PIDCI Parade: June 3 is on; close to 100 groups to join

by Tambi Wycoco

NEW YORK (iiNNS) – At a news conference at the Philippine Center, the Philippine Independence Council, Inc., (PIDCI), has confirmed that the annual Independence Day Parade is happening on June 3, 2018.

The press con, which was presided by PIDCI President Antero “Ner” Martinez and Vice President Rely Manacay, was held to address concerns from the community. PIDCI General Counsel Manuel B. Quintal answered questions regarding a lawsuit filed by leaders of two organizations. Quintal assured the media that the lawsuit has totally neither have a bearing nor relevance on the conduct of all the celebratory events, particularly the Philippine Independence Day — the centerpiece of the annual celebration.

Three major events take place during the day along Madison Avenue in midtown Manhattan: the all-day Independence Day Street Fair (11 a.m to 6 p.m. on 26th Street from Madison Avenue to Park Avenue), the Independence Day Parade (12 noon, from 38th Street heading downtown to 26th Street for turn-off and end), and the Cultural Festival showcasing local and international Filipino performers (2 p.m. to 6 p.m.).

PIDCI also said that in the previous weeks, several other major events that commemorate independence day have been successfully held and attended to by sell-out crowds at various venues. The Mrs. Kalayaan Coronation Gala, held at The Graycliff in Moonachie, N.J. on April 22; the Grand Marshals Gala, honoring the Grand Marshal of the Independence Day Parade Maj. Restituto Estacio, MD, FS, FACIP, and the first Honorary Grand Marshal Ambassador Mario Lopez de Leon, Jr., held at the Grand Ballroom of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, NJ on April 28. And third, the Selection and Coronation Pageant and Gala to select the 2018 Diwa ng Kalayaan (Spirit of Independence) aspirants (single Filipino women, 16 to 23 years old).

Besides the major events, PIDCI also mentioned minor ones which kicked-off the celebratory fever with a Cheers to Freedom Happy Hour at the Living Room of the W Hotel in Times Square on April 13, followed closely by another overflow fund-raiser Meet and Greet at the Gallery of the Philippine Center’s lobby. Both events are “firsts” for PIDCI. Other events, which PIDCI considered “firsts” this year are: the election of an Honorary Grand Marshal; the election of a Grand Marshal who comes from outside of the Greater New York Area (Cherry Hill-Southern New Jersey); and the Grand Marshal Gala, which was held at a venue well outside of the Greater New York Area.

PIDCI has also confirmed, as of this writing, that close to a hundred groups have signed up to participate in the Philippine Independence Day Parade. With less two weeks before the grand parade, it is anticipated that as the big event gets closer, the number of parade participants would surge to about 120 similar to previous years.

In the Cultural Festival segment, which is the main attraction of the day-long event, PIDCI said that several local talents will be performing. Comedian-director Leo Martinez will be the host.

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