United Staffing Registry joins RP independence day parade in NY

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BENJAMIN H. SANTOS, RN-BS/HCM, President and CEO of UNITED STAFFING REGISTRY, INC., spearheaded the Independence Day parade held at the heart of New York City last June 1, 2008.

Marching behind him were Vice President Benjamin Santos Jr. MD., NYPD,s Finest, Benedict Santos and daughter Tia-Zeily (youngest marcher-participant) and the jubilant employees and friends of the group of companies owned by Mr. Santos.

The entire 28 blocks march, under a cloudless blue sky fanned by a gentle breeze, was a group of highly-spirited employees wearing T-shirts with the red-heart shape company logo of “United Home Care” with vari-colored “buri” (native) hats They were in one of the most colorful floats that ever graced the parade with UHC Sr. Vice-President Zenaida E. Santos, MD, officers, staff, employees and their families and children on board cheering and encouraging the crowd that lined up both sides of theentire Madison Avenue, in Manhattan.

The theme of the 110th Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence was;
“KARUNUNGAN” (Knowledge);
“KAKAYAHAN” (Ability) and
“KAHUSAYAN” (Expertise)

UNITED STAFFING REGISTRY INC., d/b/a UNITED HOME CARE was one of the sponsors of the historical event.


United Staffing Registry is proud to join once again this year’s memorable and significant Independence celebration focusing on this year’s theme Tribute to Filipino Excellence: Likas na Karunungan, Kakayahan at Kahusayan (Innate Knowledge, Capability and Talent). Below are photos taken during Philippine Independence Day Parade on Sunday June 1, 2008 on Madison Avenue from 41st to 23rd Streets.

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The Philippine Independence Day Parade is a celebration for the Filipino American community in the Northeast United States, home to more than half a million Filipinos. Its main purpose is to create awareness of Philippine culture and to raise funds for charity projects in the USA and the Philippines.
Philippine Independence, as a celebration in America, is largely an invention of the last decade–rather than having distinct cultural significance, the event is instead manufactured as a cultural awareness campaign.

Earlier generations of Filipino immigrants did not celebrate Philippine Independence in significant ways. Philippine Independence is widely celebrated among Filipinos in the United States and is now a major event for many Filipino Americans to rekindle their roots and heritage. The largest among Philippine Independence celebrations in the United States takes place in New York City every first Sunday of June.

The 2008 Philippine Independence Day Parade in New York City took place on June 1, 2008 at Madison Avenue, following the tradition of the celebration being on the first Sunday of June.

Together with the Filipino American community, the Philippine Consulate General in New York created the Philippine Independence Day Committee (PIDC) to commemorate the birth of Philippine Independence.

Established in 1990 during Consul General Hermenegildo Garcia’s term, PIDC is an ad hoc committee with a life cycle of one year. All consuls general would later become honorary overall chairperson. The position of overall chairperson is elected every year. The winner in the election will then appoint the rest of her/his executive committee.

At first, the theme of each year’s celebration is handed down from the government in Manila. Later on, the overall chairperson chooses the theme for her/his term. The coat of arms of the Republic of the Philippines is the centerpiece of the PIDC logo and PIDC’s official address is that of the Philippine Consulate in New York. Checks payable to PIDC are mailed to and received by the Philippine Consulate and handed over to PIDC. All PIDC meetings, with rare exceptions, are conducted at the Consulate.

The Philippine Independence Day celebration in Northeast U.S.A. includes not only New York but also the twelve states under the jurisdiction of the Philippine Consulate General in New York, namely, Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. Depending on the theme each year, the overall chairperson may expand and invite other areas to participate in PIDC’s many activities.

Traditionally held along Manhattan’s Madison Avenue from 23rd to 40th Streets, the culmination of the preparation, the Grand Parade, Street Fair and Cultural Show, held on the first Sunday in June each year is the biggest celebration of Philippine Independence outside the Philippines. The festivities include the Diwa ng Kalayaan (Spirit of Freedom, a beauty and talent contest), Youth Festival, Independence Ball, Consul General Night, Grand Marshal Night, other fund raising activities, special cultural presentations and other events that may be initiated by the overall chairperson.

The Philippine Consulate extends its support and guidance to the PIDC from inception to culmination of the annual event. It begins with the sending of invitations to community leaders to a general meeting, election of overall chairperson, and in the planning and execution of activities up to Appreciation Night where the Consul General awards certificates of appreciation to PIDC officers and members.

Since 1993, there were calls for incorporation of PIDC. On September 8, 2001, with the election of the overall chairperson, the members of the Filipino American community were also given the chance to cast their vote on the incorporation of PIDC. Results showed that majority of Filipino Americans are in favor of incorporating PIDC. With paperwork and processing, an incorporated PIDC will take effect in 2003. Hence, 2003 was PIDC’s last year under the auspices of the Consulate General of the Philippines, New York.

The Philippine Independence Day Parade, like any major New York City parades, has a set schedule for its annual celebration. Its usual slot is the first Sunday of June. Since its inception in 1993, the parade has steadily garnered attention not only from the Filipino American community, also from the general population of the New York metropolitan area.

The Philippine Independence Day Celebration, Inc. has been criticized for failing to invite prominent leaders and figures to join the annual event. Also, the committee has been continuously called on to allow younger Filipinos and Filipino Americans to collaborate in organizing the Philippine Independence Day Parade as opposed to the usual older generation of Filipinos, who are members of the current committee.

The annual parade also experiences protests from several Philippine civic groups.

(Photos All Rights Reserved © Ernie Agtarap)

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