Thousands join PH Independence Day parade in NY

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Jun 10 2015 06:06 PM | Updated as of Jun 11 2015 02:11 AM

NEW YORK CITY - The Philippine Independence Day parade in New York City is the largest celebration of its kind outside the Philippines attracting tens of thousands of people from across the northeast coast.

"We have elevated our presence here in the United States. We're the second largest Asian ethnic minority, so we are doing it in a big way here in New York City so this is a proud day for Filipinos and the Philippines," said Consul General Mario de Leon.

Held on the first Sunday of June each year, the annual Independence Day parade happens on Madison Avenue from 38th Street to the 23rd.

The New York parade that started in the 90's runs through Madison Avenue from 40th Street to the 23rd, where a street fair and cultural show is held.

From the Maskara dancers of Bacolod to the Sinulog street performers from Cebu, the New York parade aims to showcase the rich Philippine culture and to raise funds for various charities in the Philippines and in the US.

"This is a group that hopes to embody the diversity of the Philippines. We take pride in taking part in the festivities, for the Independence Day of the Philippines," said Winston Magno, of the Philippine-American Association of Connecticut.

A Filipino parade is not complete without the parade of beauty queens.

"It's always important for us to show that we always keep our culture and traditions around the world because we should be proud of it right?" said Miss Teen Universe, Kathleen Cabillen.

The New York parade is also a celebration of the achievements of members of the Filipino community in America.

"Continue to strive for greatness! We can make it. If we can make it here, we can make it anywhere," said Marian Abao, a Gingoog Manobo and Higaonon street dancer.

Read more on Balitang America.