MANILA – A couple both engaged in the medical field were honored during the Grand Marshal Gala hosted by the Philippine Independence Day Council Inc. (PIDCI) recently at the World Astoria Manor in Queens, New York.
But instead of acknowledging the honor, PIDCI 2014 Grand Marshal Dr. Emilio Quines, alongside his wife and co-parade marshal Dr. Fely David-Quines, paid homage to past and present Filipino heroes.
"Our heroes fought hard and sacrificed their lives to have our independence. And think about it, we won’t be here tonight without our heroes; we won’t be celebrating the 116th Philippine Independence Day Parade [set Sunday, June 1, along Madison Avenue] without them," said Quines in his speech.
Quines is a long-term medical mission volunteer in the Philippines. He also described in his speech what being happy truly means for him.
"Happiness is being contented with what we have; and what we have we share with our families, our friends, but not forgetting those who are truly in need," he said.
PIDCI's silver anniversary theme this year is "Triumphs of the Filipino: Pride of the Philippines," which honors the shining triumphs of Filipinos across different fields and industries--from business and technology to sports, from world ambassadorship to entertainment, and from volunteerism to social activism.
"Tonight is also about giving honor to the two people who will play important roles to ensure the success of the Independence Day parade and other related events," said Consul General Mario Lopez de Leon.
De Leon added, "For PIDCI’s 25th year, it has chosen two of the most distinguished, well-loved, and highly-respected leaders of the Filipino American community. Drs. Quines are true models of accomplished, charitable, yet modest couple. Their readiness to provide the needs of our poor kababayans back home, especially during typhoon Haiyan, demonstrates their openheartedness, civic-mindedness, and commitment to their advocacies."
The Independence Day Parade Grand Marshal is one of the highest honors bestowed by PIDCI annually to an individual (or a couple). The title recognizes an exceptionally outstanding person (or a couple) whose contributions have positively impacted the local community and the greater community as well.
Besides organizing and promoting the parade, street fair, and cultural festival on June 1, Drs. Quines are also expected to take part in upcoming pre-Independence Day celebrations Mrs. Kalayaan Pageant (April 12) and Diwa ng Kalayaan Pageant (May 3), and the post-Independence Day event Independence Ball (June 7).