Jersey City – At the PAFCOM (Philippine American Friendship Action Committee) parade in celebration of Filipino American Friendship last Sunday June 24, Filipinos here could feel a growing community of family, friends and organizations through the years that this parade has been conducted for the past 28 years.
For 2018, the increase in parade and vendor participation was evident at the Lincoln Park, attributed by local community leaders here to careful and dedicated leadership.
Actress singer Kim Chiu
The dance contingent of Tribu Cebuano harvested the three major awards this year: Best Costume, Most Symbolic, and Most Attended contingent. Led by dance sport champion Hanna Diluvio, the CEBU group presented the Sinulog dance which was choreographed by Shiran Ybanez. The flowing gowns with red and green convertible skirts was designed by Cebu-based designer Axel Albao.
The presence of a big Philippine actress and singer, Ms. Kim Chiu was an added attraction to the Philippine festivities which started at noon and wound up at five o’clock in the afternoon.
The CEBU dancers
Wearing skirts that turn red and green alternately
A Family and Community Get-together
The PAFCOM parade has been quite a comfortable gathering for families and friends on a Saturday at the sprawling Lincoln park which boasts of two giant fountains. In the two straight years that I have been enjoying the parade, the ube (purple yam) bubble tea to quench my thirst has remained illusory. The long queues to the booth beneath the summer sun is simply unbearable.
Growing community of spectators: families, friends, and organizations
According to Juliet Payabyab of PACEC, the dedicated leaders, entertaining cultural show, several vendors, and the good location makes people want to attend the PAFCOM festivities.
Jenny Castaneda, once a PAFCOM volunteer who served as treasurer, said that the staying power of PAFCOM is with its leadership. She commends the team work of the officers and the efficiency and vision of Dr. Connie Uy, its president.
“I saw how meticulous she was in fulfilling the organization’s responsibilities. It is great. Everything is accounted for,” she quipped.
Dr. Connie Uy (middle, in beige Filipiniana) with PAFCOM leaders at the parade in Jersey City.
A family get-together: This writer with Lumen Castaneda (second from right) and Wee Ramirez (second from left) with her family at the Lincoln Park.
Officials of the Philippine Consulate General of New York, with Undersecretary Tess Dizon de Vega, formerly Consul-General of New York
Lumen Castaneda, a Board member of PAFCOM, said that the board of directors is committed. She described the leadership and decision-making processes in this manner: “They treat the organization like a baby. The chairman of the board, Dr Connie Uy, is very strict but reasonable. She commands respect so everybody follows, but not in a way that we are robots. Everything is discussed in the board meeting and agreed or disagreed. There’s no talking behind in the back.”
(Featured photo by Juliet Payabyab – Hanna Diluvio leads the Sinulog dance of the CEBU contingent; Photos by Boyet Loverita and Juliet Payabyab)