PASSAIC, NJ – Once a year, the Philippine flag is hoisted at the Passaic City Hall in New Jersey.

“We are proud to celebrate with you the 115th Independence of the Philippines from Spain,” said Hera Creencio, who heads the Philippine Day Organizing Committee, “that we here the Filipinos in America are very proud to show our love and support to the United States of America.”

The City of Passaic celebrated Filipino culture and heritage as well as the Philippines’ close relationship with the United States of America.

Democratic US Congressman Bill Pascrell noted that in most Filipino gatherings, ‘kababayans’ always had two flags — the US and the Philippines held side by side.

“It demonstrates and reflects the great relationship that we do have,” Pascrell said.

Numerous Filipino-American organizations, cultural groups, and beauty queens paraded the stretch of Passaic Avenue, many wearing their barongs and ternos proudly.

The parade ended at the Passaic Third Ward Veterans Memorial Park where New Jersey residents were treated to Filipino food.

“All the pinakbet, dinuguan, all the stuff that I really love and my mother makes, just makes me feel really good,” said Jersey resident Daniel Greenwood.

“Filipino people very kind with other people, the food is very good, the Filipino girls are very beautiful, I think I will plan my vacation and next year I will go to the Philippines,” said French visitor Remy Sabliet.

Any Filipino event won’t be complete without entertainment and this is where the TFC hour came in.

The Philippines’ Prince of Pop, Erik Santos, serenaded kababayans with his popular signature songs.

“Napaka-init po ng pagtanggap sa akin ng mga Pilipino dito, masayang-masaya po ako at naging parte ako ng napak-espesyal at napaka-laking event na ito ng Filipino Community dito sa New Jersey,” Santos said.

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