These past weeks have been very hectic for me and the Working Committees. As you already know, we are all in Philippine Independence Week mode. Thanks to all the support that you have shown. It is much appreciated! Our flag-raising at the USS Olympia was a huge success. The event was attended by community leaders, city officials, veterans, veterans women auxiliary and graced by the presence of our special guest, retired Major General Antonio Taguba (US Army).
Our annual flag raising at the USS Olympia commemorates the gallantry and love of country on both sides. We remember the men of the Olympia as they shelled the Cavite defenses when they attacked Manila. We also remember the Filipinos who fought alongside the Spanish forces as they were beaten by the superior American guns. This event occurred 117 years ago when General Emilio Aguinaldo raised our flag in Kawit, Cavite proclaiming our independence. War is never kind on either side; yet we endure as a nation, move on, and remember those who paid their lives for our freedom. (Photos from: Sherly McLean)
Many thoughts were running through my mind during this event. I was thinking of the sacrifices our men and women have given to our country, in particular my son Daniel, who served in Iraq. I also thought of the struggles we had to face when we chose to immigrate to America. We faced the difficulties of adjusting to a new culture and social cadence significantly different from Manila; yet we are thriving today and blessed with the opportunity to watch our children benefit from the decisions we made.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of our beloved organization and we can also reflect on the clarion call that made our leaders respond and come together to form what is now the FECGP. Balancing work and community service is never easy, but the resilient Filipino spirit continues to push forward. We have all made sacrifices to protect the foundation and milestones our founders and past leaders have created for us.
Looking towards the future, our solemn responsibility would be to fight for the preservation of FECGP in order to continue serving the interests of our people and our community. We hope that one day our children, the second generation Filipino-Americans, will take the cudgels of leadership and continue the legacy and the path that we have trodden. It would be treason to undermine or attempt to dismantle the importance of this very revered institution. Let us work together to make it stronger and more responsive to the needs of our time.
Salamat to all of you who also attended the Independence Mass at OSAC. We were so blessed to have a large gathering in celebrating our Independence.
Our beautiful Bb. Pilipinas 2015 is Mary Cassandra Soriano Arocena daughter of Angelo and Marylou Arocena of FAAMCI, their sponsoring association.
To all the Committee Chairs, salamat for working so hard! Hoping to see you all at our Philippine Fiesta and Picnic (June 13) at the Rizal Monument in Cherry Hill. Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat and “Mabuhay”!