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Scenes from the Philippine Independence Day parade in New York on June 5.  (Filipino Reporter photos by Manny Caballero)


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THE rains did not dampen the enthusiasm of Filipinos in New York on June 5.

When the heavy rains stopped at exactly noon, the scheduled start of the parade, some members of Couples for Christ NJ & NY, were overheard saying, “God is really good...all the time!”  

Indeed, for it was really pouring for almost an hour prior to noontime.

Vivian Talambiras-Cruz wrote in her Facebook, “It was a miracle indeed...Some participants were just about to leave because of the pouring rain and suddenly at exactly 12 p.m. it stopped.”

Vivian concluded, “We have an awesome God.”

Nonoy Rafael: “And was pretty much dry/cloudy throughout till end of the cultural show at 6 p.m. 15 minutes after, heavy downpours came where all activities have been competed! God bless!”

Nonoy exclaimed, “Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!”

Nothing can stop the Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc. (PIDCI) from holding the annual Independence Day parade and cultural show in New York City.

The June 5 parade was their 26th.


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I would say that the jolliest and proudest group in the New York two-hour parade last Sunday was the one from the “Republic of Duterte,” the Davaoenos.

The participants were holding identical placards with the Philippine flag on one side, and a photo of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on the other side.

Songspell Philippines, the group of talented young students from Davao City, which performed in New York and other Northeastern States, also marched with the group.


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After seeing the parade pictures that we posted in FB, my sister Melita, who lives in Quezon City, commented that it was a “festive and colorful” parade.

Indeed!

After all, it’s Philippine Independence Day celebration.


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I could imagine that wherever a Philippine Embassy is situated anywhere in the world, Independence Day observance is held around this time.

The Philippine Embassy in Germany, which is in Berlin, and headed by the well-loved former New York Deputy Consul General and Ambassador Millie Sta. Maria-Thomeczek, shared with us photos of their beautiful and well-attended Independence Day celebration in Berlin.  

(Some of those pictures are in Facebook. We will also publish them in the FR website.)

I noted that most of the ambassadors from other countries who attended the Berlin Filipino activity were women.

Yes, mostly women.

Perhaps, Ninotchka would ask, so, what if they are mostly women?

Wala naman po.

Perhaps, it has been established that women are more tactful and diplomatic than men.

That they could promote goodwill better than men.

And those are the reasons why even the former U.S. secretary of state was a woman, who is now aspiring to be the next President of the United States.

Our incoming con gen in New York is also a woman.

The newly elected President of the Philippines admits he has a number of women in his life.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago might be correct, even if she meant it as a joke, that the bride right after the wedding should tell the groom, “From now on, I will go my way, and you will go my way.”

Okay, I conceive...oops, I concede.


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After the elections in the native country, I planned to shift my subject in this space to U.S. politics.

But, for some reasons known to all of us, we could not just do that.

We can’t just ignore a newly-elected Filipino president who, apparently, thinks he lives alone in an island.

He talks like a “lumpin” in a street “kanto.”

He curses men of God (Catholic bishops and priests) and accuses the Catholic Church as a hypocrite institution.

And then, would say, when criticized for saying those things, that’s how he was made by God and he could not change it!

We have some observations to share.

Last week, President-elect Duterte presented the make-up of his new cabinet.

To us, it seemed to be lacking one department...Department of Killings and Killers.

That department appears to be part of Mr. Duterte’s governance, according to his earlier statements that suspected drug lords and criminals be killed (if they resist arrest).

He announced he had P1 billion from his unspent campaign funds that he would use to pay bounties to those who could lead the authorities to the arrest or killing, if needed be, of suspected drug lords and criminals.   

By the way, did he retain the Department of Justice?

Listening to the new President, it appears that department would diminish its relevance under the new Duterte administration.

The most difficult job I see in the new cabinet is the spokesman.

Atty. Salvador Panelo has to translate the English or Tagalog or Visayan language of his boss to whatever translation is pleasant for the public to grasp or accept no matter how unpleasant or unacceptable the statement is.

He also has to defend or interpret the body language of the new President.

Not an easy job.


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Even before the national conventions of the two major political parties take place, it is more or less given that the fight for the presidency of the United States will be between Hillary Clinton of the Democratic Party and Donald Trump of the Republican Party.

The excitement is not because of what the two will say on their future plans for America and Americans, but what personal attacks they will throw against each other.

Madugong laban” as we say in Tagalog.

Trump announced he will deliver next week exposés on the Clintons’ riches.

The Clinton camp, in all likelihood, is also preparing its own anti-Trump tirades.

Let’s wait.


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We have clarification to make.

Contrary to what we wrote last week, the successful 2nd STX 5K Run/Walk in Downtown, Jersey City on May 29 was presided over by Arland Macasieb.

(Our apologies to Arland for the inadvertence.)

My ever respectful Anak, Amira Allahh, pointed out the above.

Amira also said the two good-looking guys I mentioned last week, J Ariel Aggabao and Blue Sevilla (in any order) did not manage the Run.

They marketed their group’s business during the event.

They had a booth.

Amira and Ariel co-emceed the day’s cultural program.


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Personal.

Happy Birthday, Marya Coburn (pictured above), the beautiful and exotic Ilocana.

We wish the birthday girl all the best and more blessings from the Lord.

Cheers, Marya!

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