# Get to know


The Philippine Independence Day Council Inc., more popularly known by its acronym PIDCI, is a nonprofit organization incorporated on February 14, 2002, best known for the biggest Philippine Independence Day Parade outside the Philippines, which is held first Sunday of June along Madison Avenue, together with an all-day Street Fair and Cultural Festival. These events are attended by about 100,000 predominantly Filipinos and Filipino-Americans from the New York tri-state area and Pennsylvania, visitors from neighboring states, and California, and Canada.



PIDCI is principally dedicated to promoting history, the cultural heritage and traditions of the Filipino people through the annual celebration of Philippine Independence Day.


# PIDCI Officers & Advisors

2024 Executive Committee & Board of Directors

#All About PIDCI

PIDCI History

The Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc. (PIDCI) is an umbrella organization of Filipino American associations based on the East Coast. It is principally dedicated to promoting the cultural heritage and traditions of the Filipino people through the celebration of the Philippine Independence Day, hence, the name. But there is more to PIDCI than its name implies.

Since 1972, Filipino American organizations have come together to plan, design, and prepare for an all-day parade, cultural show and street fair in New York City that showcase the sounds, the spectacle, the history and the cultural heritage of the Filipino people.

In 1986, the Philippine Consulate in New York started to take an active part in the preparation for the celebration. In 1989, it formed a committee to take charge of the parade. The parade turned out to be a huge success. It was later widely considered a regular annual project of many Filipino organizations, and a red-letter mainstay in the calendars of many Filipino American homes. Such was the impact and success of the Philippine Independence Day Parade that predictably everyone wanted to take part in it one way or another.

This led the Filipino community to realize that the Independence Day celebration itself had become a point of unity and cooperation among Filipinos. The requirements of sustaining this activity were enormous. But the potential benefit of a more unified Filipino community was obviously worth the effort towards institutionalizing the Philippine Independence Day celebration. Thus, the idea of establishing an organization dedicated to the promotion of Filipino cultural heritage through the Independence Day celebration and to the empowerment of the Filipino community was conceived.


In October 2001, at a meeting called by Consul General Linglingay Lacanlale of the Philippine Consulate General of New York, community leaders voted in a referendum to establish PIDCI and elected those who would undertake the organizational process. Elected were: Sofia Abad, Roger Alama, Lolita Compas, Ramon Constancio, Angie Cruz, Loreto Elgo, Elice Flores, Nilda Jaynal, Nimia Lacebal, Rudy Nicolas, Juliet Payabyab, Honesto Quijano, Cora Reyes, Arnie Rosario, Reuben S. Seguritan, Francis Talangbayan and Lee Vargas.

The frenetic incorporation process culminated on February 14, 2002, when the PIDCI was officially issued its certificate of incorporation as a not-for-profit organization. It was granted a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status on October 17, 2002.

PIDCI then proceeded to elect its first set of officers. Elected were: President – Reuben S. Seguritan; Vice-President – Lolita Compas; Secretary – Angie Cruz; Treasurer – Cora Reyes; Auditor – Honesto Quijano. Chosen Grand Marshal was Fe Martinez.

The vision of PIDCI was crystallized in the purpose clause of its Certificate of Incorporation. The purpose of PIDCI, while inevitably related to one another, may be broadly defined as follows: (a) the promotion of Filipino cultural heritage; (b) the reinforcement of mutual cooperation among Filipino American organizations; and (c) the preservation of the rights and interests of Filipino Americans.

The promotion of the Filipino cultural heritage was accomplished through the Independence Day Parade, the Diwa ng Kalayaan pageant, the Grand Marshal Gala, the cultural programs and the Independence Day Ball and Cultural Night. The annual parade has been attended in recent years by over a hundred thousand including top public officials from New York City and New York State and from the Philippines.

While the Independence Day celebration remained a priority, PIDCI considered itself an advocate for the empowerment of the Filipino community in the U.S. Its incorporators envisioned PIDCI as an organization aimed to empower the Filipino community.

As an advocate of Filipino rights and interests, PIDCI was fairly successful in providing relevant and timely information and support where it is needed most. In cooperation with the Philippine Consulate, it has conducted advocacy forums on the rights of immigrants and orientation seminars on new arrivals.

As PIDCI continues to expand its membership, it is raring to explore opportunities to serve the Filipino community. The Filipino community can look ahead with pride and anticipation as PIDCI takes on a more active part in working for the well-being of migrant Filipinos in the U.S.


The presidents of PIDCI since its incorporation are: Reuben Seguritan (Founding President), Roger Alama (2003-2004), Nirma Lacebal (2004-2005), Gani Puertollano (2005-2007), Raul Estrellado (2007-2008), Gerry Austria (2008-2009), Bernie dela Merced (2009-2010), Joji Jalandoni (2010-2011), and Fe Martinez (2011-2015).

During its first year, under the term of Reuben S. Seguritan, PIDCI conducted activities consistent with its mission and vision. It sponsored a series of advocacy forums on immigrant rights. The first two forums focused on “The Rights of Non-Citizens After 9/11” and were held at two different venues, specifically at the Philippine Center in New York City in October 2002 and in Connecticut the following month. A third forum dealt with migrant domestic workers and was held in New York City on January 25, 2003. There was also a forum on the rights of the elderly. These four forums were well attended and they successfully addressed the pressing concerns of many Filipinos. PIDCI also conducted the first in a series of orientation seminars for newly-arrived Filipinos on March 1, 2003. This project was designed to help them adjust to their new environment in the U.S.

President Reuben S. Seguritan also wrote a series of articles published in Filipino newspapers about the need to articulate PIDCI views on such critical issues as discriminatory legislations, racial profiling and exploitation of domestic workers. Towards the end of his term, he laid out a plan to provide the community with the following programs: (1) information and referral; (2) community education; (3) community networking; and (4) direct service.

Alongside the above advocacy and empowerment projects, the 2003 Independence Day celebration remained at the forefront. The parade, cultural show, and street fair attracted tens of thousands of participants and spectators. Several dignitaries joined the march including NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Senator Chuck Schumer, UN Ambassador Lauro Baja, Jr., NYC Councilor John Liu and others from the office of then Governor Pataki. Senator Loren Legarda was the guest of honor. Fe Martinez Caliolio was the Grand Marshal and Nena Kaufman was the overall chair of the celebration. The Independence Ball and other cultural activities had record attendance.

Roger Alama succeeded Reuben S. Seguritan and his Overall Chair was Lolit Gillberg. Rudy Quiambao was the Grand Marshal. Consul General Cecile B. Rebong its Honorary Adviser until 2010. ‘Con Gen’ was also responsible in bringing AIG as a major sponsor in 2005 under President Nimia Lacebal, with Grand Marshal Dr. Linda R. Pelayo. A Cultural Series Program was also introduced by Pres. Nimia Lacebal to keep in touch with our cultural heritage and allow the young Filipino Americans to learn and appreciate them.

Gani Puertollano served for two terms as President 2005/2005 & 2006/2007 with Parade Grand Marshal Dan de Guzman organizing a full-blown PIDCI Golf Tournament fund-raising in 2006. Grand Marshal 2007 was Dr. Emmanuel ‘Boy’ Pangan who led the parade with the newly-assigned Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the U.N. Hilario G. Davide Jr. who marched in the Parade until 2009.

In 2008 under President Raul Estrellado, for the first time a priest, Rev. Monsignor Oscar A. Aquino, JCD was chosen as Parade Grand Marshal. AIG returned as a major sponsor and the participation of a major Philippine Media Network ABS-CBN/TFC as an Official Sponsor and Media Partner was first introduced in the parade and the ‘Celebrity Hour’ with their top Philippine Celebrities at the Cultural Festival created much euphoria. The promotion around the world by TFC of the all-day event was a major factor for the combined attendance rising from the annual average of 40,000 to 70,000 as estimated by the New York Police Department (NYPD). TFC continued their support with their participation in 2010, 2011 & 2013.

Gerry Austria was president in 2008/2009 and was honored with the attendance of Philippine Vice-President Noli de Castro; Grand Marshal Dr. Teofila Malanum-Santos did her share personally arranging the attendance of Senator Manny Villar; NY Senator Chuck Schumer came and shook hands at the reviewing stand; major TV Network GMA came on board as Official Sponsor and Media Partner bringing their top Philippine Celebrities, and would come back again in 2012 & 2013. By 2010, President Bernie dela Merced had for the first time a husband and wife as Parade Grand Marshals, Ben and Dr. Zenaida Santos with Guest of Honor H.E. Willy C. Gaa, Ambassador to the US joined by newly arrived Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the U.N. Libran N. Cabactulan.

2011 became very special for President Joji J. Jalandoni with Parade Grand Marshals, Nick and Dr. Edita Libramonte. PIDCI also welcomed the presence of Philippine Vice-President Jejomar Binay and H.E. Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., Ambassador to the US at the Parade and Culutural Festival, along with the colorful participation of the award-winning Dinagyang Festival winners from Iloilo sponsored by the Philippine Department of Tourism. Combined participants and spectators throughout the day surged to 100,000. By 2012, President Fe Martinez launched the Mrs. Kalayaan Pageant as a new PIDCI fund-raising arm; she was re-elected for a second term in 2013 and with the close collaboration of Consul General Mario De Leon, Jr., the unprecedented participation and support of all three major Philippine TV Networks –TFC, GMA and TV5, finally happened; the Philippine Department of Tourism came on board for the first time as an Official Sponsor with “It’s more fun in the Philippines” program and brought back the renowned Dinagyang Festival winners.

Fe Martinez was reelected for a third time in 2014 and the 2014 Grand Marshals were Dr. Emilio Quines and his wife Dr. Felicisima Quines. Fe Martinez was reelected for a fourth term (2015). She continued her projects including the Mrs. Kalayaan pageant which became a major fundraiser. The parade and cultural show attracted record attendance and a sizeable number of celebrities and dignitaries from the Philippines including Senator Alan Cayetano, DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario, Ambassador Cuisia, Jr. and UN Ambassador Lourdes Yparraguirre and from New York including U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and Congresswoman Grace Meng. The Grand Marshal for 2015, Atty. Reuben S. Seguritan at the Grand Marshal Gala which had a record attendance and with Congresswoman Grace Meng as Guest of Honor, exhorted the community to use the parade as an occasion to affirm our solidarity and strength and to advance our empowerment agenda.

PIDCI’s theme in 2015 was “The Filipino: Active Partner in Environmental and Climate Change Governance.” A forum on climate change, the most pressing issue of our time, was also held in New York with Philippine Environmental Secretary Neric Acosta as speaker.

Participation in the PIDCI activities by its member organizations (averaging 200 annually), has strengthened cooperation, unity and collaboration in the community. It is with great pride and anticipation that PIDCI explores opportunities to serve the Filipino community, focusing on the 2nd generation of Filipino-Americans.

As PIDCI soars to greater heights, pressing forward and facing new challenges head on, PIDCI also recognizes the efforts of the Filipino organizations that started, what is now the biggest gathering of Filipinos outside the Philippines, the Philippine Independence Day parade, cultural show and street fair in New York City.

The first Independence day parade was held in 1972 along the Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan. Organized by the Philippine Communities Executive Council (PCEC) and other Filipino American groups, participants came from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. There were a dozen floats and several drum and bugle corps. Various civic, fraternal, educational and social groups including the Filipino Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion were represented. In the reviewing stand were Philippine diplomats and high city and state officials. Spectators of several nationalities, six-feet deep, lined up both sides of the Avenue.

It was not until 1986 just right after the EDSA peaceful revolution in the Philippines that the Philippine Consulate General of New York under Consul General King Rodrigo got actively involved in the preparation for the Independence Day Parade. The parade took place on 45th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues and it was organized by Filipino Communities Network.

In 1989, the then Consul General Hermenigildo Garcia formed a committee known as the Philippine Independence Day Committee (PIDC) to organize the parade under the auspices of the Consulate General. The Consul General appointed the first Overall Chair and the Grand Marshal.

The first Overall Chairman of the Committee was Honesto “Ness” Quijano while Mrs. Nina Garcia, the wife of Consul General Garcia was its Honorary Overall Chairman. This started the close partnership between the community and the Consulate in planning, organizing, and managing the celebration. Vice Consul Fe Fuentebella for Cultural Affairs guided the PIDC from its inception, a role to be assumed thereafter by other Consuls for Cultural Affairs, notably by Consul Ruperto ‘Tong’ Dizon. In 1991, Nilda Jaynal was the Overall Chairman and the title of Honarary Overall Chairman was assumed by Consul General Rodolfo Arizala and future Consul Generals thereafter. This was the year that launched the grand parade along Madison Avenue from 48th Street to 38th Street with Parade Chair Luis San Pascual. Grand Marshal was Lilia Clemente; and Broadway star Lea Salonga of Miss Saigon as Guest of Honor. The Street Fair and Cultural Festival was held along 45th Street close to the Consulate. The first beauty pageant Diwa ng Kalayaan was held in the Kalayaan Hall (introduced by Ms. Jaynal), and the winners were the central attraction in the parade perched on a PIDC float and personified the spirit of Philippine freedom.
In 1992, Luis San Pascual became the Overall Chairman and the Street Festival and Cultural Festival was relocated to its current home now Madison Square Park from 26th Street to 23rd Street on Madison Avenue. This year also marked the historic beginning of the full blown Independence Parade held every first Sunday of June as arranged by Parade Chair Maria Andrada, complete with parade marshalls, and the route was extended down to 27th Street leading to the Street Fair where a hospitality tent was first erected. Leading the parade was Dr. Ric Crudo, who became the first Grand Marshal to voluntarily assist in fund raising. In attendance were politicians that included NYC Mayor David Dinkins and US Senators Christopher Todd and Joe Lieberman and US Representative Barbara Kennelly. Filipino talents continued to be recognized on Broadway and Leila Florentino, the new Miss Saigon and some cast members joined the parade. The first Independence Ball called “Unity Nite” was held with a Souvenir Journal.
The year 1993 saw the beginning of the steady growth of PIDC under Overall Chairperson Maria Andrada with an enlarged parade and street fair, cultural and art exhibits and attractions, and fundraising reached new heights with the Grand Marshal Dr. Alice Francisco setting the tone for unspoken reliance on the Grand Marshals to bear great involvement in fundraising. For the third time, another Ms. Saigon would grace the event in the presence of Joan Almedilla. Parade participants now came from as far as Virginia and Washington DC. PIDC was now an enduring community institution with established operations and traditions.
During the term of Sofie Abad as Overall Chairman in 1994, Ambassador Melody Lopez was the Honorary Overall Chairman, responsible in bringing for the first time a Gues of Honor from the Philippines, Senate President Edgardo Angara who marched in the Parade led by Grand Marshal Dr. Estela Gonzales. This would be the genesis of participation by high-ranking Philippine government officials. There was no more doubt that the PIDC had become institutionalized, accepted by the community, and recognized by New York City.
To continue on its many firsts, with 1995 Overall Chairman Lynn Matriano, Honorary Overall Chairman Consul General Romeo Arguelles, and Consul Mila Perez as adviser, the first CONGEN Night was held at his residence; the Independence Ball was held at the NY Hilton (to become a favorite venue for years to come); and the first Grand Marshal Night was launched at the Kalayaan Hall with Grand Marshal Dr. Gary Villanueva. NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former Miss Universe Gloria Diaz marched in the parade.
1996 was most memorable with the presence of highly popular politician-actor Philippine Vice President Joseph Estrada as Guest of Honor, and Overall Chairman Luz Sapin Micabalo was credited for inviting him and became his first official visit to the East Coast. Grand Marshal was businessman Manuel Aldana, PIDC also made its mark at the City Hall with Mayor Guiliani’s continued appearance in the parade from 1996-1999 & 2001. Parades were now aimed at featuring spectacular floats to depict the rich cultural heritage of the Filipinos; politicians and beauty queens were invited yearly; Eucharistic Masses were held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Fundraisings soared, seeking corporate donations and more organizations participation lengthened the parade.
The 1997 celebration led by Overall Chairman Nelia Ferrette, elicited major media exposure; highlights included the publisher of Filipino Reporter as Grand Marshal, Libertito Pelayo; new Consul General Willie Gaa arrived in time for the June event; Guests of Honor were Philippine House Speaker Jose de Venecia, Senator Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Secretary of Finance Robert de Ocampo and former Miss International Melanie Marquez; more Filipino-American actors were given lead roles on Broadway and the Cultural Festival became the avenue to showcase these talents.
The 100th Anniversary of Philippine Independence Celebration was a much-heralded event in 1998. By reason of its immensity and historic significance, Malacaṅang designated Consul General Willie Gaa to head the celebration in the tri-state as the Overall Chairman, with the past Overall Chairpersons as his Co-Chairs to head the various committees with Consul Cecille Rebong as Community Liaison Officer. Chosen as the Centennial Grand Marshal was TLC Beatrice International CEO Loida Nicolas Lewis, and each state of NY, NJ, CT, DE and PA was represented by a Bb Centennial during the Centennial Ball (NY Hilton) with a record attendance. A Performing Arts of the Philippine Festival was held at the Lincoln Center for 1 week in May; a Centennial Mass was held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral officiated by Archbishop Martino Apostolic Nuncio; an all-day celebration named “Pagdiriwang” was held at the American Museum of Natural History on the eve of the parade; important historical events of the Philippines were depicted in the parade by 27 well conceptualized and designed floats; with a big Street Fair and spectacular cultural and musical extravaganza called “Kasaysayan ng Lahi” Filipino pride rocketed to its highest peak on June 7, 1998.
After the Centennial euphoria, 1999 grossed large revenues with multiple fundraising events in the tri-state, under the able leadership of Overall Chairman Cora Reyes, Grand Marshal Joanne de Asis-Benitez, and Consul General Linglingay Lacanlale. PIDC was a co-promoter of “Danhani” by the Leyte Dance Theater at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center; and the Philippine Secretary of Trade and Industry Jose Pardo was guest speaker at the Independence Ball. Guest of Honor at the parade was Philippine Senator-actor Vic Sotto and special guest was Miriam Quiambao, 1999 Miss Universe 1st Runner up. PIDC welcomed the millennium with Alan Britanico at the helm as Overall Chairman and adviser was Consul Tess Lazaro. For a change the Grand Marshall was honored not at a dinner-dance but with an “Evening of Musical Enchantment” held at the Florence Gould Hall. A successful “Youth Festival of Philippine Culture” was organized to develop awareness, instill pride and appreciation of Philippine culture amongst Filipino Americans. Philippine Defense Secretary Orly Mercado was the Guest of Speaker at the lavish “Philippine Fiesta” Independence Ball; PIDC sponsored the Second Filipino Film Festival at Lincoln Center for two weeks in July/Aug; and adding the pizzazz of the parade were the attendance of NY Senatorial candidates Hillary Clinton and Rick Lazio. 
By 2001 Overall Chairman Lett Dayao organized a fundraising dinner gala in honor of the past Overall Chairpersons and past Grand Marshals named “Salute to the Filipino-American Leaders” in March, made memorable by a short video documentary of the PIDC; this was followed by another toast to the Grand Marshal Gala honoring Dr. Vivi Malantic by having a presentation of mini-evolution of Filipino attire from 1225-1900. A Filipino cultural arts series, a first of its kind, was shown at the Consulate the month of May; the Independence Ball was moved from the traditional NY Hilton to the NY Marriott Marquis honoring the Presidents and heads of Filipino-American Associations in the tri-state. Former Miss Universe Margie Moran marched with thousands of proud organizations and marching bands along popular singer Ricky Davao; with the largest Sinulog contingent which easily won them the Best Overall Performance award; and for the first time a trio of Filipino-American mainstream TV journalists & news reporters were the Masters of Ceremony at the Parade with Nina Pineda(ABC), Hazel Sanchez (CBS) and Bob de Castro (FOX5); a proud moment for the Philippine Independence indeed!
The last overall chair under the PIDC was Lee Vargas while the last Grand Marshal was Dr. Jean Raymundo Lobell.