I rode on the Gramercy Park Salon & Spa float down Madison Avenue in New York City (in black jacket, standing left).
This is a reprint from NY's The Filipino Newspaper.
Marchers Salute to Philipines Parade
By Michael Matthews - http://www.thefilipino.com/
On a rainy and wet Sunday afternoon on June 4th, around noontime I had the pleasure to witness and photograph the largest annual celebration of the Philippines Independence Day Parade in the tri-state area. About 115 Filipino-Americans civic, relegious and business groups marched down from 41st Street downward to 27th Street on Madison Avenue in New York City. From 41Street and 31st Street I have encounterd only handful of specatators. The corwd was mostly between 31st Street and 2th Street.
This year the dignitaries at the parade included Hon. Mayor Bloomberg; Sen. Loren Legarda (from the Philippines); Overall Chairperson Mrs. Nena L. Kaufman; Grand Marshal Fe Caliolio; Ambassador Lauro Baja Jr.; Consul General Lacanlale; and Mrs. Loida Nicolas Lewis, President and CEO of Betrice Foods Inc. (a major sponsor of this event).
During the parade I had the opportunity to urge Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) to support the plight of the Filipino-American veterans of World War II-era. Sen. Schumer refred me to his special assistan regarding the Filipino Veterans Equity Bills that are still pending in the 105th Congress. Also, I was quite happy to see a group Filipino-American veterans in their late 70's and 80's from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania marching down the avenue with their colorful flags and posts colors.
The parade featured colorful regional Filipino costumes, beauty queens riding in fancy cars and dozens of floats, dancing groups and support clubs. From 2:30 p.m. to p.m. a traditional street fair took place between 23rd and 26th Streets on Madison Avenue, which featured Filipinorestaurants serving Filipino food and regional Filipino cuisine, Filipino artists showcased their work for sale and dozens of Filipino enterprise featured their products and services. Music and entertainment provided by Filipino-American and Filipino entertainers and singers
The parade was sponsored by the Philippine Independent Day Conuncil, Inc. through it committee the PICC. A not-for-profit tax exempt organization. PIDCI is led by Attorney Reuben Seguritan.
Michael Matthews is a New York City-based writer, photographer and Asian art promoter. His articles and photographs has appeared in the Filipino Reporter, Filipino Express, Philippine News Headline Philippines, Queens Tribune and Woodside Herald. Currently he writes for Pacific & Asia in Focus a weekly Asian musical radio show on WSOU-89.5 FM Pirate Radio (a Seton Hall University Radio Station based in S. Orange, NJ) and a contributor to the Filipino-Asian Bulletin ( Jersey City-based bio-weekly newspapers) and photo contributor to Headline Philippine, a New York City-based monthly publication.