Press Release

28 October 2022


History was made when the Philippine Flag was raised for the very first time by the City of New York on Friday, 28 October 2022, at Bowling Green Park, in commemoration of Filipino-American History Month. This is also the first time that New York City Mayor Eric Adams engaged with the Filipino-American Community and the Philippine Consulate General in New York. 

In his remarks, Consul General Elmer G. Cato said that the historic flag raising ceremony “is a recognition of the many contributions and achievements of Filipinos to New York City, particularly our doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers, following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.” He also thanked New York City Mayor Eric Adams “for initiatives to fight hate and discrimination against Filipinos and the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community, such as increasing police visibility, especially in subways.”

Consul General Cato concluded by assuring the Mayor of “the full and steadfast support of the Filipino-American Community in helping ensure that New York City remains a beacon of democracy, freedom, and equality.”

Mayor Eric Adams, on the other hand, said “we need the immigrant population more than the immigrant population needs us. You all provide a service to this country that we should all be proud of.” Mayor Adams then pointed to the importance of inclusivity, and acknowledged, before the public, immigrants serving in his administration, such as Commissioner Manuel Castro of Immigrant Affairs – the first Mexican-American and first DREAMER ever to be appointed to the position; Commissioner Edward Mermelstein of International Affairs who is Ukrainian-born; and Deputy Mayor Maria Torres Springer for Economic and Workforce Development, the first ever Filipino-American Deputy Mayor, who was raised in Pampanga.

A festive cultural dance led by the organization, C.E.B.U.,[1] was held prior to the flag raising ceremony. A shortened version of the famous Sinulog-Santo Niño Festival was performed.

This was followed by a message from a Filipino nurse of a major New York City hospital, Ms. Quimberly Villamer, who spoke about her experience as a frontline healthcare worker during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Lupang Hinirang and the Star-Spangled Banner were sung by Filipino Soprano, Ms. Mheco Manlangit.

Filipino-Americans came in their barongs, ternos, and other Filipiniana attire and waved small Philippine flags in honor of the momentous occasion. Officials from New York City Hall and other visitors were also present. The New York City Mayor’s Office intends to make the flag raising an annual event. END.

[1] Cebuanos Engaging In Building Unity