8th Pamana Heritage Awards
in conjunction with the
Filipino American History Month
FOR PHOTO SLIDESHOW, CLICK: PHOTOS AT THE EVENT.
We want to thank those who came to the Pamana/Fil-Am History Month event on Oct. 21, 2017, Saturday at Wyndham Hotel. It was sponsored by the Filipino American National Historical Society Rio Grande (FANHS RG) in cooperation with the Filipino American Community Council (FACC). The event was FREE, through the auspices of the two organizations, donors and advertisers.
(NOTE: Double-click on photos to get larger images.)
Dely gave the welcome address about Pamana and Pearl gave a glimpse of history on the coming of Filipinos to the US and NM. October is designated as the Filipino American History Month when the first Filipinos landed in Morro Bay (San Luis Obispo county, California) in October 1587.
The event was attended by around 106 people including former Rio Rancho Mayor Tom Swisstack who assisted Pearl in handing the awards. Some graduates who were not able to come were those attending universities out of state. Others who are going to UNM or CNM were either working, having exams, or out of town. They were represented by relatives or friends who received their souvenir t-shirts.
Thanks to emcees/presenters: Mirinisa and Bianca, invocation leader – Heddy, presenters – Nita, Gloria, & Ted. The awardees gave their acceptance speeches.
Acknowledgements: Keanna and Kim for singing the National Anthems (US & Philippines), Filipino Performing Arts Group: Sean, Angelo, Malaya, Mary, Gloria, Ashley, Miracle, Jasmine Q, Franz and John. Videographers: Scott & Rod, Photographers: Yssa, Elvie & Jennylou. Soundman: Jimmy. Copy editor – Rand, Ushers: Ednalyn, Vilma, Elvie, & Lee.
Special thanks to Mary Ann Lacida of Print Stop who donated part of the printing cost of the souvenir program.
To the Wyndham Staff: Dominick Gutierrez and Clarissa Baca and the staff for making extra food and for the efficient handling of the event.
The awardees (given to adults) received a plaque from FANHS RG.
- Perla King – Personal Achievement/Historical Contribution. Pearl (as she’s known to us), our humble FANHS RG president, has chaired many Pamana Award events during her tenure (2009 to present) and has represented New Mexico in many FANHS National Conferences. This year, the FANHS RG Executive Committee salutes her achievements – a recognition long overdue for a leader who always wanted to be in the background. It was during her presidency that we accomplished two major projects we thought would be impossible to achieve: Our Rio Grande Chapter hosted the 2012 FANHS National Conference in Albuquerque attended by Filipinos from 30 FANHS chapters all over the US and the publication of the first book about Filipinos in New Mexico (The Filipino American Experience in New Mexico) which was dormant for eight years and finally printed in 2014. She is also a board of director of the Filipino American Foundation of New Mexico and chairperson of its Scholarship Committee. At 65, she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, among her many degrees.
- Maj. Richard Luena, USAF (Ret) – Community Service – Veterans Affairs. Richard has been a board of director of FAFNM and the liaison officer to the veterans, particularly Bataan veterans, for many years. He is also a member of the Bataan Corregidor Memorial Foundation of New Mexico and was the vice-president when he spearheaded the 75th Anniversary of the Surrender of Bataan in Albuquerque which was attended by veterans nationwide. It was a significant event because most of our Bataan veterans have passed away and this might had been the last event when the remaining veterans from other states came together, a gift of time and comaraderie – the best gift Richard (and other volunteers) could give our heroes. His passion in helping our veterans constantly reminds us that we should never forget those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.
- Jennylou Pangilinan-Riel – Educational Contribution. Who would have thought that this Filipina Math and Robotics teacher would come to New Mexico and help her robotics team, in a predominantly minority high school in Bernalillo, win first place at the state level in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest? In the US, we have a shortage of Math and Science majors in college but before we can motivate our students to fill this need, we must have teachers like Jennylou who can inspire and make this happen. Read more from an article in Albuquerque Journal HERE.
Manoa Youth Awardee/Honorable Mention:
The Manoa Youth Award is an integral part of the Pamana Award event and is given to a Filipino American HIGH SCHOOL student in New Mexico. The award is given in the spirit of the late Manoa Alcantara Jojola, son of Dr. Dely Alcantara and Dr. Ted Jojola of the Manoa Foundation. The awardee must have excelled in academics, community service and/or participated in activities to promote Filipino culture and who demonstrates pride in their culture through expressive and creative arts. The awardee received $500 from the scholarship fund of the Manoa Foundation and a plaque from FANHS RG. The runners up (honorable mentions) received $200 scholarships and certificates of achievement from the Manoa Foundation.
This year (2017), the Manoa Foundation recognizes the contribution of five Filipino high school students who have been active members of the Filipino performing groups for four to seven years (averaging 40 to 50 hours per year of practices and performances). They were members of the Filipino American Foundation of New Mexico (FAFNM) Cultural Dance Group until it was dissolved in February 2017. They are now either with the: Ethan Sabay Philippine Folkloric Group (ESPFG) and/or the Filipino Performing Arts Group (FPAG). As performers, they have helped in raising funds for FAFNM, including college scholarship funds, and for disaster relief funds in the Philippines. They have been ambassadors of our Filipino community in many cultural events in New Mexico and are role models for the community.
Miracle McCastle – Awardee. Miracle (16, 11th Grade) has been dancing for more than seven years. She has also participated at the Santacruzan almost every year. This year, she was the Reyna Elena. For 3 years (from 2013 to mid-2016), she was not only a dancer but also the lead kulintang (an indigenous musical instrument from Southern Philippines) musician for the group. During that time, she was the youngest (started when she was 12 years old) of the only 5 kulintang musicians (all 4 adults) in New Mexico. (She is now joined by three new young musicians.) She was the first and only Filipino to hold a kulintang recital in New Mexico (through the New Mexico Arts Apprenticeship program, see video links) which introduced this indigenous music to elementary students in Rio Rancho. She is a member of both FPAG and ESPFG. She is also recognized for her leadership (student government) and creative and athletic talents (choir and cheerleading). She volunteered in distributing care packages for the veterans in the past.
Watch the 2015 Kulintang Recital (Miracle) from youtube by clicking on the links:
(NOTE: We are not including schools and family information for existing students on social media postings.)
- Angelo Egrubay (17, 12th Grade) has been dancing for six years (now with FPAG). He was always willing to teach new members the dances he had learned. He is the assistant choreographer who took over the choreography for male dances when the main choreographer was undergoing medical treatment for months. He volunteered distributing care packages for the veterans in the past. He loves boxing.
- Mary Josephine Hollins (17, 12th Grade) has been dancing for four years (now with FPAG). She is a co-founder of the Black Student Union at her school. She is a member of the Students without Border Club that discusses world events and raises funds. Last May-June, she was one of the 10 students picked to travel to France. She loves to run and is a member of the Track Team.
- Ashley Ysabelle A. Leonen (18, 12th Grade) has been dancing for four years (now with FPAG). While still in high school, she has been taking college classes at the Central New Mexico (CNM) Community College to advance and get ahead with her college credits. As an aspiring dentist, she is currently taking prerequisites at CNM for dentist classes at UNM. In her school, she is the co-founder of the Asian American Club. This year, they plan on hosting events, partnering with community, opening for cultural awareness and much more. She is a writer and creates music as well as poetry and is also a guitar player and a singer.
- Francisco (Franz) Soriano (19 as of Oct 17, 12th Grade) has been dancing for six years (now with FPAG). He was one of the few Filipino teens in Albuquerque who took part in organizing fund raising projects for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda (which happened in November 2013 in the Visayas, Philippines), on their own (aside from the Benefit Show by FAFNM).
Filipino Graduates of Spring 2016/Spring & Summer 2017
To emphasize the value of education, we recognized our recent graduates from high school and higher education. We gave them souvenir t-shirts “Proud Filipino American graduate”.
Our proud Fil-Am graduates:
Ronadel Ronquillo, Doctorate of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities campus), May 2017, (Manoa Youth Awardee, 2005). Represented by Mom, Edna.
Masters & College
- Princeton Earl King: College (May 2016), UNM Business Administration in Financial Management, summa cum laude and Masters (May 2017) – Business Administration in Financial Management, UNM Anderson School of Management, graduated with high honors (4.07 GPA). Now in Texas. Represented by Mom, Pearl.
- Michael Natanauan-Lopez – Highland University of NM, Masters in Special Education (Dec. 2016)
- Louis (Ace) Leonen – UNM, Biology – CUM LAUDE (MAY 2016). Represented by Mom, Dale.
- Ezekiel (Zeke) Racca – UNM, Engineering – CUM LAUDE (May 2017). Represented by Aunt Dale.
- Shaine Sagisi – UNM, Dental Hygiene (now in Texas) (May 2017). Represented by friend Keanna.
- Sharmaine Sagisi, UNM, Nursing (May 2017). Represented by friend Keanna.
- Keanna Salazar – UNM, Nursing (May 2017) (NOTE: She passed the NCLEX Nursing Board Exam on Sept. 19 in one take!!!). Keanna sang the US Anthem (Her Mom, Kim, sang the Philippine anthem.
- Mirinisa Stewart-Tengco – Mount Holyoke (Massachusetts), Mathematics (May 2017) (NOTE: Manoa Youth, Honorable Mention 2011). Miri was the co-emcee with Bianca.
- Jeric Hombria Tan – New Mexico Tech, Civil Engineering (now in California) (May 2017). Represented by Dad, Jesse.
- Catie Cheshire, Eldorado HS (now in Colorado) (May 2016). Represented by Grandma, Heddy.
- Sean Delica, Academy for Technology & Classic (May 2017)
- Angelica Fasano, Bernalillo HS (now in Virginia) (May 2016). Represented by Grandma, Cindy.
- Sophia Gonzales, Rio Rancho HS (May 2017). Represented by friend, Hillary.
- Sandy Guamos, West Side HS (May 2017). Represented by friend, Jasmine Q.
- Jasmine Herrera, V. Sue Cleveland HS (May 2017). Represented by friend, Hillary.
- Justin Carl Hontanosas, Rio Rancho HS (now in Colorado) (May 2017). Represented by Mom’s friend, Stephanie.
- Yoko Kentilitisca, St. Pius X HS (May 2017)
- Latrell Racca, Eldorado HS (May 2017). Represented by Aunt Dale.
- Hillary Ramoso, V. Sue Cleveland HS (May 2017)
- Sarah Shibuya, Bosque Preparatory School (now in California) (May 2017). Represented by Mom’s friend, Heddy.
- John Soriano, Del Norte HS (July 2017)
- Gabriela Velez, Albuquerque Academy (now in California) (May 2016) (Manoa Youth, Honorable Mention 2015). Represented by Tessie.
- Sonja Ventura, V. Sue Cleveland HS (May 2017) (now in Illinois). Represented by Dad, Rod.
- Bianca White, Eldorado HS (May 2017) (NOTE: Manoa Youth Awardee 2015). Co-emcee.
For past Pamana events, click on Pamana.
- Albuquerque Journal (Rio West Edition), Oct. 7, 2017.
- Scanned version of the same article: Alb Journal Rio West 2017
- Manoa Youth: Alb Journal Manoa Youth 2017
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