Liwanag Art Exhibit Opens at the Philippine Center in New York

From left to right: Exhibit curator Mr. Leif Miguel Martinez, Maria Mari Murga, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez, and US-Philippines Society Director Henry B. Howard.  (Photo by the Philippine Center New York)

From left to right: Exhibit curator Mr. Leif Miguel Martinez, Maria Mari Murga, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez, and US-Philippines Society Director Henry B. Howard.

(Photo by the Philippine Center New York)

New York City. - “Liwanag,” an art exhibit by renowned Filipino- Spanish artist Maria Mari Murga, was successfully launched in the evening of 24 September, at the Lobby Gallery of the Philippine Center. The opening night was attended by Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin Jr., Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez, DFA Undersecretaries Enrique Manalo and

Brigido Dulay who are in New York for the UN General Assembly.Mr. Henry B. Howard of the US-Philippines Society, Mr. Luca Parolari of Pintô Museum, art enthusiasts and members of the Filipino-American community in the tristate area likewise attended the opening ceremony.

“Liwanag” detailed Mari Murga’s journey to the rural parts of the Philippines, portraying Filipino farmers, fishermen and indigenous peoples going about their daily lives. Murga said that “she used her skills to showcase the daily lives of the people and scenes and put them on spotlight for the rest of the world to discover.” She hopes that her art will serve as a reminder of how vibrant and beautiful the Philippines is. Her artworks used a beautiful selection of hand carved frames from Zamboanga City.

Coconut dehusker in Baler. Aurora Province. Artist Maria Mari Murga.jpg

Secretary Locsin congratulated Murga on the success of the exhibit and encouraged her to continue promoting Philippine culture and art through her works. Murga thanked Secretary Locsin and Ambassador Romualdezfor their support and for the collaboration and assistance extended by the Philippine Consulate and the Philippine Center.

Maria Mari Murga is a Filipino Spanish artist based in London whose origin hails from Zamboanga City. She’s the granddaughter of a WWII Bataan Death March survivor.

The exhibit, which was co-sponsored by the US Philippine Society and co-presented by the Philippine Center New York, is open to the public until 11 October 2019.

Murga explaining the artworks to the audience at the Philippine Consulate in New York

Murga explaining the artworks to the audience at the Philippine Consulate in New York

Cross-Generational Magic at the 2019 Expo and Cultural Show

Janice Marie Johnson

Janice Marie Johnson

Disco icon Janice Johnson of A Taste Of Honey spanking her bass guitar on-stage with 9-year old Fil- Am singer Denise Kara: no other image made a stronger statement for Fiesta In America’s fan appeal that spans all age groups.

On August 10 and 11, the expo and cultural show projected pan-generational reach, from the stage (ABBA cover band Dancing Queen and the Arato Brothers Band whose oldest member is 17), to the Trade Pavilion (AARP’s sponsor’s booth for outreach to the 50+ population and the exhibitor table of FUSION students’ club at Baruch College).

Franchising and estate-planning workshops, new food concessions, and raffle draws rounded up another successful expo edition.

Relaunching Fiesta in America in 2020

adult-blur-business-woman-1181690 (1).jpg

Can the biggest expo and cultural show of its kind on the U.S. east coast get any bigger? “We have to change with the times,” Nanding Mendez, Fiesta In America’s President and CEO, told Special Edition Press. “So,expect a bigger, bolder and better expo next year.”

Time does not stop just because your watch did, Henry Ford said. It’s true even for the biggest expo and cultural show of its kind on the east coast. Fiesta In America has been reflecting the profile of Filipino Americans since 1998. But 2019 expo attendees are not the Fil-Ams of the ‘90s.

Today’s Fil-Ams are into social media; they’re welded to their cell phones, hooked on streaming – trends non-existent when the event started. The contrast can’t be any starker than Yñigo now creating more buzz than Piolo – Yñigo Pascual is the Philippines’ line-dance king; his father, Piolo, first performed at Fiesta In America more than 10 years ago.

“We have to evolve with the times,” acknowledged Nanding Mendez, the expo’s President. “Our CQI (continuous quality improvement) program demands that we re-examine our mission, revamp the expo’s contents, and refresh our communications campaign based on the community’s changing demographics.”

Millennials are America’s future economic drivers. But over 70% of Fiesta In America’s attendees are Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers. According to Mendez, the expo’s 2020 edition will be re-engineered to attract more participants and businesses with a stake in Fil-Ams who are under-40, while keeping older-adult followers deeply engaged. “We are planning an exciting food and tourism showcase, contests and other new activities,” said

Mendez. “We will reshape Fiesta In America starting next year for a wider audience that will attract more business partners.”

NY and NJ Government Officials Extend Strong Support to Fiesta in America

Nearly every year, Filipinos look forward to reading the messages of support by New York and New Jersey government officials. 

This year, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Secaucus Mayor Michael J. Gonnelli and Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop to Fiesta in America were four of the 11 government officials who extended their support to Fiesta in America on its 21st year last August 10 and 11 at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, New Jersey. 

In his message to Fiesta in America this year, Governor Cuomo said “New York’s greatest strength is its diversity of people and the contributions they make in many areas, including economic development, job creation, and growth of new business and commerce.” 

New York De Blasio added, “With vendors offering different products and services, music and dance performances, tasty customary cuisine and more, this terrific event is a wonderful way to showcase the rich heritage of the Philippines….” 

Just like in 2018, Jersey City Mayor Fulop made sure to acknowledge "Fiesta as the biggest indoor consumer expo and cultural show its kind on the East Coast of the United States." 

On the Philippine side, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel G. Romualdez and  Consul General Claro S. Cristobal gave words of encouragement to Fiesta in America and Filipinos to support the Filipino event. 

Last but not the least, Secaucus Mayor Gonnelli welcomed Fiesta in America again to its town for the 20th time, inviting Secaucus residents and other Jersey towns to Fiesta in America and its “perfect blend of urban landscape and natural beauty.”


Teleserye stars team up at Fiesta In America 2019

Yam Concepcion of ‘Halik’

Yam Concepcion of ‘Halik’

Two of the hottest names in Philippine TV will showcase their live-performance talents at Fiesta In America’s 21st Anniversary edition, August 10 and 11 at New Jersey’s Meadowlands Expo Center.

ABS-CBN teleserye heartthrobs JC De Vera and Yam Concepcion “are expected to thrill Fiesta In America’s concert audience with 21st century renderings of OPM (original Pilipino music) hits,” according to the show’s Producer and Director, Ogie Afable.

JC De Vera, star of the top-rated The General’s Daughter, will demonstrate his singing chops through special selections from his discography, including Langit Na Rin, Nabihag, One Night One Kiss, and Heaven Knows. Meanwhile, sultry Lorraine May “Yam” Concepcion, who made waves in her acclaimed roles in Halik, FPJ’s Ang Probinsiyano, Langit Lupa and other leading teleseryes, as well as in recent films such as Amnesia Love and Pangil sa Tubig, will show why she is a fast-rising vocalist, who first turned heads on Ryan Bang’s hit music video, Shopping.

“We always strive to entertain the widest possible audience with new names in OPM, both trending and classic,” said Nanding Mendez, President and CEO of Fiesta In America. “The young tandem of JC De Vera and Yam Concepcion are expected to sizzle on the concert stage during both days of the event. JC’s and Yam’s biggest hit records on CD, vinyl and YouTube will also attest to the diversity of musical media available to OPM fans in the Philippines, the U.S. and around the world.”

A cornucopia of Philippine and American exhibitors, free workshops and health screenings, and savory regional cuisine at the Food Pavilion are in store for culture-driven followers of Fiesta In America. To attend, sponsor or exhibit at the long-running expo and the People’s Ball, its community tribute gala, call 212-682-6610 or email For more information, log on to Video and photo galleries of past editions are also available on Facebook.


WCOPA-bound Denise Kara to Perform at Fiesta in America

Denise Kara

Denise Kara

Denise Kara, a 9-year-old singer from New Jersey, has been aded to the list of performers at Fiesta in America on Aug 10 and 11 at Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, New Jersey.

Kara performs in Filipino community festivals, live concerts and event parties. She placed first in the MAMTG (Mid-Atlantic Music Teachers Guild) contest.

Kara will represent the US in the 23rd annual WCOPA (World Championships of Performing Arts) 2019 contest in Long Beach, California. She has her own CD original song titled “Friend in Me.”

Fiesta Releases Tentative Schedule

                                       SATURDAY,  AUGUST  10, 2019


12:00 NOON                          OPENING CEREMONY


12:30 PM                                DOOR OPENS


12:30 PM - 3:30 PM             TRADE FLOOR SHOW


3:30 PM                                  CULTURAL SHOW ADMISSION


3:30 PM -  4:00 PM              SPONSORS AIRTIME


4:00 PM -  6:00 PM              LOCAL ENTERTAINER’S HOUR


6:00 PM -  6:20 PM              CORONATION OF FIESTA QUEEN 2019


6:20 PM -  6:30 PM              SPONSOR AIRTIME


6:30 PM -  7:15 PM              DANCING DREAM ABBA TRIBUTE BAND


7:15 PM -  7:30 PM              SPONSORS AIRTIME


7:30 PM -  8:15 PM               A TASTE OF HONEY


8:15 PM -  9:30 PM              TFC HOURS  featuring JC De Vera  & Yam Concepcion


9:30 PM                                  END


                                       SUNDAY, AUGUST 11, 2019


10:00 AM -  11:15 AM         FIESTA IN AMERICA 2019 SUNDAY MASS




12:00 NOON-  3:00 PM       TRADE FLOOR SHOW


3:00 PM - 3:30 PM               CULTURAL SHOW ADMISSION


3:30 PM - 4:00 PM               SPONSORS AIRTIME


4:00 PM - 5:00 PM               LOCAL ENTERTAINER’S HOUR


5:00 PM - 5:20 PM               CORONATION OF FIESTA PRINCESS 2019


5:20 PM - 5:30 PM               SPONSORS AIRTIME


5:30 PM -  6:15 PM              DANCING DREAM ABBA TRIBUTE BAND


6:15 PM -  6:30 PM              SPONSOR AIRTIME


6:30 PM -  7:15 PM              A TASTE OF HONEY


7:15 PM -  7:30 PM              SPONSOR AIRTIME


7:30 PM-   8:30 PM              TFC HOURS featuring JC De Vera & Yam Concepcion


8:30 PM                                  END 


Celebrate Sunday Mass and Santacruzan at FIA

Observe the solemn Mass at the Fiesta in America on August 11 at 10 am.

No true fiesta is complete without the colorful Santacruzan highlighted by a procession. It showcases Philippine costumes, queens, escorts and a representation of Queens Helena and Constantine.

Fiesta in America’s Santacruzan is famed for its array of of graceful reynas, escorts, the majestic Reyna Elena and charming constantinos.

Relive the Disco Years with A Taste Of Honey, ABBA-Tribute Band, Dancing Dream and More!

Dancing Dream

Dancing Dream

A Taste of Honey

A Taste of Honey

Platinum record-winner A Taste Of Honey will revive the ‘70s’ disco scene at Fiesta In America’s 21st Anniversary edition on August 10 and 11 at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, New Jersey.

A disco music pioneer, A Taste Of Honey received the Grammy for Best New Artist in 1979. The band’s music lives on, driven by the percussive bass guitar of founder and lead singer Janice Marie Johnson. Her musicianship is the heart of A Taste Of Honey’s concerts around the world.

Groove to Billboard Hot 100 and worldwide number 1 hit, Boogie Oogie Oogie, and other tunes like Sukiyaki and I’ll Try Something New (number 1 and 9, respectively, on the US R&B chart) at the biggest expo and cultural show of its kind on the east coast, Fiesta In America.

A Taste Of Honey will headline the U.S. artists’ line- up during Fiesta in America’s dance-themed cultural show on both days of the event. Other disco-inspired acts will feature Dancing Dream, the world- acclaimed ABBA tribute band; the hottest superstars from the world of Philippine movies, television and recording; and remarkable New York-area artists.

This summer will mark Fiesta In America’s 21st year as the east coast’s longest-running trade and cultural expo. The indoor event is a direct-sales platform for businesses to tap the New York-New Jersey Filipino market while showcasing the best of Philippine culture, highlighted by a Santacruzan on Sunday, August 11.

Free workshops on Philippine franchising opportunities, led by the Ateneo Graduate School of Business Program Director Jonathan Petalver; free health screenings; a native Food Festival; and special sections for artists, photographers, chess enthusiasts and children round up the event’s main attractions.

The night before the expo, Fil-Am Who’s Who watchers will also have the opportunity to meet Fiesta In America’s featured Pinoy stars and honor Filipino achievement in diverse fields at the People’s Ball. Fiesta In America’s community tribute gala, the People’s Ball, will be held on Friday, August 9 at New Jersey’s Meadowlands Hilton, in East Rutherford.

To attend, sponsor or exhibit at Fiesta In America, and the People’s Ball, call 212-682-6610 or email For more information, visit

Fiesta in America is Back Targeting Fil Ams in its August Event


Fiesta In America’s 21st Anniversary edition is back catering to America’s strong ethnic market — Filipino Americans — on August 10 and 11, 2019 at New Jersey’s Meadowlands Expo Center. It’s not surprising why. Filipino American (Fil Am) households have a higher U.S. median household income than a median U.S. family which earns $26,576 less than a median Fil-Am family in New York and New Jersey, home of Fiesta In America.

But the under-the-radar buying power is just one of the reasons to connect with Fiesta In America’s core attendees. The two-day event is the biggest indoor Filipino expo and cultural show of its kind on the U.S. east coast. Its trade pavilion, workshops, star-packed shows, event magazine, and monthly e-newsletter ensure total engagement all year-round onsite and offsite for your brand.

Book now for EARLY BIRD perks! Call 212-682-6610 or email for details.

Calabarzon Exporters to Take Part at Fiesta in America

Twelve handicraft and food manufacturers from Philippine Region IV-A will showcase their products to thousands of consumers on August 10 and 11 at Fiesta in America. The exporters are from provinces collectively known as CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon).

Mary Charisse Platon, trade industry development analyst at the Department of Trade and Industry’s regional office, supplied Special Edition of Fiesta in America with the list of participating exporters that would form the CALABARZON section. They are Epicurian Gourmet Foods, Dolly’s Banana Chips, Ocean Fresh Tahong Chips, Resilience One Butterfly, Amstature Food Products, Eva Marie Arts and Crafts, Lolo Bobby Handicrafts, Ma. Delza’s Native Products, VWT Enterprises, Cut & Shape Crafts Manufacturing, Olivia’s Coffee Seed Corporation, and Alano-less Food Manufacturing.