You are reading

Filipinos in Queens Celebrate Unveiling of ‘Little Manila Avenue’ in Woodside

Unveiling of the ‘Little Manila Avenue’ street sign on the corner of Roosevelt Avenue and 70th Street Sunday (Photo: Queens Post)

June 13, 2022 By Czarinna Andres

More than 200 Filipinos and their friends turned out in Woodside Sunday to officially co-name the intersection of Roosevelt Avenue and 70th Street “Little Manila Avenue.”

The co-naming pays tribute to the Filipino community who established businesses and began moving to the area in the 1970s and built a hub near the 69th Street subway station in Woodside.

The area has long been known as “Little Manila” for its many Filipino restaurants and stores such as Renee’s Kitchen, Phil Am Foodmart, Ihawan, a branch of the Philippine National Bank and many more.

The event was held Sunday to also commemorate Philippine Independence Day, a day that marks the declaration of independence from Spain in 1898.

The co-naming ceremony also include cultural performances and dancing. Many attendees were waving the Philippine flag as they cheered when the street sign was unveiled.

Attendees of the street co-naming for ‘Little Manila Avenue’ (Photo: Queens Post)

Xenia Diente, a Filipino-American whose mother immigrated to the country as a nurse, told the crowd that the co-naming represented two years of advocacy.

The call for the co-naming, she said, stemmed from a mural that went up on the corner of 69th Street and Roosevelt Avenue in June 2020 that paid tribute to Filipino healthcare workers who worked during the coronavirus pandemic. Many felt at the time, that the area needed to be recognized as Little Manila, said Diente.

She said that a group launched an online petition soon after calling for the Queens Boulevard/70th street intersection to be co-named in recognition of the Filipino community.

Xenia Diente, one of the organizers and her mother, speaking to the crowd during the unveiling ceremony. (Photo: Queens Post)

Following the success of the petition, a bill to co-name was passed by the council in December 2021, she said.

Joseph Castillo, whose parents established Phil Am in 1976, told the crowd that New York City has ethnic enclaves throughout the five boroughs. He said that he was glad that the Filipinos now have an area named in recognition of them.

The “Little Manila” street sign has gone up across the street from Castillo’s business, a popular Filipino grocery store.

The area began taking on a Filipino flavor after nurses and healthcare workers began moving there in the 1970s after being recruited to work at Elmhurst Hospital. Many wanted to live near the hospital, which led to the area being a magnet for Filipinos.

The event ended with joyous, spontaneous line dancing in celebration of the new street sign and Philippine Independence Day.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force investigating vandalism at Forest Hills church that has been targeted in the past

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating a case of criminal mischief at a Forest Hills house of worship in which a vandal threw a rock to intentionally damage its glass front door, according to authorities.

Police say that just before 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 29, police from the 112th Precinct were called to Grace Lutheran Church, located at 103-15 Union Tpke., after a man threw a rock and damaged the church’s front door.

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.