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Jun 25th
Home Sections MiscellaNEWS Report on the First-ever “Bayanihan Sa Amerika” In Los Angeles
Report on the First-ever “Bayanihan Sa Amerika” In Los Angeles PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 11 October 2007 02:57

Los Angeles, CA, 11 October 2007, MabuhayRadio News Bureau

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), in cooperation with the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles (PCGENLA), conducted the "Bayanihan sa Amerika" Conference at the New Otani Hotel. The conference was attended by more-than 120 participants representing 89 Filipino-American organizations based in Southern California and Nevada. It was held last Sunday, Oct. 7, 2007.

Similar conferences will be held in San Francisco, New York, and Chicago this month. Editor's Note: For the photographs taken during the conference, please click on the picture below.

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Consul General Mary Jo Aragon welcomed the participants to the first-ever "Bayanihan sa Amerika" conference, and expressed appreciation for the high turnout of participants. In his message to the participants, which was read by Consul General Aragon, Ambassador Willy C. Gaa encouraged Filipino associations and community centers in the US to continue to strengthen their ties with the motherland.

At the start of the plenary session, Consul General Aragon, Tourism Director Annie Cuevas and Trade Representative Archimedes Gomez briefed the participants on the ongoing projects of the Philippine government and the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles, and updated them about the positive economic developments in the Philippines.

Geminiano Arre talked on the relevance and challenges of Filipino community centers and associations in the United States, and shared how the Filipino Community in Honolulu, Hawaii succeeded in raising funds for the establishment of a community center there. He challenged the Filipino organizations to go beyond organizing beauty pageants and induction balls by initiating socially relevant and civic-oriented programs.

Ms. Linda Nietes exhorted participants to instill Filipino values among second-generation Filipino Americans and strengthen their social and cultural ties with the motherland by, among other interventions, encouraging them to read books about the Philippines. She challenged the audience to demand from US public libraries the regular procurement of Philippine books as part of their international collections.


Winston Emano of the Association for the Advancement of Fil-Am Arts and Culture presented how his organization bridges the cultural and generation gap among different generations of Filipinos in the United States, and promotes a greater appreciation for Philippine culture and arts among mainstream American audiences. He lamented that although Filipino Americans are increasingly being noticed by mainstream American media, there is much to be done to present an accurate picture of their glowing achievements and positive contributions to American society.

Joel Jacinto of the Search to Involve Pilipino Americans suggested fundraising strategies and financial planning for Filipino organizations. He presented the art and science of fundraising, including its technical and qualitative aspects, and highlighted some sustainable programs among the community organizations in Los Angeles.

Rick Munda shared ANCOP-Gawad Kalinga’s success in getting wide support from both Filipino and American mainstream organizations for Gawad Kalinga’s livelihood and housing programs and models in the Philippines.

The keynote speaker for the conference was Congressman Hermilando Mandanas of Batangas. He praised the Overseas Filipinos for their hard work and dedication, and for being credible agents of change in Philippine society. He promoted the concept of patriotic bonds to spur economic growth and to ensure a more equitable distribution of wealth in the country.

The succeeding workshops provided the participants the opportunity to share their insights on the next steps the Philippine government and the Filipino organizations in the United States should take to address organizational concerns, strengthen the visibility of Filipino Americans in the US, and contribute to the economic and social development of the Philippines. The general consensus reached by the workshop participants was to work towards making the Philippines a developed country. The participants also agreed that the Filipino community organizations must coordinate regularly and cooperate more closely so that the Filipino Community will finally be recognized as a force to reckon with in American politics. The participants agreed that the gains of the conference should be sustained through follow-up meetings among participants. The role of the CFO was also clarified, and various recommendations were presented, including focusing on donor cultivation and financial resources that will best impact the programming of Filipino organizations. The participants agreed also on the creation of a CFO clearinghouse to find out what resources are available and to provide opportunities to pull resources together. # # #

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 October 2007 06:39

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