ballet schools. Members include: Christel Chongson, Cassandra Chan, Kimberly Lim, Angela Tan, Judy Miano, Courtney Ong, Tiffany Ong, Jana Negre and Katrene San Miguel.

GMA Pinoy TV will present Jay-R, dubbed as the “Prince of Soul”, in the Celebrity Segment Finale of the Cultural Program with guest appearance by Dingdong Dantes, an award nominated actor/director and sought after model and product endorser. Catch both celebrities during the “Meet and Greet” portion at the GMA7 Pinoy TV Street Fair Booth.

craigandsamanthaabaya-camposOther local special headliners will be the National Junior Champions of “Dancing with the Stars” Season 7, 2009 – Craig and Samantha Abaya-Campos (14yrs old & 12yrs old, respectively) of Nutley, NJ will also be gracing the stage to the delight of the audience! It was a UNANIMOUS decision by all 3 judges of the show that got them into the finals & millions of viewers voted for them winning the title of Junior Champions. Also, their youngest sister Cara who is partnered with Jaryd Farcon, were in the show too, in Season 6 & won in the 10 & under category & just got into the finals of the show.

caraandjaredPan Asian Theatre is very proud to be part of the cultural performance and will feature songs from “IMELDA” a new musical, with a cast of talented professional Fil-Ams actors from Broadway. Leading it will be Jaygee Macapugay as Imelda, and Mel Sagrado Maghuyop and Brian Jose as Marcos and Ninoy. Other cast members include Alan Ariano, Angelica-Lee Aspiras, Billy Bustamante, Leanne Cabrera, Liz Casasola, Loresa Lanceta, and Jonelle Margallo.

The Cultural Festival presented on an open stage north of 23rd Street on Madison Avenue will also feature new faces, young Fil-ams performers, cultural performers from as far as VA, and local artists from pop-rock-soul/heavy-rock-groove bands, rappers, R & B singers to pop artists with a growing patronage in the community.

kommongroundA Front Act Section beginning at 1:15pm will be hosted by award-winning composer (Grammy member) songwriter, singer, and producer Archie D’, who will join the act of CB Savage Band; followed by the Happy Analog Band; and introducing the ‘Kommon Ground“- all local Filipino Musicians organized in November 2007 from the New York and New Jersey that share the same passion for music. “Music is the common ground that we all stand on”. They cover POP, R&B, OPM, Dance & ROCK Music and the members have all been in and out of the Local Filipino Music circuit in NY and NJ so together they bring a unique and exciting sound to your ears and will certainly entertain the masses. The Band consist of Sheldon Magbanua on Bass, Carlo Tampac on Guitar, Virgil Tabije on Drums, Michael Villarosa on Keyboards, Marichu Edmilao on Vocals and our latest addition to the group is Tony Gado on Vocals.

ninasophiawagamojaresThe second segment of the front act are “Young Fil-Ams Who’s Got Talent”. They are 10 year old, Nina Sophia Waga Mojares from Freehold, NJ. Nina loves to sing but also enjoys playing the piano and Latin ballroom dancing. She and her partner, Gabriel Basalatan, won 1st place in their first ballroom competition in the MAC Competition in New York City this year.

Maria Krby M. Asunto, 11 Yrs. Old, performed at the Diwa ng Kalayaan Pagaeant. Her credits include: “A Night at the Movies Variety Show – May 28, 2009 Connecticut; Concert 100 Best Communities – February 21, 2009 Linden New Jersey; Regional Competition Access Broadway; Won: 9-12 yrs. Old Category January 17, 2009 Groton, Connecticut.

Lianah Sta. Ana, competed on March 28th (her first ever talent competition) at The Guild Theatreworks production of Our Jersey Shore “Idol” Contest and she won the first place cash prize. She was the youngest (9 yrs old) out of 17 contestants and was the only Asian in the competition.

Ryan Pagueo, a 7 year old, will give you goosebumps when he sings “Smile” by Charlie Chaplain; lastly, Charice Trinidad, trained with the Miguel Braganza II NY Young Performers Workshop.

The Main Program starting at 2pm will feature

Keating Underground, a vibrant young musical group whose style is a groovy mergence of jazz, funk, and rock. Born in the basement of Fordham University’s Keating Hall, Keating Underground‘s unique sound has allowed them to be recognized anywhere on campus and beyond. Following a successful first year together at Fordham, KU went on to do a successful bar tour in Manila, Philippines, and was featured in an article of the widespread Manila Bulletin. Keating Underground is made up of unique, individual musicians whose distinctive sounds each lend something different to the group’s music, producing what can only be the sound of Keating Underground. Emil Tangco: Alto , Gemini Quintos: Lead Vocals, Kevin Francisco: Drums, Maki Cruz: 1st Guitar, Mark Consolacion: Bass guitar, Juri Pantanilla: 2nd Guitar.

deepfoundationWith the completion of their debut album, “The First Draft,” the success of their music video for “Children of the Sun,” along with an extensive resume of live performances and television appearances, Deep Foundation is prepared to offer an exciting array of musical entertainment suitable for Filipino audiences of all ages. With a growing international following coupled with a loyal New York and New Jersey fan base, Deep Foundation has earned the respect of staunch hip hop die-hards and captured the hearts of avid music connoisseurs everywhere.

anneberylAnne Beryl Corotan also known as Taospuso; Cling, is a noble descendant and the international advocate for the Mandayan tribe of the Philippines and the indigenous peoples of Mindanao. She is a graduate of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, with a Bachelor’s in Health Science, Public Health and Theatre Arts with a minor in International Studies in 2006 and a Bachelor’s of Nursing in 2007. Regardless, she remains a humble servant selflessly devoting her life in advocacy for the youth, the indigenous people and the local community of Filipinos. She shares the stories of the community through her proficiency in the field of arts, academe and community health. Taospuso is a new revolutionary artist who embodies the courage and humility of a Filipina, living as a herald of Christ and a vanguard of transformation.

Filipino Pop Artists GOLDA (who won first place at the Youth Festival of PIDC in 2000), and Ciello Tuazon, are a mainstay in various concerts and performances in the tri-state area and other parts of the Eastcoast;

Noel Gamboa, NYC based artist and architect who creates contemporary Pinoy flavored music and dance with his Manila Nights CD/DVD album which appeals to all ages and backgrounds, for line dancing with easy to remember tunes and steps, to show the world our rich and modern colors.

Completing the line up are the cultural groups Kinding Sindaw, and the Palawan Association; and introducing (4) other new artists in the PIDCI program, Jason Castillo; Anthea Neri, who recently won the NY/NJ Division of the Karaoke World Championships USA (with final Int’l Competition in Finland); the Phlip Hop, a Hip Hop group from Richmond Virginia and Dr. Francisco Munoz and the Cuban Dancers.

Exclusive sponsors for the 2009 Philippine Independence Day Celebration in NYC are Western Union, GMA Pinoy TV and State Farm.

For Parade Information –

  • Chair Gani Puertollano (908) 230-6468
  • Co-Chair Juliet Payabyab (917) 557-7300
  • Elmer Abustan (845) 352-8756
  • Rene Reniva (908) 765-1953
  • Belen Castillo (973) 393-8018
  • Linda Limcaco (609) 903-1123
  • Rudy Mariano (860) 848-7055.

For Cultural Festival Information –

  • Chair Dr. Bernie dela Merced at (973) 699-1849
  • Co-Chair Vivian Velasco at (917) 623-3827

For Street Fair information –

  • Chair Isagani Puertollano at (908) 964-5473 or (908) 230-6468
  • Co-Chairs Medy Taeza at (646) 415-3040
  • Tambi Wycoco at (212) 420-0145
  • Rev. Gaudencio Soriano, Sr. at (201) 947-2126 or (201) 282-9341
  • PIDCI President Gerry M. Austria at (201) 238-1785

For information or invitations –

  • Chairperson Anna Mercado (732) 925-5217
  • Joanne Garcia (908) 922-0306
  • Katrina Austria (201) 889-3615
  • Basilio Valdehuesa (201) 736-0124
  • Mark Mendoza (848) 219-8484
  • Michael Espiritu (646) 623-7392
  • President Gerry Austria (201) 238-1785

The Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc.. (PIDCI) is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization and organizes. produces, executes, directs and presents the annual Philippine Independence Day Celebration in New York City. Please visit the website www.pidci.org Check out the event page on Facebook (The 111th Philippine Independence Day Celebration NYC). For inquiries email pidci2009@yahoo.com.


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