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Philippines Independence Day Parade – Part 2

June 4, 2008

This is my second post on the Philippines Independence Day Parade (just like the title says).  The parade was held on Madison Avenue and started at 41st Street and headed down to 26th or so.  As pleasant as it was, it wasn’t a real crowded affair as the next two pictures will show. Here’s just to the south of me.

This was the crowd across the street from me.

The next float was the only sign I saw of which liberation they were celebrating: the 110th Anniversary, which would make it freedom from Spain during the Spanish American War of 1898.

The Filipino Pastoral Ministry from Our Lady of Pompei Church in NYC. It’s kinda cool to have the Philippines, Italian, and American all cited in that title. The item the ladies are holding seem to be a doll of some sort. I presume its a Virgin Mary icon, but I just don’t know.

I can’t help loving the name of the next group: Simbang Gabi Sa Katedral. Well, of course they are. (Okay, I guess that’s “Cathedral” at the end, so I presume it’s a Church group.)

The Knights of San Lorenzo Ruiz marched next.

And they were followed by a bunch of Ladies with Parasols! Thank you, ladies.

A beauty queen with a parasol? Well, it would have been nearly perfect if she hadn’t put it to the side…

Another beauty queen in a car. I just wish they had it marked more clearly. Who’s supposed to read the hood of a car?

Below was the National Association of Filipino Americans, or NAFA. You know, I never could figure out when it was supposed to be Filipino or Philippino.  Both spellings are used, but I never could figure out the rules for the use of it.  Generally, it seemed, that when the appellation was applied to people, the “F” spelling was used.  But I saw some exceptions to that and just ended up giving up on it.  Woe is Famous Ankles.  Well, at least NAFA had some beauty queens.

The next group kinda boggled me a bit. They were Philipinos/Filipinos. They were Hawaiians. They were both! (or all)

Beauty queens from the Bronx. Well, beauty queens from the Philipino-American Association of the Bronx.

The Tanglaw Philipino Society of Suffolk County was the next group. C’mon ladies! Where are the parasols?

The most unique exhibit in the parade: a recreation of the sewing of the Philippines flag.

This was an interesting beauty queen concept: promote politician Jun Policarpio for Congress.

The Association of Filipino Teachers; which just happens to have the same initials as the bigger teachers group.

I really like the next picture. I put it on zoom and caught the two young beauty queens.

One of the few dance groups that were in the parade.

This is the PACI, which I believe means Philippine Americans in the Construction Industry.

The Laguna Associations, or as I like to think of them; more Ladies with Parasols.

When I first saw the next group, all I could think of was this was a delegation from New Orleans. Wrong! The Luisianians for the East Coast USA are from Laguna in the Philippines.

The below beauty queens(?) were from Santa Cruz at Pistahan. To be honest, I really didn’t understand the group but maybe they took advantage of the parade to wear their outfits.

And a very interesting, even a wonderful set of young ladies who I can only think of as “brides” but I don’t know if that’s true.

Each of them was walking with a movable structure and all of them had trains on their gowns. I tell ya, all I could think of them as was “brides”.

The little girl next to this bride was a bit of a handful. I can’t imagine she walked the other 14 blocks or so of the parade.

I don’t know what this group is, but it is the Cavite Association.

The next, and last picture of this post, is one of my favorite groups in all of NYC parades. Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to present the hardest working ladies in NYC parading: the Mother Cabrini Marching Band. These girls are in so many parades it makes me goggle. From now until Fall, they’ll march practically every weekend. I hope they all get full scholarships to the best schools around. They sure work hard enough for it.


Philippines Independence Day Parade – Part 1

June 3, 2008

On Sunday, parade season continued its winding up process. There were two parades (unfortunately, I missed the second one: Salute to Israel). The one I did attend was the Philippines Independence Day parade marking 110 years since their liberation from Spain. The fact that they then went under the USA’s territorial rule seems to be ignored. But I believe we were mostly benign, or at least better than the Spaniards.

Kind of a strange parade. Nothing wild nor weird, but a few points of interest. I ended up taking lots and lots of pictures but will post relatively few. Sorry, but a lot of the parade was just a lot of little groups that often went without decent signage. Otherwise, I could have done a five day post on this (and that’s too long for only a mildly interesting parade).

But I shouldn’t complain. They did have a new twist that I thoroughly enjoyed: ladies with parasols. You’ll see a mess o’ pictures of them.

And another interesting point. They actually began and ended with bagpipers. I think only the Tartan Parade may have done that, and I don’t think that parade actually did manage that trick. Here’s the first set of pipers.

They were followed by the Asian Jade Society, which seems to be a Philippino police group. There was one very tall cop in the group.

The Philippines is a small country with a whole bunch of people.  And a lot of them appear to be dignitaries of some sort.  And a whole bunch of those dignitaries marched in this parade.  At least I call them “dignitaries” as they seem to be there as thanks for their participation in the community and the parade; but don’t have signs saying who they are.

Yes!  Ladies with parasols.  I presume it is traditional in the Philippines and I must say I think it’s great.  (I think these are actually Lady Dignitaries, but I just like to think of them as Ladies with Parasols.

A well marked dignitary.  Below is the Grand Marshall.

More dignitaries, but the ladies had no parasols (so they don’t get capitalized).

More dignitaries.  I just keep showing these because there were so very, very many of them.

And then, a high school band.  It is the Port Richmond High School band from Staten Island.  The group in front were flag carriers.

And the band was pretty small.  Well, it was a small crowd, too.

Look!  More dignitarties!  The men are wearing traditional clothing, but nothing as cool as Ladies with Parasols.

More lady dignitaries.  It was really strange.  They just kept coming and coming.

More dignitaries, but these ones are marked!  Hurray for the Philippine Consulate General staff.

And hurray to the Permanent Mission to the United Nations.  (But mostly, hurray to the Lady with Parasol!)

The first part of the parade was packed with Church groups.  This is El Shaddhai Prayer Partners.

And this is the El Shaddhai group from Connecticut.

This is the Pangasnian Foundation USA.  I don’t know anything about them, but the Web indicates that Pangasnia is a Philippines province.

This is a group from Our Lady of Manaoag.

I loved this quote.  It seems very direct:  “The people of the Philippines are devoted and faithful servants to God.”  I don’t know the source of the quote and couldn’t find it by searching.

This was the first float.  It came from Our Lady of Manaoag.  And, I think, it was the only instance of a Gentleman with Parasol.

I love the name of the next group:  Paaralang Pinoy from the Filipino Diocesan Apostolic Queens Council.  I know it has to be a Church group, but haven’t got the foggiest of what it is.

And the next group was a little more understandable:  the Filipino Arts and Music Ensemble.

The next ladies didn’t have parasols, but they were fine anyway (a crown is always a plus and a couple of them had them).

Continuing with the arts group was this pole dancing crew.  Different kind of pole.

This was the Ensemble’s float; but notice that it is actually some bikes cobbled together.

This is a teachers group.  I presume the kids made the flowers.  There were a pretty fair number of these marchers in the group, but they were spread out.


Central Park in Spring

May 14, 2008

Over the weekend, I realized I hadn’t been to Central Park since February. That’s a long time for me.

And it is most definitely Springtime in the park. What’s not to love about Central Park in Spring?

I was only around the southern part of the Park, just avoiding going up to the Sheep Meadow and the Great Lawn. They may not be open yet, simply to give the grass a chance to grow and get anchored in for the hordes of New Yorkers later in the season.

But, as you can tell, this part of the park is nicely wooded and has a lot of schist outcrops.  That’s the rock on which all of the skyscapers are are set. 

And, as I love to point out, even with all the trees, there is a rather unsubtle reminder that you are in NYC.


Central Synagogue on Lexington Avenue

May 13, 2008

Located on 55th Street and Lexington Avenue, NYC’s Central Synagogue is very distinctive and really stands out from the nearby buildings.

The building style is noted as “Moorish” and that seems absolutely appropriate to the structure. It’s pretty cool looking.

But you know the one thing that really caught my eye?  Not the style (although that helped).  Instead, it has the most absolutely perfect announcement/services sign that I have ever seen on any house of worship. I am just so used to the ones that some poor deacon has to go out and put up the plastic lettering on. For Central Synagogue, it is just a nice standard digital display.

It’s such a minor thing, but just something I don’t know that I’ve seen before.  Well, I’ve seen Churches with the scrolling letter signs, but not something as simple and as nice as the above.

Incidentally, despite its old-style appearance, it is a Reform synagogue.


Yeshiva University

May 8, 2008

At the corner of Lexington Avenue and 35th Street is Yeshiva University.


But not quite.  The main body of the university is in upper Manhattan.  This is apparently a branch of the University, The Stern College for Women.


Yeshiva is apparently a part of the Orthodox part of Judaism, but I must admit never noticing any greater-than-normal number of people in yamulkes around the area.  That had always puzzled me because I’m aware that Yeshiva has a pretty good reputation for scholastics (rated #52 by US News and World Report in 2008) and I thought it was a decent-sized university.  However, if it is primarily a women’s school in this part of the City, that would seem to explain it.  And, it turns out that Yeshiva University has a total of only 3,000 or so students.  And that’s divided among several campuses of which this is only one.