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Apr 01st
Third Letter of Lolo Bobby Reyes to the PeDRO PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 29 March 2011 11:22
March 12, 2011 Dear PeDRO Chairman Emeritus Bing de la Vega: Thank you for your reply. I think that we should start to call you as the "Chairman Emeritus," so as to distinguish your title from Chairman Gil Mislang. 1.0 RE: Reinventing Fund Raising for Fil-Am Communities. For so many years now, I had been writing and talking about the need to "reinvent" Filipino-American efforts to raise funds for the Filipino-American community and NGOs and their concerns/causes in the Philippines. Our approaches were always parochial in nature or style or approach. 1.1 Our task has been compounded by the bitter experience of entities like the Wells Fargo Bank Foundation that gave $300-K to the NaFFAA and the NaFFAA national executive officers have refused to account for the grant money. Or, as I related in this article, CA AG’s Investigation of Dodger Dream Foundation Bolsters Case Against NaFFAA’s Exorbitant Consultants’ Fees URL: 1.1.1 As I wrote in the article, “This writer has exposed the financial abuses in the NaFFAA, like when it paid $132,878 in consultants’ fees in 2002. To read this charge of impropriety and other ‘sins’ of then NaFFAA national chairwoman, Loida Nicolas Lewis, please go to The point of my contention was: How can a business that had gross revenue in 2002 of $445,783 spend $132,878 or 29.81% for consultants’ fees?” 2.0 Almost all of our community organizations keep on trying to ask money from Corporate America to fund almost-exclusively Filipino or Filipino-American events, principally consisting of dinners-and-balls, festivals and what not. More-often than not, some mainstream companies give but they give bigger amounts to Asian-American (and not merely Filipino or Chinese or Japanese) ethnic festivals or events. 2.1 The Chinese Americans got wiser and have renamed the annual "Chinese-American Expo" (three-day show time) at the Pomona Fairgrounds every 3rd week of January to "Asian-American Expo." The event now draws more-than 200,000 visitors, as against the less-than 7,000 that went to the last Filipino-American Expo (also held at the same Pomona venue in a 2-day period). It is elementary, Mr. Watson, to conclude that Mainstream Advertisers would like to promote in the bigger event than in a Filipino parochial event that draws a very-small crowd. Now, even if a Filipino-American dinner-and-ball function succeeds in selling 2,000 dinner tickers, how would 2,000 compare to 200,000? 2.2 The Chinese-American organizers issue Event Guides and their equivalent of the Filipino-American "Souvenir Program" but in a quantity of tens of thousands of copies (versus the 300 to 500 copies for Fil-Am events). 3.0 Even for the events held in the Philippine Independence Month of June, each activity or function tries to solicit on its own, instead of presenting to Mainstream Corporate America a coordinated series of events that also highlight the U.S.-Philippines Relations and the contributions of many countries (such as Spain, China, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.) in the making of the Filipino heritage. 4.0 Suggested Ways of Raising Funds for the Proposed "PeDRO-led Earthquake-Preparedness Program and Building Inspection/Retrofitting Initiative in the Philippines" 4.1 It is respectfully suggested that we enlist the aid of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, the British Club (Association?) of the Philippines, the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and other entities participated in by multinational companies. 4.2 It will be easy to justify the expatriates' or multinational firms' participation, as they will also be enhancing the quake-preparedness programs that some of them are already doing for their thousands of employees and dependents. 4.3 We have to involve social clubs like the Lions, the Jaycees, the Rotarians, the Kiwanis, etc., because they can match the PeDRO-raised funds on a dollar-for-dollar basis. So, if we raise $10-K, the fund automatically becomes $20-K. 4.4 Doing the proposed project with the American Red Cross will enable the initiative to get support funds from the International Red Cross or for Muslim-Mindanao operations, from the International Red Crescent organization. 4.5 We have to appeal to Overseas-Filipino associations and federations, even if they are not situated in Southern CA. Because the disastrous effects of a catastrophic earthquake or calamity that we are trying to minimize will affect ALL people, whether the victims are kin of Overseas Filipinos in the U.S.A. or not. It will only a question of the judicious use of time, strategy, accountability and transparency, among other basic factors. 4.6 There are other imaginative ideas on fundraising that I can present to you but since I do not have a monopoly of bright ideas, I will end now this presentation. For your perusal and consideration, Mabuhay, Lolo Bobby M. Reyes

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Quote of the Day

Benjamin Franklin said in 1817: In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. But never in his wildest dream did he realize that by 2010, death would be synonymous with taxes~Bobby M. Reyes