Pinoy Pride Shines In New York

For many Pinoys based in the Tri-State area of New York-New Jersey-Connecticut, all roads led today to Madison Avenue, long regarded as New York City's fashionable road. Today's agenda still has a bit of fashion involved as men in Barong Tagalog and women attired in Terno paraded down the street as part of the 111th Philippine Independence Day celebrations. This year's theme: "The Filipino-American: Bahagi Ng Bagong Bayani Ng Bayan". Leading the pack was Philippine Vice Pres. Noli de Castro with Sen. Manny Villar, Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano and Ambassador to the U.N. Hilario Davide, Jr.

As the sun shone brightly and Philippine flags fluttered in the wind, different contingents of Filipino-American groups followed one another in between brass bands and floats. Mixed crowds of Pinoys, locals and curious tourists viewed the parade from 41st Street down to 23rd Street where it terminated with a huge street fair just next to Madison Square Park. With my friends Sonny, Ryan and William, we tried to squeeze ourselves in the humongous mass of people - there was a trade fair, a food court and a cultural festival onstage for everyone. I swear I've never seen so many Filipinos congregating in one place outside the Philippines.

It's heartening to note that despite the Pinoy diaspora, everybody still has a grasp of their roots and appreciated where they came from. Food stalls selling Pinoy favorite dishes were a big hit. Many wore T-shirts emblazoned with Pinoy heritage and pride (Manny Pacquiao shirts anyone?). Most surprising was a Tagalog course for those who want to learn the language. At the GMA booth, heartthrob Dingdong Dantes was mobbed by Pinoy paparazzis. While munching on fish balls, I thought leafy Madison Square Park morphed into a Rizal Park with all the Pinoys around me. If Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain were there, they probably would have felt like they're transported back to Manila.


  1. wow. it always warm to see filipino celebrations outside our own for whatever they may say about good old pinas, we still should be proud to be PINOY.

  2. Wow! Sobrang nagutom ako sa food photos. You've got a colorful celebration there.

  3. Hi Lawstude,
    That's so true, we may have moved out of the Philippines but we never forget where we came from.

    Hi Witsandnuts,
    Haba nga ng pila sa food stalls but it was worth the wait. Yummy Pinoy food!

  4. good to see this thing happens!

  5. Wow! it is good to see that our kababayans in the US are still celebrating our independence day.

    the celebration was so colorful. and nakakagutom yung mga pagkain. hehe!

    bisita ka naman sa munting bahay ko. salamat!

  6. hi Dennis, txs for being a regular part lately of my portal..its good to be here too, well presented facts, intelligent choice of words, and amazing shots..

    txs too for sharing us your sojourn!..

    so that madison avenue's a spitting image of buendia in makati city huh'..

    and i am wondering how the americans reacted when they saw the philippine's giants parading in american soil..

    i hope UAE will come up with one too..u know cultural celeb here normally's indoor, and perhaps impossible in the daytime when the month of June is scorching.

    i saved u in my favorites no.rgds.

  7. Good thing no one wore the KKK shirts. hehe


  8. "If Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain were there, they probably would have felt like they're transported back to Manila.">>> hahaha... i like that. definitely they will. he might even look for lechon.

    it feels good to see pinoys waving the philippine flag in new york.

  9. when was this? wow, that's a major celeb if veep noli was around.

    oh my mouth is salivating. this just makes my adobo craving more urgent.

  10. Hi Marco,
    Thanks for dropping by.

    Hi pOot,
    Oo naman, Pinoys in America still remember our country of birth.

    Hi Josh,
    You write well that's why I kept coming back to your site. And I also have a soft spot for OFW bloggers (dahil naging OFW din ako).
    New Yorkers are used to "national day" parades what with so many ethnic backgrounds here and the usual reaction is always amusement at things they don't always see -like the paper mache giants.

    Hi Lateralus,
    Didn't see those - there were more Pacquiao shirts though.

    Hi Dong,
    I had goosebumps nga eh when I saw so many Pinoys celebrating our heritage.

    Hi Photocache,
    The parade was just last Sunday (6/7). I think Noli de Castro is a leading 'presidentiable'.

  11. Thanks for dropping by my site! nice images! makes me more proud that I am a Filipino! Nice site too! chronicling your travels is really worth taking time. The sceneries are breath taking! :)

  12. I don't think we have a similar activity here in Orange County. It is probably because the Pinoys here are so widely spread out and well-intermingled with the rest of the population. A big disadvantage in my opinion, if we want to be recognized as a potent group in this ethnically diversed US of A.

  13. such a spectacle it is

  14. sorry, but ano pong meron sa naka-barong na blue ang pants sa second pic at punky (?!) way of wearing barong sa last pic? their style doesnt look cool. imbento talaga oo.

    but its great seeing our kababayans commemorating the phil independence day wherever they are in the globe.

  15. How very interesting! It's easy to see how hard the Pinoy community have worked to make this event truly wonderful! Kudos to them!

    Thanks for visiting Norwich Daily Photo and leaving your comment. Do come back for more of tomorrow and find out where we are going!

    A Pinay In England
    Your Love Coach
    I, Woman

  16. Hi Homer,
    Salamat sa compliments. It's great to see fellow kababayans celebrating our Pinoy heritage.

    Hi BertN,
    I'm surprised you said that knowing the West Coast has more Pinoys living there.

    Hi Backpacking Philippines,
    Thanks for visiting.

    Hi Islander,
    Thanks for your reaction. I posted the pic knowing that someone will notice it - either like it or hate it. I believe in the young man's freedom to express himself and the way he interprets wearing the Barong - unless it's against the law.

    Hi Joy,
    It takes a lot of team work to make the parade successful and I'm impressed with the organizers. Have a safe trip.

  17. Nice to know that Filipinos around the world still commemorates our independence day. Thanks for sharing this. :D

  18. What a wonderful Parade !! So colorful and everyone is enjoying ..Great post..Thanks for sharing...Also I Have Started My Own Website And Would Like You To Have A Look At It.I Would Love To Have Your Comments On That Also.Unseen Rajasthan

  19. it warms the heart to see Pinoys from around the world being so proud to be Pinoy.

    Filipino food always looks yummy! kagutom naman ang mga food pics.

  20. What a fabulous parade!! You're making me drool with all that food!

  21. Anonymous10:01:00 AM

    wow, wow, and wow!!!
    it's my first time in your blog and i'd like to to tell you that i'll link it with mine. i stumbled upon your site via joy of UK and bertN of CA. you've got absolutely nice stuffs here.

    to see the philippine delegation in NY not in papers but on a blog page is really something. thanks for sharing.

    you've got passion for traveling, pwede po bang makibisita lagi dito at sumama sa pamamasyal? salamat!

  22. this looks awesome! i happened to be in SF for philippine independence day and all they had was an event (with booths/etc). this looks way cooler. love parades!

  23. wow, NY!! i wanna visit the Serendipity cafe someday and Central park!!


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