PIDCI gears up for 111th Philippine Independence Day

by Guest Columnist

NEW YORK (March 17) — The Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc. (PIDCI) has called a meeting for Wednesday, March 25, 7 p.m. at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center. Volunteers including the presidents and representatives of its 100 member-associations, leaders of other community organizations and the general community are invited.

Part of the agenda of that meeeting will be the presentation of status and progress reports on plans and implementing details by chairpersons of the different committees involved in the annual event. Reports are expected from the committees on Grand Marshal Gala; the Diwa ng Kalayaan (Spirit of Independence) Selection and Coronation Pageant and Gala; the Independence Day Parade, Street Fair and Cultural Festival and the Independence Ball, among others.

In a statement, PIDCI said it will begin a series of area celebrations starting with the Grand Marshal Gala on April 4 at The Astoria World Manor in Astoria, Queens, New York at 7 p.m.  The traditional dinner-dance, followed by brief ceremonial presentation and introduction of Dr. Teofila Malanum Santos, 2009 Grand Marshal.

A short investiture ceremony will install Dr. Santos when she is pinned her ceremonial Grand Marshal sash by last year’s Grand Marshal, Msgr. Oscar A. Aquino, assisted by Philippine Consul General Cecilia B. Rebong and PIDCI President Gerry Austria.

Dr. Santos is well known in the community as a humanitarian.  Her community volunteer pursuits include organizing and conducting free medical clinics in a number of area churches.

For information and/or invitation, please call Nida Cortez at (718) 393-0348 or (646) 644-4101, or Dr. Alice Nepomuceno Francisco at (201) 641-9452 or (201) 370-8363, or PIDCI President Gerry Austria at (201) 238-1785.

Next event is the Diwa ng Kalayaan Pageant and Gala which is to be held on April 26 from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Sheraton Newark Airport Hotel in Newark, New Jersey.  The Diwa ng Kalayaan (Spirit of Independence) will be selected and crowned at that time. Diwa ng Kalayaan is the most coveted beauty, brains and talent title among young ladies ages 16 to 21 of Filipino descent in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut-Philadelphia area.

The top prize for Diwa ng Kalayaan is a round trip airline ticket to the Philippines as Ambassador of Goodwill representing the PIDCI and the Filipino and Filipino American community of the New York region and as a participant in the Philippine Ambassador’s, Consuls General and Tourism Directors annual tour to the Philippines.

To register for the competition, for information, or for invitations to the Diwa ng Kalayaan Pageant and Gala, please call Diwa ng Kalayaan committee chair, Joji Jalandoni (201) 401-7559 or co-chairs Elvira Reyes (551) 208-4986, Linda Limcaco (609)903-1123, Rudy Mariano (860) 848-7055, Tony abellar (973) 704-0191, Medy Taeza (646) 415-3040; Edwin de Guzman (917) 402-0063, Arthur Acosta (973) 731-5537, Laura Garcia (908) 627-1954, Millie Hornilla (201) 467-1441, Rene Penecilla (201) 245-4970 or PIDCI President Gerry Austria at (201) 238-1785.

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