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Home Sections NaFFAAgate How Loida Lewis Got Dubbed “Snow White(wash)” and then “CinderLoida” in Ongoing NaFFAA Soap Opera
How Loida Lewis Got Dubbed “Snow White(wash)” and then “CinderLoida” in Ongoing NaFFAA Soap Opera PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - NaFFAAgate
Wednesday, 10 October 2007 17:38

This columnist has been the nemesis of the founding fathers of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA) for seven years and counting. I waged in May 2000 what started as a one-man "war" for reforms in the NaFFAA that was anchored on the ATIC slogan that I coined. ATIC, as in accountability, transparency, integrity and credibility.

 

In the ensuing brutal exchanges of charges, countercharges and insults often done online, NaFFAA national officers called me a "crazy troublemaker out to destroy the federation." They used also many names from A to Z – from as_hole (sic) to zealot. Ludy Corrales, the NaFFAA national treasurer, called me the incarnation of the devil and a terrorist, for allegedly spreading terror in the ranks of the NaFFAA members. I countered that the NaFFAA national officers were errorists (sic), as they compose a gang that could not shoot straight and could only do a comedy of errors. This writer called the then NaFFAA national chair, Loida Nicolas-Lewis, as "Snow White(wash)" and some of her fellow national executive officers (NEOs) as the Seven Dwarfs. For she kept on whitewashing the anomalies being done by some of her fellow NEOs, AKA the Seven Dwarfs.

Fil-Am Soap Opera

The clash for reforms within the NaFFAA has become like a Filipino-American soap opera. I dubbed it with a touch of satirical humor, "NaFFAA-ka-sakit, Kuya Eddie." (The name was lifted of course from Eddie Ilarde’s radio program in the 1960s up to the 1980s, "Napaka-sakit, Kuya Eddie.") This was after Dr. Eddie AAA Calderon of Minneapolis, Minnesota, kept on asking in the NaFFAA_forum@yahoogroups.com details of the crusade for reforms.

The campaign for reforms won a number of supporters, especially in the federation’s regional chapters. The NaFFAA’s officers in Region I (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the New England States) recognized in March 2001 my chairmanship of the Southern California chapter (Region IX). It was always my claim, as documented, that the NaFFAA national officers cheated in the election for the regional chair in October 2000 in Las Vegas, NV. The Region I officers recognized my chairmanship when my opponent, Mark Pulido (now a Cerritos School Board member), resigned as regional chairman in January 2002. The NaFFAA bylaws provided for the runner up in regional-chair elections to become the regional vice chairman. When Pulido resigned, I said that automatically I became the regional chair and to which the Region I state chairpersons agreed. But the NaFFAA national officers said that they already "amended" the bylaws and "deleted" that provision of automatic succession.

In August 2003, the NaFFAA chapter in the Midwest invited this writer to observe its regional convention in Michigan. In January 2006, I was invited also to participate in the NaFFAA regional convention in Tallahassee, FL, but I could not make it. In fact the NaFFAA chapter in Panama City, FL, made me its honorary cochairman.

A Surprise Invitation

People were surprised when Gil Mislang, the present NaFFAA Region IX chair, invited this writer to a luncheon meeting at his residence on March 11, 2006. The guest of honor was Ms. Lewis. She came in with the NaFFAA Chief of Staff Doy Heredia, who is also the federation’s Chief Operating Officer.

Among the other invited guests were then Consul General (now Ambassador to the United States) Willy C. Gaa, Deputy Consul General Ma. Hellen Barber and some 20 Filipino-American community leaders, almost all of whom were not members of the NaFFAA.

The gathering was also a reunion between then Consul General Gaa and Ms. Lewis, as they became friends when Mr. Gaa headed the Philippine Consulate General in New York in the late 1980s.

The meeting between Ms. Lewis and me was very cordial, as we are childhood friends. We both grew up in (now) Sorsogon City in the Bicol Region. (In fact my father, Dominador, was the lawyer of Ms. Lewis’ father, Francisco Nicolas. Both of them are now deceased.) In the United States, Ms. Lewis and I met in Las Vegas in the NaFFAA conventions in 2000 in Las Vegas and in Michigan in 2003.

There was a program after the luncheon. Ms. Lewis addressed the motley crowd of community leaders and the two Filipino diplomats. She invited them to attend the 7th NaFFAA Empowerment Conference and 4th Global Filipino Networking Convention at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu, HI, from Sept. 28-Oct. 1, 2006. She appealed for unity.

Invitation Not For Everyone

After Ms. Lewis finished with her speech, I asked whether the invitation to the coming Hawaiian convention of the NaFFAA applied to me. For I said that Ms. Lewis invited everybody to the event. I reminded Ms. Lewis that several NaFFAA regional leaders tried to arrange my participation in the NaFFAA national conventions in August 2002 and September 2004 in San Jose, CA, and Rosemont, IL, respectively. In both instances, the NaFFAA headquarters refused to permit me to attend the convention.

Ms. Lewis said that she would go back to her National Board and discuss the membership of the coalition that I represented. The membership in the NaFFAA of our coalition was terminated in April 2002, although records would show that the National Board failed to muster the required two-thirds (2/3) vote necessary for expelling members. We claimed that the expulsion proceeding was illegal because the Board did not conduct any hearing in the first place. (This writer never heard from Ms. Lewis again since that day in March 2006.)

Several community members wanted to know why the NaFFAA would expel 35 members (the number of delegates we fielded for the NaFFAA convention in Las Vegas, NV, in September 2000) if it is having a hard time in recruiting new members, especially in Southern California. Ms. Lewis explained that our coalition committed grave acts that were inimical to the interest of the federation.

After the short program, a networking session followed. Mr. Mislang, Ms. Lewis and I discussed the Kalayaan 2006 Philippine Independence Committee that I headed. Mr. Mislang said that after this writer was elected as the Kalayaan chairman, he asked Ms. Lewis if she would permit the NaFFAA chapter in Southern California to support it. Ms. Lewis encouraged Mr. Mislang and the other officers of the NaFFAA Region IX chapter to support the Kalayaan Steering Committee.

This columnist told Ms. Lewis in the presence of Gil Mislang and his wife, Violet, and my spouse, Ceny, that he would no longer call the NaFFAA chairperson as "Snow White(wash)." I said that probably this writer would call her now as "Cinderloida" (sic) as "the hour is coming and it is already eve." It is time for Ms. Lewis to step into the shoes of a true national leader and move fast if she wanted the Filipino-American community to attain national unity and empowerment. # # #



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Last Updated on Thursday, 11 October 2007 03:55
 
Comments (1)
1 Sunday, 24 May 2009 04:12
Is it true that Ms. Nicolas is not what she appears to be? That instead of the billionaire, she is a con artist?
I cant find any of the news about a DZRH report that her Fil Chinese investor partners in her Sorsogon Lewis College are suing for mismanagement of the school. Her brother runs the school.

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