By Marivir R. Montebon
New York City – Actress and entrepreneur Ann Constantino Beck is among the lovely Filipino women to grace the Philippine Independence Day Parade here on Sunday June 4, the largest crowd drawer for Filipinos outside the Philippines in celebration of the 119th year of a republic. Ann holds the title Mrs. Kalayaan (Freedom) Luzon 2017, as she hails from Manila which is in Luzon, the country’s largest island in the archipelago.
About 120 contingents will join in the parade on Madison Avenue (starting from 32nd Street to the Madison Park), as marchers, dancers, cars, or floats. The revelry has become an anticipated tradition among Filipinos which begins at 9 o’clock in the morning and ends mid-afternoon with an entertainment extravaganza and street food fair on Madison Park.
Popular Philippine entertainers will attend the affair, including singers Martin Nievera and Lani Misalucha, and Miss Universe 2016 Ms. Pia Wurtzbach. This year however, many Filipinos, including Ann, are concerned of the peace and order situation of the Philippines, as Marawi city in Mindanao is being put under Martial Law.
As a mother of four (with one in heaven), wife, and entrepreneur, she said that the modern Filipino woman has come of age, saying that there is a growing consciousness of women to stand for their rights and face the challenges ahead. She likewise expressed optimism that peace will be restored in the Philippines in due time.