I support the New York Philippine Independence Day Parade  

By Alex P. Vidal 

“If you’re not in the parade, you watch the parade. That’s life.” — Mike Ditka

AS a Filipino living in New York City, I support this year’s 126th Philippine Independence Day Parade, which will crisscross once again on Midtown Manhattan’s alluring 38th down to 27th Street in Madison Avenue on June 2, 2024.

Fellow Filipinos residing in the Tri-State Region—New York, New Jersey, Connecticut—home to the largest and most-recognized collection of high-rise office real estate, and a seat to the bulk of the United States’ banking and financial institutions, also flock in the Empire City during this very significant and symbolic day to join, cheer and enjoy.

For true-blooded Filipinos in northern hemisphere and its environs, this is a festive occasion drenched with veritable spirit of solidarity and unity that happens once a year we all can’t afford to miss if we are available, able, stable and willing.

I actively participated in the much-ballyhooed Parade, traditionally spearheaded by the Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc. (PIDCI) and hosted by the Philippine Consulate General New York in 2015, 2016, 2017.

“Actively” means I helped promote the programs and other activities related to the Philippine Independence Day before and during the Parade in my capacity as resident and independent community journalist based in New York.

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I also collaborated with some event organizers who sought my assistance and cooperation to provide the day-long Parade its much-needed publicity and positive impact to the Big Apple’s other cultures and ethnicity.

It’s my own way of showing that I belong and not just a plain kibitzer and dyed-in-the-wool critic.

I can be an active purveyor of enlightenment and hype, but I don’t close my eyes to—and will never tolerate—irregularities and other wrongdoings by any event boss and consulate bigwigs.

I call spade a spade and spurn favors and special privileges, much less a free lunch, so to speak.

My orientation and philosophy as a journalist give me the carte blanche or independence to be proactive and ancillary to the event’s main protoplasm but, at the same time, I have been a persistent fiscalizer or catalyst of all the events and activities with public interest that unfold in my community.

The years thereafter became extremely difficult for me to be present in the parade physically because of workloads and time constraints although I continued to provide whatever support I could give to the Parade as part of my unvarying advocacy.

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PIDCI president Arman David, a highly skilled registered nurse who has been serving patients in the post anesthesia care unit (PACU) at New Jersey’s Christ Hospital for over 25 years, said the theme for the 2024 parade is “Preserving Our Filipino Culture and Heritage to Unite Generations”.

This theme, he stressed, is a tribute to the diversity of cultures and traditions that make up our great nation, and the importance of coming together in harmony and respect for one another.

“We invite everyone to participate in this year’s parade and show their support for our community. Your involvement helps to make this event a great success and is greatly appreciated,” David emphasized.

“We hope that you will continue to join us in celebrating the rich history, culture, and diversity of our country. It is because of your continued support and participation that we are able to make this parade possible.”

He added: “We are humbled and grateful for your contributions and we look forward to seeing you all at the 126th Philippine Independence Day Parade and Celebration on Sunday, June 2, 2024!

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo. —Ed)

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