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Sep 28th
Home Sections NaFFAAgate The NaFFAA NEOs First Displayed their Racket at the 1997 Pasadena Tournament of Roses
The NaFFAA NEOs First Displayed their Racket at the 1997 Pasadena Tournament of Roses PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Saturday, 01 January 2011 18:27


Part Three of a Series on “Combating Corruption in the Community”


By Bobby “Rocky” Reyes


T he members of the Esclamado Clique of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA) committed their first major scam in 1997. The clique members, most of whom were the NaFFAA’s national executive officers (NEOs), first displayed their racket – even if nobody among them played tennis – at the 1997 Pasadena Tournament of Roses (PTR) where the Philippine Department of Tourism fielded twin floats that year.


This writer fought, as a crusading journalist, a long, lonely and bitter – and expensive – battle to forewarn the Filipino-American community of the NaFFAA NEOs-led looting of the fund-raising proceeds for the four Filipino floats fielded at the 1997 and 1998 editions of the PTR, which is billed as the world’s most-beautiful and–famous parade.


I have related the background stories of then my epic battle (against the Philippine Department of Tourism, the Philippine Consulate General and essentially the major players in the Filipino-American community in California and their allies in other cities in the United States) in the first two parts of this series:


Today Is the 14th Anniversary of the Philippine Scandal at the Pasadena Tournament of Roses


The History of the Tournament of Roses' "Filipino Scandal in the Wind"


R eaders are advised first to read the said two articles, so that they can know the modus operandi of a group of Filipino-American crooks that belonged to the national leadership of the NaFFAA.


My foes started calling me all names they could think of. Some of them even changed my nickname to “Rocky,” as they said that I was “rocking” the Filipino-American boat of unity and cultural cooperation with the American mainstream organizations. In turn I called sarcastically their boat the Filipino-American version of SS Titanic.


It seemed that I was almost a solitary voice in the Filipino-American wilderness, save for a few supporters like my then-literary mentor Fred Burce Bunao, Mar G. de Vera (my former boss at the Philippine Journal and Manila Standard publications) and others, many of whom preferred to remain anonymous. Many members of the Media Breakfast Club (MBC), which I founded in June 1993, preferred to remain supposedly “neutral” but many of them said behind my back that they could not understand my advocacy against a “golden opportunity for the Philippines to shine at the PTR parades.” The Filipino press and the Filipino-American media ignored our protest. The MBC members that hated my guts in going against the Filipino floats at the Pasadena parades eventually left the club and formed their own “media outreach club,” supposedly at the urging of Rusty Ricaforte, the then-Philippine tourism director for Los Angeles.


But in the end, poetic prevailed, as explained in Part One. The break-away faction of the MBC ended its competing weekly meetings in less-than two months and the “rebels” returned like prodigal sons and daughters to our club.


(To be continued . . .)


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Last Updated on Saturday, 01 January 2011 18:30

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