New York’s PH Independence parade prep opens with grand ball
NEW YORK, New York — A “grand marshal gala” honored Drs. Emilio and Fely Quines recently at the Waldorf Astoria Manor in Queens.
The Philippine Independence Day Council Inc. feted the longtime medical mission volunteer couple in preparation for the 116th Philippine Independence Day Parade set on Sunday, June 1, along Madison Avenue.
Emilio Quines told the gala guests, “Because of our spirit of togetherness or bayanihan in helping one another in times of need, such as during recent calamity typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), and in times of sorrow.”
Grace Rustia and PIDCI board member Ner Martinez emceed the gala dinner, a traditional pre-Philippine Independence Day parade event.
“Gala attendance topped 500 guests for the first time,” according to PIDCI President Fe Martinez.
The title of Independence Day Parade Grand Marshal is one of the highest honors bestowed by PIDCI annually to an individual (or a couple). It recognizes an outstanding person (or a couple) whose contributions have positively affected the local community and the greater community as well.
Besides organizing and promoting the parade, street fair, and cultural festival on June 1, Quineses are also expected to take part in upcoming pre-Independence Day celebrations “Mrs. Kalayaan Pageant” (April 12) and “Diwa ng Kalayaan Pageant” (May 3), and the post-Independence Day event Independence Ball (June 7).
The gala feted the grand marshals were with a Rigodon de Honor, a formal dance, where the dancers donned elegant barong Tagalog and Filipiniana dresses. There was a lively line dance number by the award-winning dance group Xquisite Dancers and a harana performed by the grand marshals’ family members and closest friends.
An investiture of grand marshals featured ceremonial sashes presented by PIDCI President Martinez and PIDCI Honorary Adviser Consul General Mario Lopez De Leon, Jr.
“This is the fourth time I’m addressing the grand marshal’s ball, and this is the biggest so far that I attended,” said Consul General De Leon in his speech.
“Tonight is also about giving honor to the two people who will play important roles to ensure the success of the Independence Day parade and other related events.
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