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Big crowd attends Tribute to Philippines in Ocean City

OCEAN CITY, Maryland – This city experienced one of the biggest crowd that attended the two-day "Tribute to the Philippines" held here July 21-22.  Hundreds of Filipino families also came to watch the exhibitions, cultural performances and musical presentations of Filipino American organizations in New

The event, now on its third year Greater Philadelphia.

Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian said he was pleased to see many Filipino Americans at the opening ceremony and thanked them for coming to Ocean City to support the event.

For his part, Consul Zaldy Patron of the Philippine consulate in New York, who represented Consul General Mario De Leon, Jr., said, "We are grateful to the City Council of Ocean City for its continued partnership with the Philippines Consulate General. This is certainly a "win-win" event for both parties.

The Philippines is able to promote its people, culture, tourist destinations and products to the residents and tourists of Ocean City.

Ocean City, on the other hand, is able promote itself as a summer get-away for Filipino Americans."

Ocean City, dubbed as America's greatest family resort attracts about 100,000 tourists during summer time.

Twenty-two exhibitors joined the two-day trade and tourism fair, occupying the entire Music Pier pavilion, venue of the event. The exhibitors included Western Union (the event's major sponsor), food vendors, travel agencies, sellers of Philippine products and handicrafts (such as traditional Christmas parol (lantern) and hand-woven products of the Mangyan ethnic group of Mindoro), Philippine National Bank, real estate company, yo-yo toy store, media, nurses groups and Filipino American organizations.

For two days, nurses belonging to the Philippine Nurses Association of Pennsylvania, Philippine Nurses Association of Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia, Philippine Nurses Association of Delaware Valley and Adventis University of the Philippines-Philippine Union College Alumni Association of New York conducted free blood pressure and blood sugar tests to around 200 visitors visiting their booths. The AUP-PUC group also conducted a separate health and wellness seminar at Ocean City Community Center on 22 July. The free medical services highlighted the valuable contribution of Filipino American medical professionals to the U.S. healthcare industry.

On 21 July, morning and afternoon cultural shows were held in front of the Music Pier to the delight of hundreds of people walking along the boardwalk.  The crowd was visibly impressed with the Philippine Folk Arts Society, a rondalla group based in Philadelphia, as it played traditional Filipino music and with the Philippine Mutya Dance Co. of Philadelphia and the Philippine Youth of South Jersey for performing Philippine aborigine dance and folk dance, respectively.

Members and volunteers of Adventis University of the Philippines-Philippine Union College Alumni Association of New York, together with Consul Patron and Mr. Soifer, during their "Blue Zone" health and wellness seminar held at the Ocean City Community Center on 22 July.

In the evening of 21 July, Filipino American talents from New York and New Jersey were featured in the "It's More Fun in the Philippines Concert" held at the Music Pier auditorium.

Performers included the Sounds of Manila Band, Archie D', Kay Habana, Aviela Reyes, Gail Banawis, MB2NY, Nina Mojares and Gabe Basalatan. The City Council of Ocean City, in cooperation with the Philippine Consulate General, co-produced the concert with Richard Reyes, who also directed the show. (With text and photos by AJ press)

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