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JERSEY CITY, NJ – The Philippine American Friendship Community, Inc. (PAFCOM) today announced that its 29th Annual Parade & Festival, to take place in Jersey City on Sunday, June 23, will have the distinguished honor of having U.S. Senator Robert Menendez as the Honorary Grand Marshal. This is the first time that a sitting United States Senator has accepted this highly-celebrated role in PAFCOM history and perhaps any long-standing Filipino celebration in the East Coast.

“I’ve enjoyed the friendship of the Filipino American community, with close to 3 million in the United States, and estimated more than 115,000 calling New Jersey home,” said Senator Menendez. “I look forward to joining the celebration and marching with the community on June 23.”

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez’s illustrious record of public service started as a member of the Union City Board of Education in Hudson County at the young age of 19 and has risen to become one of the most powerful of the 100 United States Senators. The senior Senator from the State of New Jersey currently serves as a Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the oldest and most revered Committee in the Senate, and as a senior member on both the Senate Banking and Finance Committees.

Senator Menendez was a staunch advocate of Fil-Am veterans’ equity, with certain benefits eventually won and restored under President Barack Obama. Menendez’s passionate speech on righting the injustice done to Fil-Am veterans can be found on his website ( Senator Menendez pushed for U.S. aid to the Philippines in the wake of the devastating typhoon Haiyan.

“It’s befitting to honor Senator Menendez in this way, as he has stood by and fought for the Filipino community,” said Jersey City Council President Rolando Lavarro, last year’s PAFCOM Grand Marshal. “Senator Menendez is a tireless public servant and champion of all people, and I’m proud to call him my Senator.”

Senator Menendez has been widely recognized for his leadership on promoting safe and healthy families. He has championed legislation to support mothers suffering from postpartum depression, help families meet the challenges of autism, and keep young athletes safe from harm on the playing field. The son of Cuban immigrants, Senator Menendez fights for the working class and understands the plight of immigrant communities who come to America seeking the American Dream and a better life for them and their children. Senator Menendez’s career has been a tribute to his desire to protect the powerless from the powerful and ensure fairness for every American.

“It is an honor to be joined by U.S. Senator Robert Menendez as our Honorary Grand Marshal,” said engineer Romulo Luz, CEO & President of RML Construction Inc., and 2019 PAFCOM Grand Marshal. “This is such a privilege.”

PAFCOM will hold its 29th Grand Parade and Festival on Sunday, June 23, at Lincoln Park in Jersey City. More information and updates about PAFCOM can be found on its website – – and on Facebook and Twitter @pafcomnj.


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