JERSEY CITY, NJ — Shrills and thrills on Sunday at Lincoln Park in Jersey City, as the Philippine American Friendship Committee held its 27th annual parade and festival.
The biggest highlight was one of Phlippines’ newest stars, Darren Espanto.
The adults are certainly in charge of organizing the day long festivities, but the ones who seem to be having the most fun here are the younger ones.
“The kids here, even though they don’t know how to speak Tagalog much, like they still like to watch yung sariling mga programa po natin on TFC. Of course where they see me, most likely ASAP, Showtime. So I’m very happy that they enjoy watching Philippine television as well.”
Younger Fil-Ams are not just spectators here. They take center stage, and show off their dance skills.
On the parade route, it’s even more evident how involved the younger generation is in continuing this tradition.
Migrante New Jersey vice chair Michael Aznar says there has also been a growing interest in social activism among youth.
“I’m surprised. Even different cultures [are here], not only Filipinos, and they are aware of what we are fighting for,” he said. “Most younger generation; they are becoming aware because in the schools they are participating in this kind of awareness too.”
But many also came out to see something familiar.
“Ito yung mga nakikita yung mga veterans, who served our country. And Filipinos wearing our national costume,” said Teddy Manzano.
Manzano was not disappointed. This 92-year-old Filipino American veteran made it to the parade, joining the young ones in celebrating Philippine culture, history, and tradition.