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Crowds turn out for PH Independence Day parade in New York

Don Tagala | TFC News New York

Posted at Jun 07 2023 10:34 PM

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This year's Philippine Independence Day celebration in New York went all out, three years since the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Crowds, including Filipino-American groups, marched through Madison Avenue to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine independence from Spain.

Philippine government officials were among those who led the march.

"We have a lot to be grateful for," said Jose Manuel Romualdez, Philippine ambassador to the U.S. "We have such a large number of Filipino-Americans in New York City."

Senator Risa Hontiveros, who joined the parade, urged attendees to remember Filipinos' long fight for freedom.

"This power of coming together as a community, this is a hard-won victory," she said, "[of] blood, sweat, tears, life and limb. We must never take it for granted."

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and New York City Mayor Eric Adams also expressed their support to the Filipino community.

"This community means so much to us," said Adams. "They were there during COVID, and made sure our city was able to move forward."

Schumer, who hails from New York, vowed to "work every bit as hard in my fifth term for the Filipino people."

The parade also featured the Wish Bus and beauty queens, including the reigning Miss Universe 2022, R'Bonney Gabriel.

"This is a huge honor," said the Filipino-American. "It's the largest [parade] in America. This is a dream come true."

The Independence Day parade included delegations not only from the U.S. but also from the Philippines such as the Masskara Dancers from Bacolod City.

The parade concluded with a street fair and a culturance performance.