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Aug 16th
Home Sections Sports Consul General Aragon Makes History at the Fil-Am Day at Dodgers Stadium (Now With Photo)
Consul General Aragon Makes History at the Fil-Am Day at Dodgers Stadium (Now With Photo) PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 24 April 2007 17:25

F ilipino Consul General Mary Jo Bernardo Aragon made history last July 1st during the Second Filipino-American Community Event at the Dodgers Stadium. She is the first woman consul general to throw a ceremonial first pitch at the Dodgers Stadium.

The paid attendance for the Dodgers' game against the San Diego Padres on July 1, 2007, was announced at 48,632. The Dodgers Stadium seats more than 55,000. The Dodgers won, five runs to nothing.

Ms. Christine Dy,an administrative officer of the Philippine Tourism Office in Los Angeles, also made history. She is the first Filipino to catch a ceremonial ball during the first-pitch at the pregame program. (More details in a separate story that will be accompanied by pictures taken by several Filipino-American press photographers.)

The costs of the tickets priced each at $40 (Field Box), $35 (Right Pavilion) and $25 (Infield Reserve) or a total of $5,800 are to be paid by the corporate sponsor, the New York Life Insurance Company's agency of Elizabeth C. Watermeier.

The community sponsor, the U.S.-Philippines Expo at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in Pomona, CA, on Aug. 4-5, 2007, will help promote the Fil-Am Community Events at the Dodger Stadium.

The Los Angeles Dodgers actually gave a rebate (per ticket) $20 for the Field Box seats, $12.50 for the Infield Reserve seats and $15 for the Right Pavilion seats.

The July 1, 2007, game was dedicated by the Filipino-American organizers to senior citizens and veterans, irrespective of their nationality. The First Filipino-American Community Night at the Dodgers was held on July 24, 2006. The Hon. Willy C. Gaa, the then consul general (and acting ambassador to the United States) threw the ceremonial first pitch.



P hoto shows (from left) Philippine Tourism Administrative Officer Christine Dy, FACLA Vice President Fender Santos, Philippine Assistant Secretary for Tourism Faustino Dy, Jr., Ms. Elizabeth C. Watermeier of the New York Life (corporate sponsor), Ruben Panopio, Jr., founder of the US-Philippines Expo at the Pomona Fairplex on Aug. 4-5, 2007 (community sponsor) and Consul General Mary Jo Bernardo Aragon. (Please look at the Dodgers Giant Screen at the background that highlighted the "Filipino-American Community Day" and which was flashed on at regular interval during the game. Photo courtesy of Albert Vargas of the Philippine Press Photographers-USA.)

During last year's maiden Filipino-American community event, Ms. Chelsea Emata, a Filipino-American entertainer, sang the Philippine national anthem, which was the first time the Tagalog anthem was performed in a Major League stadium.  The Sining Kambayoka presented also an 18-minute cultural program before the July 24, 2006, baseball game.

The proceeds of the fundraising deal with the Dodgers will go to the building of a Gawad Kalinga village in
the Philippines that will come complete with a baseball field. The annual event at the Dodgers Stadium is geared to revive baseball in the Philippines. Last year, the coalition raised only $1,517 from the sale of Dodger tickets and an initial donation of $1,500 from the Kalayaan 2006 Steering Committee. Both amounts were used to purchase the initial tickets for the July 1, 2007, game valued at $5,800, with the "discount" given by the Dodgers that was worth $2,750. All in all, the discounted tickets would mean to the Fil-Am coalition a 47.41% return on investment .

The Los Angeles Dodgers organization has given also the Filipino-American coalition a second date in 2007 as a fundraising event. The Third Filipino-American Community Night will be held during a regular night game between the Dodgers and the Houston Astros on Aug. 16, 2007. Game time is 7:10 p.m. This game will feature the Filipino cultural program as a pre-game attraction.

The organizing committee for the 2007 twin Filipino-American events at the Dodgers Stadium is composed of Bobby Reyes (the MBC representative), Rick Munda (representing the ANCOP Foundation of the Gawad Kalinga), Tourism Deputy Director Manny Ilagan (representing the Philippine Consulate General and the Philippine Tourism Office), Ms. Techie Emperador-Quiatchon (representing the Kalayaan 2006 Dream Team),  Carlos Benedicto (representing the Filipino-American employees at the City of Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles) and Fender Santos (representing the FACLA and the Philippine Town, Inc.). Ms. Quiatchon is the treasurer of the group. The committee members said that they will expand the composition of the organizing committee, so as to accommodate other Filipino-American associations that want to raise funds also, using the Dodger games as the fundraising events.

More announcements will be made by the organizing committee in the coming weeks. It hopes to announce the participation of prospective corporate sponsors and associations that they are inviting to help the revival of baseball in the Philippines by constructing Gawad Kalinga villages with a baseball field. The committee can be reached by e-mail at # # #

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 February 2009 02:33

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