New York PCG Hosts Inaugural Pistahang Bayan to Celebrate Kalayaan 2024 with the Filipino Community

Performers at Pistahang Bayan 2024 captivate the audience with traditional Filipino music and dances (Photos by Sherlyn Roxas)

NEW YORK, 02 July 2024 – The Philippine Consulate General in New York brought a vibrant slice of Filipino culture and heritage to the US Northeast, with the first-ever Pistahang Bayan celebration on 30 June 2024.  Held at the Lincoln Park in Jersey City, this landmark event, co-organized with Filipino community leaders, drew over 3000 Filipinos from across the region.


Jointly organized by the Philippine Consulate and leaders of various Filipino Community organizations in the Northeast United States, Pistahang Bayan 2024 kicked off with a Community Mass, setting a reflective yet joyous tone for the day’s festivities.


Consul General Senen T. Mangalile, in his welcome remarks at the opening ceremony, expressed appreciation for the community’s active participation and efforts to bring the gathering to fruition. He emphasized the importance of unity within the Filipino community. “The objective is simple,” he stated, “to foster unity among us as people and as a community. Now more than ever, that should be the resounding call.” He further highlighted that the event marked the culmination of the month-long celebration of the 126th anniversary of Philippine Independence and Nationhood.


The Philippine Consulate provided consular services under the banner of Bagong Pilipinas, a flagship program of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. The services offered included overseas voter registration, passport, dual citizenship, civil registration, and notarial services.

NYPCG personnel assist applicants with essential consular services offered during Pistahang Bayan 2024 (Photos by Sherlyn Roxas)

Meanwhile, the festival’s attendees enjoyed a Filipino salu-salo— a traditional feast that showcased a rich spread of Philippine culinary delights, ranging from the crowd-favorite lechon to the sweet delights bibingka and halo-halo shared among members of over 50 participating Filipino community organizations.

Festival attendees delight in a salu-salo that includes Filipino favorites such as lechon, adobo, lumpia, menudo, Jollibee chickenjoy, as well turon and Filipino rice cakes. (Photos by Photos by Joselito Archie P. Paz and Sherlyn Roxas)

The event was enriched by a series of captivating performances that celebrated the rich heritage of Filipino music and traditional dances. A diverse lineup of artists took to the stage, each offering a glimpse into the Philippines’ vibrant cultural tapestry. In collaboration with the Migrant Workers Office, and in celebration of Migrant Workers’ Month, the festival also included a singing contest dubbed “Galing mo OFW”. This segment shone a spotlight on the remarkable vocal talent and artistic flair of our OFWs, providing them with a platform to shine and share their artistry with the rest of the community.


What is a fiesta without games and sports tournaments? During the Palarong Pinoy portion of Pistahang Bayan 2024, kids and those who are kids-at-heart played traditional fiesta games such as pabitin and hampas palayok. Happening simultaneously in the sports area are friendly basketball and volleyball tournaments, and a five-kilometer fun run, organized for Filipino athletes and weekend warriors, bringing the community together in an energetic display of skill and sportsmanship.

Participants of Palarong Pinoy foster a sense of joy and camaraderie while engaging in traditional fiesta games during Pistahang Bayan 2024. (Photos by Joselito Archie P. Paz)
Players of basketball and volleyball tournaments showcase teamwork and competitive skills during their respective games (Photos by Joselito Archie P. Paz)
Consul General Senen T. Mangalile delivers his remarks during the Pistahang Bayan 2024 Opening (Photos by Sherlyn Roxas)
Mr. William O'Dea, a member of the Hudson County Board of Commissioners who had also played a role in organizing the event, congratulated New York PCG and the Filipino community on the inaugural Pistahang Bayan 2024. He also pledged his continued support for future celebrations. (Photo by Sherlyn Roxas)

“What a fiesta feeling!” said Marivir Montebon, a past president of the Fil-Am Press Club of New York and a long-time resident of New York City. “[Pistahang Bayan 2024] had an overwhelming attendance… from NY, NJ, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, etc. There was free Filipino food, games, and dance presentations. The communities felt very much at home during this fiesta.”

Pistahang Bayan 2024 highlighted the significance of common cultural customs in uniting the diaspora and enhancing community bonds. It was more than just a celebration of Philippine independence and nationhood; it was a demonstration of the enduring cultural pride that binds the Filipino community together. END