Linkages Strengthened between RP and Vietnam

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(PCGNY) Consul General Theresa Dizon-De Vega met with the head of the Consulate of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in New York, Consul Nguyen Thanh Thuy to introduce herself early in her tenure as Consul General.

Consul General De Vega and Consul Nguyen discussed the state of Philippines-Vietnam Bilateral Relations and common concerns as well as their respective initiatives in the US Northeast Region.

They spoke about the recent successful Visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Vietnam in September 2016 and how this augurs well for moving the bilateral relations forward.

Consul General De Vega discussed with her Vietnamese counterpart the thematic priorities for the Philippines’ Chairmanship of ASEAN as well as the commemorative events marking the 50th Anniversary of the regional grouping.

They likewise exchanged ideas on possible ASEAN 50th Anniversary commemorative activities to be held in New York by the different ASEAN Member countries’ Consulates.

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As part of our efforts to establish closer linkages with other Consulates General in New York including our Asian neighbors and ASEAN Dialogue Partners I called on the Consul General of China Madam Zhang Qiyue to discuss our bilateral relations, ASEAN, and common concerns and work in the US Northeast. CG Zhang Qiyue was former Amb to Belgium & Foreign Ministry Spokesperso.

From the President: Maligayang Pasko sa Inyong Lahat!

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FECGP President Nida Imperial and Family.

Christmas is a wonderful time for all of us to unwind and reflect on a year that is about to expire. With the celebration also comes the appreciation that the significance of Christmas is far beyond the joyous occasion and the gift giving: it symbolizes our renewed faith in the goodness of humanity and our gratefulness upon this great country that we have chosen to be our second home and home of our children.

The FECGP along with its Executive  Board, Member Associations and Affiliates wish to greet one and all a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

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Photo: Allen Villarin | Photoshop: Philip Reyes

This Christmas season, I had the opportunity to be with our local Fil-Am leaders in the many church related activities. One that touched my heart is the gift-giving we had at Olde St. Agustins’s and Our Lady of Hope.  Thanks to all donors and volunteers! The thought that we have leaders who think beyond themselves and extend a hand to help others who are needy and indigent gave a whole new meaning to a commercially-driven Christmas that we have been so accustomed to.

Maraming Salamat sa inyong lahat and my the blessings of God be upon our Fil-Am communities across our areas, to our beloved country: the great United States.

President Nida Imperial

(Photos of gift giving will be posted soon.)

Happy Thanksgiving to all

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Happy Thanksgiving Day to all.  This is a special day where we all temporarily stop to ponder and appreciate the goodness of God into our lives.

We came to this great country many years ago; we started our families and now many of us are enjoying not only our children but grandchildren as well.  We also did our part to become part of the very fiber of what makes the great American social landscape.

Filipino-Americans have indeed made great contributions to the many communities where they live. With the many associations that we have and the many charities that we have supported; the home parishes that have become anchors for our spiritual lives thereby raising our children to become faithful to God, just like our parents have taught us.

So enjoy the barbecue, enjoy the great and sumptuous food, enjoy the turkey that you so lovingly basted and made golden brown and crispy so your friends will be happy in your great backyard party! Hopefully the weather will not be that cold!

On behalf of the FECGP, its officers and Member Associations I send you my sincerest greeting and hope to see you soon in the many events happening this December.

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Nida Imperial, FECGP President

Honor and Respect to our Vets on Veterans Day

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We celebrate Veterans day today to show our respect, honor and appreciation for the bravery and the service of our military to our country.

The values we held high and close to our hearts are our personal liberty and pursuit of happiness have been guaranteed not only by our Constitution but have been preserved and protected by our men and women who served in our armed services and law enforcement.

Never had been there a time that our way of life had been so much in peril than now. Because of their sacrifices we continue to enjoy the freedom in our country and the admiration of much of the Free World.

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Marami tayong mga kapwa Pinoy who served in the many branches of our U.S. military. To them we are forever grateful. On behalf of the Filipino-American community in our area, I enjoined our fellow citizens in showing our appreciation to them on their very special day.

Mabuhay and America. Mabuhay tayong lahat.

Nida N. Imperial
President, FECGP

Offering a hand to Filipinos

Editor’s Note:  This article appeared originally on South Jersey’s Courier Post Newspaper on a Wednesday, July 12, 1989. That was some 28 years ago and how our Council have moved on and progressed because of “trail-blazing Pinoys who dared and mind you: they did! Originally we thought of posting this article on October which is observed nationally as Filipino-American History Month. Please share us your views at the end of the article.

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Pedro Suplena. Courier-Post photo by: Evangelos Dousmanis

By: Kevin Gonzales, Courier-Post Staff | Filipino-Americans in South Jersey and Philadelphia call Pedro Supelana “Godfather.” As imporant as this Marlton resident may be in the Delaware Valley, Supelana’s influence is even more vast.

On Aug. 31, 1964, a U.S. Court of Appeals decision allowed Supelana to become the first Filipino serviceman to be naturalized as a U.S. citizen. It set a precedent that has allowed many others to become citizens.

His fight for citizenship began when he fraudently enlisted as a steward in the U.S. Navy in 1954. Rules prohibited Filipino married men from becoming stewards. In 1950, when he first applied, Supelana had been single. Four years later, he had a wife and three children.

He hid his marriage, seeing an opportunity to serve his government through naval service. A statute limiting the service of Filipino males in the Navy to stewardship was institutionalized racism.

“It was a job that could be done by people with-out high school diplomas,” said Supelana. “Many were college graduates, very over-qualified. Having those people working in the kitchens and shining shoes was an insult to their professions and to the people.”

Impeccably dressed in a stylish suit, his bold red tie in contrast to a crisp white shirt, Supelana speaks in soft, measured tones. His manner and bearing suggest he does not have to shout to be heard.

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  • This photo was given to Drs. Alex and Elsie Almario by Pedro Supelana. Please help us identify the event and also the personalities in the photo.

Supelana’s tale is a classic immigrant’s story of hustle and drive. When he came to this country as a steward, he earned $70 a month. He needed to send $200 a month home to support his wife and children. To get that money, he worked extra jobs.

Supelana was the head cook and bottle washer for a petty officer’s club, serving as many as 300 people an evening. He convinced the instructor to loan him his lectures. Supelana taped the pages of those lectures to the kitchen walls in various locations. As he cooked or washed dishes, he would read the lectures at the same time.

He kept his married status a secret, knowing he could be deported if it became known. That led to some harassment from other Navy personnel.

“They would ask me to join them when they went out at nights and set me up with dates. But how could I? I was working all the time and besides, I was married. They called me a sissy, a queer.

“The words come out dispassionately. A brief scowl is the only hint of embarrassment. Supelana evenutally did confess the truth of his marital status. Because of his exemplary work, the Chief of Naval Personnel allowed him to stay in the counry.

He was transferred to the Pentagon, working with the Navy’s chief of information. At nights he worked for the Colonial Penn Insurance Group. The quality of his work was so impressive, he was offered a job by the company. “I told them I could not accept because once I left the Navy, I would be sent back to the Philippines.”

After working through the Congress and later the Secretary of the Navy to get private authorization to allow him citizenship, the company hired a law-yer to fight for him in court. It took four years to win the case. After leaving the Navy, Supelana came to Philadelphia, working for Hawthorne Advertising in Philadelphia. He later founded his own business, Cosmopolitan Advertising Inc.

Supelana uses his position in the business community to continue fighting for other Filipino-Americans. He battles against discrimination in Philadelphia as one of the 13 members of the Mayor’s Advisory Board for Asians. He is also heading up efforts to get full veterans benefits for Filipinos who fought for the U.S. in World War II.

His next goal is establishing a cultural center for Filipino-Americans. “I try to help people because of all the people who helped me,” said the man who has been supporting himself since he was 6.

“I have this dream of accomplishing something by helping people.”

PNAPA inducts new officers for 2016-2018

by: The Update Staff

The Philippine Nurses Association of Pennsylvania inducted their new set of officers for the years 2016 to 2018.  The event was held at the Radisson Hotel in beautiful Trevose, PA.

It was also the 4th Induction and Charity Ball of the organization.

President Nida Imperial bade goodbye to her fellow nurses in an emotional and inspiring speech and extolled the new officers of their responsibilities and the many new opportunities that confronts them.

Madelyn Yu, President-elect of the Philippine Nurses Association of America delivered a pep-talk on the importance of becoming a member of PNAPA and reminded the nurses to invite their fellow nurses for membership especially the new ones who just entered the profession.

She made notable mention of the work done by the PNAA through legislation and work place awareness as the medical and nursing profession are facing challenges in policies and adminstration that are happening in the hospital and healthcare industry.

President Nida Imperial took time to recognized the nurses that have made significant contributions to the PNAPA during the Presidential Awards ceremony during the program. Appreciation Awards and plaques were handed to the recipients.

The new president, just inducted is President Angelo Arocena delivered an inspiring message to PNAPA nurses and challenged supporters to stand alongside making commitments to the purposes and projects of the PNAPA.

Inducted into office were:

Angelo Arocena, President; Marylou S. Arocena, President-Elect; Grace Arnaiz, Vice President; Christina Rivera, Secretary; Michelle Derosa, Asst. Secretary; Ana McCormick, Treasurer; Aileen Bojko, Asst. Treasaurer; Sylvia Wood, Auditor; Citas Bowie, P.R.O.

The Executive Board members are: Clarinda Aquino, Medy Arevalo, Oliver Lopena, Ruth B. Luyun, Norma Yabut.

A strong team of Advisers were also inducted: Ferdinand Luyun (past president and founder), and past presidents: Lyn Javier and Nida Imperial