PIDCI to hold annual elections October 3 in Elmhurst, NY

by Ricky Rillera

PIDCI Board of Directors candidates. Top Panel (Left) Sofia Abad, Arman David, Maryann Gerbolingo, Dora Koltsidis. Bottom Panel (Left) Erlinda Limcaco, Matt Reyes, Myrna Young, and Margarita Wisotsky (for president) | Photo PDM File

NEW YORK – Margarita “Margie” Wisotsky, president of Wonder Girls, is the sole candidate for the presidency of the Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc. (PIDCI), the Philippine Daily Mirror has learned. PIDCI will hold the elections on October 3 at the Church on the Way, 51-01 Gorshine Street, in Elmhurst, New York.

Rely Manacay, the incumbent president, has decided not to seek another term due to a heavy workload at his office.


Wisotsky based her vision as president on the acronym PIDCI: “Productive, Industrious, Devotion, Collaborative, and Inter-connected.” “I want to influence young people in the knowledge and history of our culture and continue the legacy we have established,” she said in an email.

Running as one of the seven directors of PIDCI this year is Sofia Abad (Federation of Philippine Societies of New Jersey), Arman David (Kapampangan Foundation), Maryann Gerbolingo (Integrated Bisaya International Group), Dora Koltsidis (The Filipino Ladies Development), Erlinda Limcaco (Luzon America Foundation), Matt Reyes (Order of the Knights of Rizal), and Myrna Young (Kababaihang Rizalista-Middlesex County). They will succeed incumbent directors whose terms are expiring this year. Three current directors are running for re-election.

Their certificates of candidacies were reviewed by the Committee on Elections, chaired by Nora Galerros, with Marissa De Guzman and Arnel Piamonte. Manacay said that the Board accepted the recommendation of the committee at its in-person meeting on September 9.

At the same meeting, based on the Membership Committee chaired by Raquel Banez with committee members Chris De Guzman and Jean Allarey David submitted 85 members who renewed their membership dues on time, September 3, that are eligible to vote this year. In 2019, there were 96 members. The Board approved the list affixing the signature of each member present at the meeting, according to De Guzman. “Envelopes with postmark dates and checks were also submitted to the Board,” he added.

Wisotsky has served as a director with four former presidents: Fe Martinez (2012-2014), Dr. Prospero Lim (2016-2018), Antero Martinez (2018), and Rely Manacay (2019). She has also been involved in PIDCI for many years and had served as chairperson in several institutional projects such as the Mrs. Kalayaan, Maria Clara, Miss Diwa ng Kalayaan, the Independence Ball, and the Grand Marshall Night. She was also co-chair of a PIDCI parade.

In 2012, when PIDCI launched Mrs. Kalayaan, Witsotsky became its first title-holder after her tenure in 2011 as Mrs. PAFCOM of the Philippine American Friendship Committee in Jersey City. Wisotsky was also Mrs. Philippines USA of the Filipino Social Club in 2010 and the top fundraiser in the organization’s history.

PIDCI did not hold the annual Independence Day Parade on Madison Avenue in June due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, PIDCI featured a two-hour virtual commemoration of Independence Day. Before New York City’s lockdown, the Board had selected Dr. Francia de Vera as Grand Marshal and John De Soto, as Honorary Grand Marshal. The Board canceled all planned events, but it continued to meet to plan and discuss its business.

According to Manacay, Dr. de Vera and de Soto will hold their respective titles in 2021 when New York City fully re-opens and allows the resumption of events involving a mass gathering of people.

PIDCI organizes the annual commemoration of Philippine Independence in New York City and is now a significant event for many Filipino Americans.

Wisotsky is from the province of Palawan, the Philippines, the youngest daughter of Jose and Lolita Beof. She has three children and works for top health agencies.

“My aspirations include gaining the trust and support of all my fellow kababayans and enhance the PIDCI organization as I strive to integrate camaraderie and loyalty to the community,” she said.

Manacay said that during PIDCI’s annual meeting on October 3, it would be observing and complying with standard COVID-19 protocols such as requiring every attendee who enters the premises to wear a face covering and keep social distancing. New York City guidelines also limit the number of people inside the facility at a time.

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