Top 10 Entries Chosen for “Letters to my Parents” Contest
The Ten Finalists will read their letters during FilCom Sunday’s “Pasasalamat” on November 24 at the FilCom Center
The FilCom Center, Sariling Gawa, and Reiyukai America are leased to announce the ten finalists of the first “Letter to My Parents Contest in Hawai’i. The top ten finalists who will read their letters during FilCom Sunday’s “Pasasalamat” on November 24 are:
John Paul Banasihan
Angelica Marie A. Fernandez
Maria Andrea Jurado
Fely Marie Princess Magaoay
Laetitia Marie Nazareno Mahoney
Desiree Joi Mateo
All ten finalists will receive a $1,000 scholarship from Argosy University. A panel of judges will decide the winner of the $1,000 prize.
The intent of the project is to celebrate the role of the family as a basis of society, since it is family unity that helps people grow as both individuals and as members of society. Because we are living in a more individualistic society where the role of the family is changing, the goal of this contest is to encourage the youth to acknowledge the role of their parents and/or guardians in their lives.
The ten finalists are individuals between the ages of 16 to 21 residing in the State of Hawai`i, or those born during the years 1992 to 1997. Some finalists chose one or a combination of Philippine languages and provided an English translation.
The first “Letter to my Parents” contest was organized by FilCom Center , Reiyukai America and Sariling Gawa. Sponsors are Budget Color Litho and Argosy University.
About Reiyukai America
Reiyukai (it reads as: ray-yu-ka-i) is an international non-profit, non-religious multi-cultural humanitarian organization with over 4 million members in more than 25 countries and regions worldwide, including the Philippines. Founded in 1930 in Japan, Reiyukai is committed to the idea that a change within an individual leads to a change in society. Through personal development, kindness towards others, and a deep respect towards one’s ancestors, Reiyukai encourages everyone towards the path of peace within the community.
Reiyukai America is convinced through the “Letter to My Parents” Contest in Hawai’i many of its youth will have an opportunity to think about their family/ohana, about who they are, from where they come from, and where they are going–thus becoming the community leaders for the next generations to come.
FilCom Center Hosts a Roundtable Discussion on Philippine Disaster Response and Preparedness
Consuelo Foundation will describe their efforts at responding to immediate recovery needs and long term strategies to rebuild communities
The Filipino Community Center (FilCom) will host a roundtable discussion, entitled “Philippine Disaster Response and Preparedness” on November 23, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the FilCom Center in Waipahu. As one of the designated recipients of the statewide fundraising efforts to help the typhoon victims, the FilCom has partnered with the Consuelo Foundation which has pledged to match all monies donated to FilCom up to $2 million. Consuelo Foundation President Jon Matsuoka will be one of the speakers at the forum and will describe their efforts at responding to immediate recovery needs and their long-term strategies to rebuild communities.
One of the questions asked by most donors is where and how the funds will be used. This forum will attempt to answer all these concerns, and how we can be better prepared for future disasters.
This event occurs at a time when the Philippines is reeling from this year’s back-to-back natural and man-made disasters.
The roundtable discussion aims to explore ways on how the Filipino community in Hawaii can be better partners in the Philippines’ disaster preparedness. While it acknowledges the continued generosity and patriotism of the community, the Filipino Community Center believes that it can channel the efforts of the community from “knee jerk” response to raise funds each time there is a disaster towards more sustainable initiatives on disaster preparedness.
Among the other speakers are Danny Urquico of the Child & Family Service Philippines, Inc., Dr. Raymund Liongson of the University of Hawaii at Leeward, Dr. Jim Roumasset of the College of Social Sciences at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Carolyn Weygan-Hildebrand, President of the UP Alumni Association of Hawaii and Planner with the City & County of Honolulu, Bob Agres, former Executive Director of the Hawaii Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development, Serafin Colmenares Jr. of the Congress of Visayan Organizations, and Dr. Belinda Aquino, professor emeritus at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The event will be moderated by Maita Milallos, formerly a senior analyst and project coordinator at the Office of the Philippine President, a position she held for ten years prior to moving to Hawaii recently.
Attendees will include the Philippine Consulate General Julius Torres, Edmund Aczon, Chair of the Filipino Community Center Board and several Hawaii community leaders.
Filipino Community Center Partners with the Consuelo Foundation to Help Typhoon Victims
The Filipino Community (FilCom) will contribute their donations to the Consuelo Foundation, who will match it, dollar for dollar, up to $2 million.
The Consuelo Foundation is currently responding to immediate recovery needs in the affected areas of the Visayas through their partners and affiliates. Their core long term strategy is to work to rebuild communities in ways that create safe and healthy environments for children and families.
The FilCom is using donations to partner with trusted Philippine-based organizations to devise comprehensive approaches that include the restoration of housing, livelihoods, psychosocial and physical health, and the promotion of child and family welfare and safety.
“The Consuelo Foundation is deeply moved and saddened by the recent tragedy that has affected the lives of millions of Filipinos. Many of them are people we have worked with for decades,” said Jon Matsuoka, president and CEO of the Consuelo Foundation. “In response to this disaster we have pledged to match all monies donated to the FilCom Center up to $2 million. If, for example, you donate $100 to FilCom, you are really donating $200 to Philippine disaster victims.”
In response to this announcement, all 11 banks in the state designated the Filipino Community Center (FilCom Center) as one of its 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations as recipients of donations collected. With the numerous natural calamities that have struck the Philippines in recent years, the FilCom Center has become accustomed to raising money for disaster victims. “While we are deeply saddened by yet another devastating storm, we are thankful for the leadership of Hawaii’s banks and the opportunity to partner with the Consuelo Foundation, who will accept donations from FilCom and match each dollar,” says Edmund Aczon, FilCom’s board chairman.
Since Monday, November 18, members of the public are able to donate money at any branch of every bank in the state, providing Hawaii residents hundreds of safe, convenient and trusted locations to make contributions.
Participating banks include American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Bank of the Orient, Central Pacific Bank, Finance Factors, First Hawaiian Bank, Hawaii National Bank, HomeStreet Bank, Ohana Pacific Bank, Pacific Rim Bank and Territorial Savings Bank-all of whom make up the 11 member banks of the Hawaii Bankers Association.
“We are deeply concerned about the welfare of the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines,” said Edward Pei, Executive Director of the Hawaii Bankers Association. “We are pleased to do our part by accepting donations from our generous and caring community members, and forwarding those donations to organizations that can provide direct assistance.”
Hawaiian Electric Industries – along with its subsidiaries Hawaiian Electric, Hawai’i Electric Light, Maui Electric, and American Savings Bank – is also contributing $100,000 to the Filipino Community Center (FilCom Center) for relief efforts in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan. The donation from the HEI Charitable Foundation will be doubled to $200,000 by the Consuelo Foundation, which has pledged to match up to $2 million in donations toward Philippine relief efforts.
In addition to the $100,000 donation, the HEI Charitable Foundation will match personal donations made by employees of HEI and its subsidiaries to relief efforts. Alternatively, donations made directly to the FilCom Center will be matched by the Consuelo Foundation.
“We appreciate the good work of the Consuelo Foundation in partnership with the FilCom Center to support this humanitarian cause,” said Connie Lau, HEI president and CEO. “Our thoughts are with the people impacted by this devastating disaster – those in the Philippines and their families here in Hawai’i.”
Other organizations such as the student groups at UH Manoa, Leeward Community College and others, as well as corporations like Downtown Capital LLC have likewise pledged donations in response to the announcement made by Consuelo Foundation to match all donations made to FilCom.
In the meantime, the FilCom office has been inundated by phone calls and emails from all sectors of the community requesting information on how to help or how to make in-kind and cash donations to the victims of the Typhoon Haiyan, including residents of American Samoa, Australia and the US Mainland-mostly those who have visited the FilCom while on holiday in Hawai`i.
Maita Milallos – Former Director of the Office of Philippine President Serves as Moderator for Forum on Disaster Response and Preparedness
Prior to moving to Hawaii in 2010, Maita served as Director for the Office of the Philippine President for ten years where she supervised a 14-member team tasked with coordinating research projects on counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism, transnational crime and U.S.-Philippine security relations.
Her reports to the Philippine President include initial assessment of joint military exercises with the U.S. for presentation to the Philippine senate committee on foreign relations. Her team also evaluated a communist counterinsurgency plan and assisted in defining conditions for the opening of peace negotiations with the rebel group. Part of her role was to facilitate a technical working group to assess the operational effectiveness of the national police in addressing transnational crime.
She also led a team of nine researchers coordinating government and private sector programs and projects on critical infrastructure protection where she conceptualized training and seminars and coordinated with foreign missions in identifying relevant training programs.
As the head of the Secretariat, she organized a U.S.-Philippine war game that focused on government’s contingency plans for terrorist acts against power plants. She also planned and organized training for mid-level government executives on developing their critical infrastructure protection plans and provided oversight to the formulation and writing of a national plan to protect critical infrastructure that was incorporated into the government’s plan to prevent terrorism.
She also served briefly as Defense Research Officer for the National Defense College of the Philippines where sheprepared briefing materials on the Spratlys, Mindanao conflict, the ASEAN Regional Forum, and civil-military relations.
She currently writes for the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle where she contributes articles and feature stories on events, people and ideas affecting the Filipino-American community in Hawaii.
She received a MSc in Strategic Studies in 2009 from Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore and attended the East-West Center’s Asia-Pacific Leadership Program in 2006. She is an alumna of the University of the Philippines, Diliman where she earned her graduate degree in International Studies in 2000 and her BA in Social Science in 1996.
She is also known as Maria A. R. Merry.
Filipino Nurses Organization of Hawaii (FNOH)
The Filipino Nurses Organization of Hawaii donated $2,000 to the recent FilCom fundraising event honoring island icon, Emme Tomimbang. In addition, through the leadership of some of its members-particularly Agnes Reyes and Amy Guillermo-the FNOH raised over $16,000 from the Silent Auction component of the fundraising event last November 9, 2013.
The Filipino Nurses Organization of Hawai`i is the oldest known organization of Filipino Nurses in Hawai`i that traces its roots as far back as 1931, when the Filipino Nurses Club of Hawai`i was founded during the plantation era. In 1973, pioneer leader – and the first Registered Nurse in Hawai`i – Ines V. Cayaban, reorganized and renamed the Filipino Nurses Club of Hawai`i, to the Filipino Nurses Organization of Hawai`i (FNOH).
The Mission of the Filipino Nurses Organization of Hawai`i is to provide leadership and support to its members with a special focus towards Filipino nurses in their various settings as they develop, implement, manage, and improve health care services that will contribute to the delivery of cost-effective, high quality health care in Hawai`i.
The Vision of the Filipino Nurses Organization of Hawai`i is for the FNOH to continue to be recognized as a professional nursing organization with a Filipino cultural heritage, meeting the needs of its members, affiliates, associates, and the community it serves.
As the organization continues to evolve, many traditional practices were set in place to further support its mission and vision. In fostering high standards of nursing, one such organizational practice is to recognize and reward Filipino nurses who have exhibited exemplary performance and achievement in four areas:
Excellence in Clinical Nursing Practice
Excellence in Nursing Leadership
Excellence in Nursing Education
Excellence in Nursing Research
One other traditional recognition award is the biennial Ines Cayaban Distinguished Service Excellence Award. This recognition is awarded to Filipino nurses who have distinctly contributed towards bettering the structure, procedures and processes that enhance shared accountability for the organization’s continuing existence, in adherence to the Mission and Vision of the FNOH.
In keeping with the organization’s Mission and Vision, the FNOH continues to focus on its goals of stimulating, promoting, and fostering professional enhancement of Filipino nurses and other members of the health care team in health care and business settings, by providing scholarships and mentorship. Hence, the FNOH established a scholarship program, where the recipients who meet a pre-determined criteria, are selected each year through the Hawai`i Community Foundation.
To further stimulate and motivate our next generations to choose a career in nursing, a reaffirmation of their chosen profession is lauded as the FNOH continues its longstanding annual tradition of recognizing and celebrating the hard work and sacrifices of new Filipino nurse graduates, and also nurses who have recently passed the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-LPN exams, or those who sought to further validate their knowledge and skills through nursing specialty certifications, and/or those nurses who have attained advanced degrees or higher education in nursing.
This year 2013 marks the 40th year of the Filipino Nurses Organization of Hawai`i as it continues to provide leadership and support to its members, in what is considered to be one of the noblest professions. This landmark celebratory event took place last August 17, 2013 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
Its Annual Nursing Excellence Recognition Banquets are also our major fundraisers. Proceeds are applied towards the FNOH’s Scholarship Program, as well as towards supporting FNOH-endorsed community service programs/
The Filipino Nurses Foundation was incorporated as a Hawai`i non-profit corporation on July 17, 2009. It was granted its tax-exempt status pursuant to IRS Section 501(c)(3) on February 11, 2010, retroactive to the Foundation’s date of incorporation of July 17, 2009. All activities of the Foundation are restricted to charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The inception of the Filipino Nurses Foundation involved a lot of hard work and perseverance, through the tireless efforts of FNOH Past President Nancy Atmospera-Walch, a critical component in the founding of the Filipino Nurses Foundation.
This year’s 40th Anniversary of the Filipino Nurses Organization of Hawai`i also coincides with its biennial installation of its Board Officers and Directors through the dynamic leadership of outgoing President Elsa Talavera, who served as President from 1997-1999, and again from 2011-2013.
For 2013-2014, the FNOH welcomed incoming President Luanne Long, as she takes her place at the helm of the FNOH, after having served two terms as President of the Hawai`i Nurses’ Association, from 2004-2009.
The Incoming Officers and Directors of the Filipino Nurses Organization of Hawai`i 2013-2015 are as follows:
President Luanne H. Long, RN
1st Vice President Bethuel Curameng, RN
2nd Vice President Juliet Raymundo, RN
Secretary Melissa Rose Bagayas, RN
Board of Directors (in alphabetical order)
PP Margie Berueda, RN
PP Lolita Ching, RN, BSN, MSN, CCRN
Aurora Curameng, RN, BSN, BC-Gerontology, RAC-CT
Amelia Guillermo. RN
PP Mario Palma, RN, BSN, CNN
Ester Ramos, RN
PP Agnes Reyes, RN, CMC
PP Josephine Rojas, RN
Charmen Valdez, RN
PP Nancy Atmospera-Walch, RN, BSN, MPH, NHA, MCHES, CCHN, CMC
Council of Past Presidents
40 Years of Moving the Organization Forward
1973-1975 Ines V. Cayaban (Founder)
1975-1977 Ines V. Cayaban
1977-1979 Merriam Tayabas
1979-1981 Beatrice Ramos-Razon
1981-1983 Evelyn Ramos
1983-1985 Beatrice Ramos-Razon
1985-1987 Linda Lavarias
1987-1989 Estela Bugtong
1989-1991 Perie Danao
1991-1993 Luz Gantan
1993-1995 Perie Danao
1995-1997 Lolita Ching
1997-1999 Elsa Talavera
1999-2001 Margie Berueda
2001-2003 Mario Palma
2003-2005 Violeta Arnobit
2005-2007 Agnes Reyes
2007-2009 Josie Rojas
2009-2011 Nancy Atmospera-Walch
2011-2013 Elsa Talavera
[PP = Past President]
The President’s Message
The first group of survivors to be brought in at Villamor Airbase were children, the elderly and the disabled. “We need formula,” says one volunteer, “the youngest orphan is only three months old.” Where will the all go, these orphans, I ask. She shrugs. Many more were brought in as the days passed and tent cities started to sprout near the airport.
The blame game was also rampant, especially when a prominent CNN reporter showed the world the conditions in the affected areas. Certain politicians were also quick to stamp their names on relief goods. It was particularly mind boggling to see the country’s vice president’s name on a small pack of sanitary napkins.
What was planned as a short respite from the day to day stress of running the FilCom, turned into something else. My iPad was my lifeline to keep pace with the developments in Hawaii as the FilCom board led by our Chair ramped up fundraising initiatives for the typhoon victims. I am glad to be back and heartened by the generosity of Hawaii’s folks and the response of the rest of the world to this unprecedented catastrophe.