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A parade of stars

I was fortunate enough to join the recent Philippine Independence Day Parade in New York as representative of the Torre Lorenzo Development Corporation.

It was a blast. I was able to hobnob with stars like Apl.de.Ap, KC Concepcion, Ogie Alcasid, James Yap, Yassi Pressman, Joey Albert, and Nanette Inventor.

KC CONCEPCION (Photo courtesy of Viva Artists Agency)

KC CONCEPCION (Photo courtesy of Viva Artists Agency)

The parade is an annual undertaking organized by the Philippine Independence Day Council of New York. This year’s theme celebrates Filipino solidarity, inasmuch as it also honored our forefathers via an exhibition of faith, culture and traditions.

Ambassador Mario Lopez de Leon Jr., Philippine Consul General to New York, wanted to make the parade as festive as possible. Indeed, he is going  out with a bang as his term ends this month.

KC was quite thrilled to take part in the event. Posting on Instagram a photo of herself on a float wearing a dress designed by Mark Bumgarner, she said, “A good day to be a Filipina! And in New York, no less!!”

James rode on a float together with Filipino children from New York, New Jesey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. He told me, “I am honored to promote the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) in New York City.”

Yassi, who represented TV5, wore a beautiful white Filipiniana by Paolo Lazaro for the parade that started at 36th Avenue and Madison and ending on 23rd street where a variety show was held. About her dress, she told me, “Ten hands worked on this masterpiece. The details are just so intricate. I was wearing the gown on the float with so much pride.”

Apl.de.Ap performed at the variety show as with Ogie who sang “Nandito Ako.”

OGIE ALCASID, Yassi Pressman and James Yap (James' Instagram)

OGIE ALCASID, Yassi Pressman and James Yap (James’ Instagram)

Audiences also enjoyed the funny monologues of Nannette together with Fe de Los Reyes.

The parade was suppose to start at 11 a.m. but was delayed because of rain. It was quite cold at the time but most didn’t mind. The reception afforded us by New Yorkers was enough to warm our hearts.

The whole thing was exciting for me, having done motorcades only in provinces like Cabanatuan or Iligan prior. To be in New York as part of a grand parade of stars was quite an experience I had to pinch myself just to make sure I wasn’t just dreaming.

I will be staying in NY for a few more days to perform for Filipino expats. I hope they can appreciate my humor.

To celebrate my NY stint, I posted on Instagram my own interpretation of the Hotdogs classic “Manila.”