Rockin’ the Rain: PAFCOM event pushes through in spite of weather

by Momar Visaya/AJPress

JERSEY CITY – Everyone was just having a grand time, enjoying the food, the music and the company. Until the unexpected, uninvited and unwelcome guest arrived.

For about five minutes the guest wreaked havoc on the festival site, blew away tents, chairs and whatever the various booths were giving out. Then, the heavy downpour, which left a lot of people sulking wet.

When the dark skies cleared a few minutes later, people started to head home. There were torn tents, plastic bags, papers everywhere. It was like a scene from a movie where tornados happen.

Even Mig Ayesa, one of the event’s guest performers, was not spared. He too was wet.

Efforts were exerted in order for the show to go on but the efforts were all for naught as mild rains poured intermittently.

Not wanting to disappoint his fans who trooped to the event, Ayesa stepped on a table and performed two songs, including ‘We Will Rock You’ a capella. The handful of people who stayed formed a semi-circle around him. It was a very intimate performance.

“Thank you for coming and being here in the first place. If you went home, I hope you are safe and dry. I’m sulking wet right now so you’re probably smarter than me because you went home,” Ayesa told the Asian Journal as he delivered his message to fans who came to see him.

This is the 18th year of PAFCOM (Philippine-American Friendship Committee), a nonprofit organization that was born out of an initiative from Filipino American community leaders to empower the Filipino community.

The PAFCOM parade and festival is one of the largest annual events among Filipino Americans in the tri-state area. Marching bands and floats participated in the parade that began from the Jersey City Armory and ended at Exchange Place area where the cultural program was held. This year’s theme is “Filipino Americans working towards unity and success”.

Consul General Cecilia Rebong thanked the community for supporting events like this that promote Filipino culture. Rebong also congratulated Rosalinda Rupel, PAFCOM’s chairperson and Gerry Austria, this year’s grand marshal for their efforts. (

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