114th Philippine Independence Day Parade NYC

Filipino-Americans celebrated the 114th Independence Day of the Philippines with a grand parade along Madison Avenue in Manhattan, New York last June 3, 2012. The celebration was organized by the Philippine Independence Day Council, Incorporated (PIDCI) headed by this year’s president, Fe Martinez.

Nearly 100,00 people attended the event  which featured more than one hundred Fil-Am organizations from all over the east coast. The parade is considered to be the largest Philippine Independence Day Parade outside the Philippines.

Gma Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV, official media partner of PIDCI, flew in Kapuso artists Dingdong Dantes, Aljur Abrenica and Rachelle Ann Go. Immigration Lawyer and TV host Attorney Lou Tancinco was also present during the event. The GMA Kapuso Float was mobbed as it reached the end of the route near Madison Square Park. Screaming fans pushed and shoved each other to get a closer look at their revered idols and get a chance to snap a picture or get an autograph.

It was a hot day interrupted by sudden sporadic downpour, but this never deterred the the crowd from watching the Cultural Festival that followed after the parade. Local Filipino talents from NYC performed during the show which also featured performances from the Kapuso Stars, Godspell’s Best Featured Actress in a Musical Nominee Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, Ryan Cayabyab and his singers, Gail Banawis, Tiffany Viray and teen singing sensation Kirby Asunto (who will be singing the Philippine National Anthem during Manny Pacquiao’s boxing match on June 9)

I was able to do a quick interview with the Kapuso hunks ( Dingdong and Aljur both participated during the 2009 parade) despite the tight security backstage. Dantes revealed that this experience made him feel overwhelmed and inspired. “Seeing all these kababayan go out of their way just to see us makes me happy. I saw more people this year as compared to my first parade three years ago”, he enthused. Abrenica intimated that he is quite nervous to perform in front of a huge crowd!  I still get the jitters, but whenever I see all of these people, who stayed despite the rain, motivates me to give it my best so that I would be able, in my own little way, give them the entertainment they deserve”.