Thousands of Pinoys gather for Cherry Hill Fiesta in NJ

CHERRY HILL, NJ – The Filipino Executive Council of Greater Philadelphia also known as the Philippine Community of Southern New Jersey (PCSNJ) celebrated the 117th Philippine independence recently by showcasing Filipino culture and tradition on the lake-side grounds of Cooper River Park.

“The Filipino Executive Council had helped celebrate the PH Independence to continue our cultural heritage,” said Ruth Luyun, president of PCSNJ.

Said to be the largest annual Pinoy picnic in the area, about 1,500 kababayans were treated to delicious Filipino food and hospitality. 

“The Fil-Ams here in the northeast, particularly in the Southern NJ and Philadelphia area celebrate the PH Independence in many ways,” said New York Consul General Mario De Leon, Jr. “They do it by gala, dances, but, this is special, it’s a picnic, it’s all about Filipino food, friendship, Filipino camaraderie.”

“Every year naman so far successful,” said Hermie Aczon. “Welcome lahat ng tao. Picnic libre lahat (parang Pilipinas) Pilipinas talaga! Pag-celebration ng Kalayaan, talagang binibigyan namin ng kaligayahan yung mga tao.”

“Masaya po,” said Hal Tandoc. “Nagtitipon-tipon. Reunion.”

Highlights of the full-day event included a parade of organizations and the long standing flag-raising tradition right on the Jose Rizal monument and the Bataan Death March Memorial.

“Do not forget your culture,” said Purita Makanas-Acosta of the Ladies Auxiliary for Vets of Foreign Wars. “Ipagpatuloy ang inumpisahan natin. This will make us visible in our beloved country. I really, really want to impose that to the younger generation.”

These organizers hope the younger generation will step up and continue their 40-year old organization to keep Pinoy culture and tradition alive for generations to come.

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