NEW YORK – A bevy of Philippine politicians will be at this year’s celebration and commemoration of Philippine Independence Day. In addition, a host of entertainers — both from the Philippines and local talents — will be performing during the cultural event to complete the festivities Sunday, June 7 on Madison Avenue (between 38th and 23rd Streets) in Manhattan.
City mayors from the Philippines Mayor Herbert C.M. Bautista of Quezon City who is also the current president of the League of Cities of the Philippines, Mayor Monico Puentevella of Bacolod City, and Mayor Edgard D. Pamintuan of Angeles City will march together with Foreign Secretary del Rosario, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia, Jr., Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Lourdes O. Yparraguirre, and the Philippine Consul General in New York, Ambassador Mario Lopez de Leon, Jr., said PIDCI president Fe Martinez in a statement.
Presidential Adviser on Environmental Protection Neric Acosta, United States District Judge Lorna G. Schofield and U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng (6th District, NY) have confirmed their participation.
This year’s Grand Marshal is community icon and PIDCI’s charter president, lawyer Reuben Seguritan.
Besides their participation in the celebration, the mayors will be in New York to attend the Sixth World Cities Summit Mayors Forum hosted by New York City at the Grand Hyatt New York Hotel from June 8-10, 2015.
Other mayors and city officials who are listed to attend the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum may also join the celebration. They are: Governor of Bohol Province Edgardo Chatto; Governor Samuel T. Gumarin of Guimaras Province; Metropolitan Manila Chairman Francis Tolentino, Mayor Michael L. Rama of Cebu City, Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog of Iloilo City, Mayor Alfred S. Romualdez of Tacloban City, Mayor Aman C. Panaligan of Calapan City, Mindoro; Mayor Oscar Malapitan of Caloocan City; Mayor Jaime R. Fresnedi of Muntinlupa; Del R. de Guzman of Marikina City; Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez of Paranaque City; and Mayor Leonora Wong of San Simon. Pampanga.
The event’s official sponsor, the Philippine Airlines (PAL), has recently announced the participation of one of their top headliners to promote their most recent launch in New York.
Heart throb Alexander Xian Cruz Lim Uy also known as “Xian Lim” (Chinese Filipino actor, model singer) of Star Magic will be riding the PAL float and performing during the cultural festival. Adding luster to PAL’s promotions is international jazz vocalist, Kevyn Lettau (famous for “Sunlight”, “Bridges/Travessia”) who will be singing the PAL jingle. Kevyn has her big following in Manila’s jazz aficionados when she started out doing performances in the Philippines with renowned Sergio Mendez.
Singer/actor turned preacher Eddie Mesa, popularly known during his heydays as Elvis Presley of the Philippines, together with his wife, veteran actress Rosemarie Gil, will make a special appearance on stage. Their children, Michael de Mesa and Cherrie Gil, who are also noted actors and performers, will take part in the event as well. Michael will be the parade’s master of ceremony.
Kundiman Queen Sylvia La Torre and her grand daughter Broadway star/Disney artist, Anna Maria Perez de Tagle will be featured as well.
Multi-awarded actor and director Cesar Montano; legendary Pinoy folk rock songwriter and singer Florante; pop icon quintessential balladeer Nonoy Zuniga; OPM singer, dancer and performer Jam Morales; dancer, actor, musician, percussionist and choreographer Gab Valenciano; Fil Am stand up comedian Rex Navarette; Fil Am jazz drummer and singer Mon David; NBC’s The Voice semi-finalist pop/R&B singer Cheesa; “Pinoy Big Brother”, and housemate actor, model Ivan Dorschner will perform.
Juan Carlos “JC” Bonnin, the popular Filipino matinee idol in the 1980s, best remembered for his roles in the movies Bagets, Ninja Kids, and Kamagong will re-unite and join his fellow Bagets’ star Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista.
Philippine news network TV5 will have its booths and present a game segment on stage with multi-talented Giselle “G” Tongi, a Filipino American actress, singer and dance diva. Tongi is the new host and producer of Filipino Talk show Kababayan Today with G Tongi, aired by KSCI-TV LA18 in Los Angeles, California. Cash prizes will be given away during the show.
New teen singing sensation Gail Banawis including local bands “Take The Stage, and Otan Vargas Band will be performing as well. Even local beauty from New Jersey Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental 2015 Christi Lynn Landrito McGarry will be also in attendance.
Cultural performances will be performed by the children’s workshops taught by Joyelle Cabato for The Filipino School of NY/NJ and Venessa Manzano for SIPAG (Staten Island) as part of PIDCI’s mission to encourage Filipino and Fil Am children to remember their heritage.
Virgie Alvarez and her group will be also doing a special “Jota” Spanish Dance and Kinding Sindaw will present the Melayu Heritage performance representing the culture and heritage of Southern Mindanao. A special lyrical dance will also be showcased based on this year’s theme: “The Filipino: An Active Partner in Environmental and Climate Change Governance.”
PIDCI board directors Nonoy Rafael and Ner Martinez are this year’s parade chairpersons; board director Tambi Wycoco, and Gheng Pingol, executive director, are chairpersons of the street fair.
The annual all-day Philippine Independence Day anniversary commemoration features three major events: street fair, parade and the cultural festival. It is considered as the largest outdoor gathering in the world that at one time, it has attracted 100,000 participants.