NEW YORK — Philippine Independence Day Council Inc. (PIDCI), led by President Fe Martinez and Parade Marshals Drs. Emilio and Felicisima Quines, named Bacolod Masskara N.Y. Edition’s marching contingent, and Benguet, Ifugao, Bontoc, Apayao, and Kalinga Inc.’s (BIBAK Inc.) parade float as the top winners in the 116th Philippine Independence Day Parade held along Madison Avenue Sunday, June 1.
In its 25th year, the annual parade, together with complementary events, such as a street fair and a cultural festival, featuring appearances of Original Philippine Music (OPM) icons Cecile Azarcon, Kuh Ledesma, and Ogie Alcasid; First Filipina Miss World Megan Young; and apl.de.ap of The Black Eyed Peas; among others, has attracted an estimated 100,000 people, inclusive of parade participants and spectators, street fair revelers, and cultural festival audiences.
Bacolod Masskara N.Y. Edition, formed by Nestor and Imelda Gargarita in 2011, was named best marching (and dancing) group in the parade for the third consecutive year. The participants’ whimsical and colorful masks were made in Bacolod City in the Philippines. The Masskara festival, which is held third week in October, is an annual tradition in Bacolod, also known as the “City of Smiles.”
BIBAK Inc. represents the ethnic minority groups in the provinces of Benguet, Ifugao, Bontoc, Apayao, and Kalinga in Northern Luzon in the Philippines. Members of the non-profit organization are also advocates for the Muslim people in Southern Philippines.
Runners-up in the marching contingent category are First Runner-up Philippine-American Association of Connecticut Inc. (PAAC), and Second Runners-up (3-way tie) Cebuanos Engaged in Building Unity (Cebu), Filipino American Association of Pittsburgh (FAAP), and Barangay Gingoognon USA (GI-USA).
Runners-up in the float category, on the other hand, are First Runner-up Kapampangan Foundation and Second Runner-up Ati-Atihan International Foundation Inc.
Judging was based on 25 points each for creativity, theme, impact, and details; judges included Joey Cruz, Dr. Francia De Vera, Dr. Rene Gega, Belen Gonzales, and Romeo Reyes Velayo (coordinated by Nieva Burdick).
Results were tabulated by Maria Gervacio and Mara Olaguer, and audited by Annie Ortiz, under the supervision of Parade Chairs Albert Diala and Antero Martinez.
Parade winners will be honored at PIDCI’s Philippine Independence Ball at Renaissance Newark Hotel (1000 Spring St., Elizabeth, New Jersey) on Saturday, June 7, from 7 p.m. to 1 .am. For more information, call Chairs, Ollie David 732-499-7995 and Prospero Lim, MD 347-248-5106, or PIDCI President Fe Martinez 973-222-0085.