NEW YORK – The Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc. (PIDCI) is rising this year by streaming hybrid virtual and live presentations at Facebook.com/PIDCIOfficial/live from June 6, 2021, 11:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. to celebrate the 123rd Anniversary of Philippine Independence. It will be broadcast live from the Philippine Center in Manhattan during the flag-raising and the traditional mass at the Kalayaan Hall. Later, the festivities will continue at the Astoria World Manor in Queens, New York, for the gala event.
“People should expect a variety of activities including festive dress, dancing, food and wonderful semi-virtual live celebration,” Margie Wisotky, PIDCI president, said.
According to Wisotsky, PIDCI attempted to get a parade permit, but “they [city officials] could not provide a permit this year on Madison Avenue due to the limitation on outdoor event.” She said PIDCI vice president Nora Galleros attended a meeting with officials of District 5 in Manhattan.
PIDCI’s theme this year, Together Rising as One (Sama-samang Bumabangong Bilang Isang Lahi), is a tribute to the resilience and faith of global Filipinos. Last year, due to the surge of the COVID-19 pandemic, all activities were canceled. Business meetings were limited to Zoom technology. PIDCI managed to produce a two-hour virtual commemoration with celebrities either sending their greetings or singing a song to commemorate the event, streamed on Facebook. Footage of past several celebrations was also shown.
The election of the new set of officials for 2021 was held in October 2020 amid the pandemic. Determined to hold a commemoration this year, Wisotky said they had planning meetngs since December 2020. “We had weekly Zoom coordination meetings, said Wisotky, and “all had responsibilities to reach out to the community.”
GMA network stars will join this year’s celebration led by Lovi Poe and Benjamin Alves with Filipino-Caucasian rapper Ez MIl as guest artists. They will be joined by Florante and Mon David, HBOM, Armela Fortuna, Arianne Aldecoa, Katrina Manabat, Apollo Riego, and April Talangbayan. PIDCI said they would also have special messages, performances, and surprise greetings for guests and viewers.
Grand Marshal Dr. Francia H. De Vera and Honorary Grand Marshal John De Soto, RA, will serve their second term. Consul General of the Philipines in New York Elmer Cato will be at the live event and PIDCI President Margie Wisotsky, the PIDCI Board of Directors, and a host of community leaders, friends, and supporters.
This year’s hybrid virtual/live event is presented through the generous support of GMA PinoyTV, GMALifeTV, GMA NewsTV International, Galleros Robinson, DJ Filipino Events, DJ Pet, Design District Studios LLC, PInoyLife.net, Philippine Daily Mirror, and Asian Journal. (With reports from Ricky Rillera)