New Jersey, USA – The Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc.,(PIDCI) recently celebrated an Independence Ball with Dr. Irineo G. Alvaro Jr., as the Honorary Grand Marshal for this year at the Marriott Hotel Glenpointe in New Jersey, Saturday June 8, 2019.The Independence Ball is the culminating festivity for the annual commemoration of the Philippine Independence in the East Coast.
Alvaro delivered a short, sincere and stunning message impacting each member of the audience to his call to action.
Here’s the full text of Alvaro’s speech:
First , I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to you for allowing me the honor of being this year’s honorary Grand Marshall. Thank you your excellency Con Gen Claro Cristobal, President Ner Martinez and the entire PIDCI board for the trust you provided. This year’s grand Marshall Raul Estrallado , thank you for sharing me the honor to be your partner, Special thanks to Kuya Roland and Ate Fe for being the channel and for always adopting us whenever we are here in NYC. (the only problem with staying at Tita Fe’s house is you will forget the diet issue for you are sure to gain weight because of the delicious food she always prepare. Of course to a dear friend Amba Mario Deleon, thank you for providing us your precious time.
This is my first ever PIDC engagement, in fact the very first time I have celebrated the country’s independence day outside of our country. Right now we are roughly 8,500 miles (13,000kms) away from the Philippines. To me, that is very important. This celebration proved to me that the freedom we won is enjoyed by all Filipinos , not just those in the Philippines. It means that our freedom was won by the bravery and compassion of our Filipino heroes for all Filipinos regardless of place, color, of creed , or belief… It is comforting to know that a carpenter’s son from Tarlac is as free and as Filipino, as those here in the Big Apple.One thing is proven , we may be different , but we are the same – FILIPINO -and FREE.
This Independence day reminds us of our country’s unity and resilience. That despite being divided by many waters, our humble archipelago was able to come together and fight for our liberties. Filipinos of differing cultures, languages and tribes , all coming to fight for what is right. Even today, Filipinos of differing continents are coming together to celebrate the same ideal and the same independence.
This is what makes a Filipino a Filipino… our innate ability to unite, despite all odds. We may be different , but we are always the same.
As we remember our history today on the 121st yr of our independence, let us journey to our past with pride, the gallantry, the valor that our heroes had displayed in the past that placed all of us to where we are now is worthy of exalting as this will be our guiding light to our journey ahead .
However, as we look to the future, there is far deeper divide we have to face. This divide does not separate us by land or sea, this divides us by belief. In this, there is one best solution, the same solution that our Filipino heroes used…COURAGE (tapang) and COMPASSION (malasakit). Likas sa Pinoy ang matatapang, subalit ang tawag ng panahong ito ay gamitin ang tapang na ito sa pagmamalasakit sabayan… We must be courageous enough, and use all this gallantry in serving the interest of our nation. Tapang ng mamamayan, malasakit sa bayan… so as our consulate’s slogan.
Today, We at PIDCI must be ready to be courageous, kakatapos ng halalan sa bansa, at alam natin na ang ano mang halalan ay naghahati sa mamamayan… Ito ang panahong gamitin ang ating tapang, maging matapang to engage in conversations with our fellow countrymen despite the differences in beliefs and politics. Dalangin ko na ang ating samahan dito sa East Coast ang syang isa sa magsisilibing mitsa ng pagkakaintindihan at pagiging iisa ng mga Filipino. Sa nasaksihan ko po sa iilang mga panahong nandito ako… napakalaki ng inyong influensya bilang organisasyon sa ating mga kababayan… kaya’t hinihimok kokayong pagtulungan nating gamitin ng buong tapang itong armas ng influensyang ito upang lalong pagugnayin at pagisahin ang bawat mamamayang maabot natin…sa ngalan ng malasakit sa Bayan.
Finally, we are all Filipinos at the core, united by the same spirit, no matter what and any affiliation we have… and the only proof of our pagmamahal sa bayan ay ang pagmamalasakit sa bawat isa kahit na anong kinabibilangan nyang antas, grupo o paniniwala… Gaya ng ating tema ngayong taong ito: “Remembering the past, celebrating the present – shaping the future”… Ang tangi at tunay na saysay ng pagaala-ala at pagdiriwang sa Kalayaan ay ang pag alala nito at pagdiriwang ng may pagtanaw sa hinaharap para sa isang nagkakaisa at nagmamalasikitang kapatiran. Let this Independence day ball be the start of a true united and compassionate Filipinos here at the Big Apple and across the globe. Mabuhay ang Pilipino at Maligayang pagdiriwang ng Kalayaan”.