Sunday, May 29, 2011

2011 Philippine Independence Day Celebration in New York City

 PIDCI’s Independence Day takes place on the first Sunday in June every year, this year on June 5, starting with an early morning (8:30 a.m.) Flag Ceremony at the front of the Philippine Center at 556 Fifth Avenue, between 45th and 46th Streets, immediately followed by an Independence Thanksgiving Mass at Kalayaan Hall on the second floor of the Center. At 10:00 a.m., after New York Police has closed Madison Avenue from 23rd Street to 42nd Street from vehicular traffic, the Independence Day Street Fair opens on the Avenue from 24th to 26th Streets. It’s an all-day (until 6:00 p.m.) virtual Filipino Food Festival and a Mini-Expo.

At 11:45 in the morning, brief opening ceremonies are held at Madison Avenue at 38th Street after which at the stroke of 12:00 o’clock noon, the Independence Day Parade gets under way heading South (downtown). Marching contingents in brightly-colored costumes, others in uniforms, floats and open cars stop very briefly in front of a Reviewing Stand on the West side of the Avenue between 29 Streets before proceeding to the dispersal point at 27th Street. At 2:00 p.m., the Cultural Festival opens on an open air stage in the center of Madison Avenue north of 23rd Street. The Festival features Filipino and Filipino-American talents and performing artists until 6:00, which marks the closing time for the whole day’s festivities.

Organizations or groups wishing to participate in PIDCI’s Independence Day Parade may contact Committee Chairs Fe Martinez at (973) 222-0085 or Dr. Benjie Santos, Jr. at (347) 255- 0826, or Co-Chair Ner Martinez at (347) 837-5853. For booth rentals at the Street Fair, the contact is Chairman Raul Estrellado at (201) 421-6187 and for the Cultural Festival, the contacts are Chair Cathy Uy at (732) 687-2413 or Co-Chair Hector Magno at (908) 229-0155.

The culminating event of the commemoration is the Philippine Independence Ball, this year to be held at the Hilton New York Hotel at 1335 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019-6012 on Saturday, June 11, from 7:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. of the actual anniversary date of Independence Day of June 12. The Ball will feature an authentic Rigodon de Honor. For information or invitations, please call Independence Ball Committee Chairperson Tess Lobo at (917) 783-8673. For any and/or all matters you may call PIDCI President Joji Jalandoni at (201) 401-7559 or any member of the PIDCI Board of Directors.


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