The Philippine Centennial Parade just passed by. The Big Apple just witnessed the biggest and the longest Filipino Parade. The flag- waving brown hands from the Northeast section of the United States saluted the various float representing various periods in our history.
Paolo Montalban, the dashing Filipino Prince from Jersey City of the TV hit movie "Cinderella" came down from his float And shook hand with the spectators. Yes, the big star could be lost in the crowd today for he looked like us. Little bit taller and handsomer maybe but I could sense that he was equally proud of the occasion. It was the biggest gathering of Filipinos I have seen and the Mayor of New York City was there walking and waving.
Madison Ave and the Park belong to the Barong Tagalog fashion this Sunday. The young Pinoy also came dressed in his baggy pants How different from my generation of tight jeans. The New York Finest did not have any problem except for one minor incident. It was kind of funny to see one cop frisking a young man's trouser. Anyway did you know that Barong Tagalog was encouraged by the Spanish Authorities? It was claimed that deadly weapons/arms were very visible if carried.
I enjoyed listening to the various dialects spoken. One lady was very thrilled that some of the slogan were Tagalog. Aba, bandila ang sulat sa Float, talagang Tagalog hindi bandera. I don't want to spoil the day for her by pointing that It should be "watawat." I noticed also that they were watching the marchers trying to recognize if someone was familiar.
I overheard one guy saying to his group, "Oh! Kilala ko yon, I have not seen him since second year in high school." He then jumped to the middle of the street and put his arm on the guy. The marchers belong to the Gay and Lesbian group. Out of curiosity without any malice, someone asked if he knew it then. Medyo, he said but he added w/o hint of irritation how a smart student the guy was.
The previous stars of last year 's parade were Erap Estrada and Gloria Macapagal. Cultural show followed the Parade at Madison Park. About a couple of hundred feet overlooking the Festival Stage show is the International Toy Building. Store showcases various "Lego" constructions but I have to go inside the lobby and read this marker on the Elevator Entrance.
Dr Jose P Rizal
From May 13-16, 1888, The Philippine National Hero and Martyr Dr Jose P Rizal stayed at Fifth Avenue Hotel, Formerly located on this site. Honored as the Pride of the Malay Race, he was the foremost Proponent of Democracy In Asia. His genius reflected in his writings expressed the ideal, provided teachings and set examples that sowed the seeds within his fellowmen for the patriotism and nationalism that gave birth to the freedom and independent nationhood.
Dedicated by the Order of the Knight of Rizal NY Chapter May 13, 1995.
If Rizal had a Park view of the
Fifth Avenue Hotel (it was one of flashy hotels of that era) where he stayed
110 years ago he could see the celebration with a smile.
The parade was covered in the NBC news. The newscaster interviewed Loida Lewis and mentioned the 3 milllion Filipinos now living in the United States.
The PHILIPPINE-AMERICAN FRIENDSHIP DAY AND PHILIPPINE CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION...
(with Special Assistance from the DEPARMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS, CITY OF JERSEY CITY)
JUNE 28, 1998, SUNDAY.. 10AM - 10PM
EXCHANGE PLACE, NEW JERSEY..
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NESTOR PALUGOD ENRIQUEZ