Every New Year’s Eve, my entire family and I find ourselves in Pasadena at our family friend’s home, the Ramos-Suguitan’s.
New Year’s Day is usually spent walking in parkas to the parade some 10 minutes away on foot to watch the Rose Parade, also known as the Tournament of Roses.
The Rose Parade happens to be one of the most iconic, historic and watched parades in the world on New Year’s that includes flower-covered floats, marching bands, and equestrian units and is followed by the Rose Bowl college football game. This year, however, since New Year’s fell on a Sunday, the Rose Parade was moved to Monday, January 2 due to their tradition. The Tournament of Roses website clarifies why: “The Tournament of Roses® has had a ‘Never on Sunday’ tradition since 1893, the first year since the beginning of the Tournament, that New Year’s Day fell on a Sunday.” This is because the bells of the church disrupt the equestrian units.
Through historian Eloisa Borah, retired Fil-Am librarian from UCLA, she was the one who emailed me the good news about the Philippine Scouts riding in the Rose Parade this year! Eloisah, Salamat! Among the 20 units of equestrian groups that were part of this year’s parade, the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society – U.S. Army’s 26th Cavalry Regiment from Los Angeles was one of our most visible representations of our Filipino-American kababayans. I was giddy watching the parade seeing the Philippine Scouts ride the horses in full combat regalia!
The Philippine Scouts are also known as MacArthur’s soldiers as they fought for the United States during World War II on horseback. Most of the riders are current or retired military or descendants of the original group of Filipino veterans as well as other people who are interested in the history of the 26th cavalry unit which may up many different ethnicities. I reached out to the president of the Los Angeles Chapter, Frank Quimbao, who graciously made time to come into the LA18 studios for an exclusive interview on “Kababayan Today.”
Make sure to watch it this week on television on Monday, January 9, 2017 on LA18. If you miss the broadcast, you can check out my interview with Mr. Quimbao, together with Mr. Ricardo Molina, a grandson of one of the original troopers from the Philippine Scouts 26th Cavalry Unit online atwww.la1.tv/kababayantoday.
If you are interested in learning more on the history of the Philippine Scouts 26th Cavalry unit, these books are recommended by Mr. Quimbao:
Literary Books: Lieutenant Ramsey’s War, Twilight Riders, The Doomed Horsemen of Bataan
Films: The Forgotten Soldiers & Never Surrender, The Ed Ramsey Story
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Giselle “G” Töngi is the host and producer of Kababayan Today, a daily talk show that features relevant topics for Filipino’s living in America. Her aim is to bridge not only the cultural gap between America & the Philippines but to help with the generational gap between our own people. She is married with two children and is based in Southern California and makes frequent trips in the Pacific Rim to Hawaii and Manila to feature fellow kababayans who are empowering the FilAm community.