Category Archives: History

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Dr. Adelamar (Dely) Novino Alcantara

Category : History , Uncategorized

Jan. 19, 1948-Nov. 3, 2019
We love you, Dely. You’ve touched our lives. Your legacy will live on.

Support Dely’s Causes

The Adelamar (Dely) Alcantara Memorial Fund was established by the Albuquerque Community Foundation where you can donate in her honor. This fund will be disbursed to various organizations close to Dely. Here is a link: http://bit.ly/DelyMemorialFund.

Due to the corona virus, this event was cancelled. We are leaving this here as a reminder of Dely and Ted’s contributions to our youth.

Honoring Dely at the NM Legislature

A memorial was read in honor of Dely on Feb. 7, 2020 at the House and Senate Chamber, NM Legislature in Santa Fe. The photo below shows the people who joined Dr. Ted Jojola at this event. Those not in the photo were Senator Mimi Stewart, Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero and Rep. Abbas Akhil.

From Left: Krystelle Siarza, Filipino American Community Council, founding member; Chelsey Begay, Indigenous Design and Planning Institute (IDPi, staff; Heddy Long, NM Asian Family Center (NMAFC), board; Kay Bounkeua, NMAFC, director; Kiran Katira, NMAFC, board; Robert Rhatigan, GeoSpatial Population Institute, interim director ; Dr. Ted Jojola, iDPi, director; Michaela Shirley, iDPi, staff; and Stephanie Rodriguez, NM Gov’s Office.

Mass and Memorial Service

More than 250 relatives and friends came to the Isleta Pueblo to pay their respect to Dr. Dely Alcantara on December 13, 2019, Friday. The Memorial Mass was held to Celebrate Her Life at the St. Augustine Catholic Church at 10 am with Fr. Joel O. Bugas, a Filipino priest, as the celebrant, followed by the Memorial Program in the same venue. John Truitt, saxophone player and retired instructor at the Albuquerque Academy (who was Manoa’s music instructor) started the program with the rendition of several songs capped with “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, one of Dely’s favorites. He was accompanied by guitarist Claudio Toulouse.

Kristelle Siarza, the master of ceremonies, introduced the speakers who were relatives and friends: Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero, Fe Caces, Diana Rebolledo, Lane Gatewood and finally, her husband, Dr. Ted Jojola.

The City of Albuquerque announced a proclamation that November be the Dr. Dely Alcantara month. The Proclamation was brought by Liz Keller, Mayor Tim Keller’s wife, and was announced at the reception by Ted.

Digna Pena, Dely’s sister and her husband Al, were present. Some of Dely’s friends and relatives who flew from different states such as New York and Hawaii came to pay their respect.

The reception was held at the Church’s Hall. Thanks to Shiela Jojola Gatewood, Myrna Samson, and Kristelle Siarza for coordinating this event as well as relatives and friends from the Filipino, Asian, and Isleta Pueblo communities for bringing the food.

This is the second Memorial Service for Dely. The first was held at her birthplace, Moncada, Tarlac, Philippines, in November after her ashes were brought from Narita, Japan. It was held at her school, MAJICAL Learning Montessori School. MAJIC stands for Manoa Alcantara Jojola International Center for Arts and Learning. Click on: MAJICAL.

See acknowledgements, articles, letters and video clips below.

(Written by Tessie Greenfield, FANHS RG, for this website, Dec. 17, 2019.)

Any Memory of Dely?

Check “WRITE AN ENTRY” located at the bottom of this page and feel free to write your memory about Dely. We will leave this page for a long time. It’s never too late to write. THANK YOU.

Pamana organizers (2017) with Dely. She founded the Filipino American National Historical Society Rio Grande (1998) and introduced the Pamana and Manoa Youth Awards (2000).

Articles & Letter

Albuquerque Journal: Article about Dely, Dec. 8, 2019.

UNM News: UNM ARTICLE ABOUT DELY

Video Clips:

Dely accepting the Dolores Huerta Award.

FAFNM Christmas Party honoring Dely:

Albuquerque Academy Medicine Wheel at the Albuquerque Academy, in honor of the late Manoa Alcantara Jojola, Dely and Ted’s son.

Dely founded or/and pioneered the following:

  1. MAJICAL Learning Montessori School in Moncada, Tarlac, Philippines, Dely’s birthplace. MAJICAL stands for Manoa Alcantara Jojola International Center for Arts and Learning. Click on: MAJICAL.
  2. Filipino American National Historical Society Rio Grande the 20th Chapter of FANHS, 1998. Visit: 2019 Pamana Award and Past Pamana Awards.
  3. NM Asian Family Center, 2006.
  4. Filipino American Foundation of NM, 2004 (former Filipino American Association of NM).
  5. Filipino American Community Council, 2012.
  6. Founded with Dr. Ted Jojola the MAJICAL Foundation.
    • Manoa Endowment for Cultural Diversity at the Albuquerque Academy, Manoa’s alma mater, New Mexico, USA.
    • A Medicine Wheel was built in Albuquerque Academy in honor of Manoa. See video clip: Medicine Wheel in honor of Manoa.
    • Manoa Teen Apprentice and Ensemble Performance (summer program) with Tricklock Theater Co., New Mexico, USA.
    • Halle Manoa, a building which was used by NM Asian Family Center and Filipino American meetings.

Compiled by Tessie Greenfield (FANHS RG with help from FACC) for this website.

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12 entries.
Mary Ann Montoya from San Rafael, NM wrote on January 30, 2020 at 10:55 am:
Dear Ted and family, God bless and strengthen you at Dely's loss. She found me as a child of the Bridge generation in 1999. A child of a Ghost worker in the fields. She gave me a voice and presence. Mary Ann and Johnny Montoya
David Swanson from Las Vegas, NV wrote on December 25, 2019 at 1:22 pm:
I first met Dely when we were graduate students at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Because we were in the same field (demography), we stayed in contact over the years and collaborated on several projects. I knew that Dely was active in the Albuquerque but had no idea of the scope of her impact until we were at her memorial mass at St. Augustine's on December 13th and heard all of the testimonials. Speaking as the President of the Las Vegas (NV) chapter of the University of Hawai'i Alumni Association, I can say that she was an outstanding alumna of the U of Hawai'i as well as an outstanding alumna of the East-West Center, where she and Ted first met.
Perla King from Rio Rancho wrote on December 13, 2019 at 5:21 am:
Adelamar N. Alcantara... her name speaks volumes ... beyond words. She was the epitome of a fiercely independent and influential woman who could do anything, a community leader whose passion for selfless giving defined her personal and professional accomplishments. She was the consummate academician who had endless ideas on what research or grant she would write next. She was one true friend I could talk to about anything under the sun (wise and otherwise) and laugh with wildly about our similar idiosyncracies, humanness, and wacky foibles. Dely was always there to rejoice at my successes and grieve during my personal losses. When we were both at our wit's end and felt abandoned in a project, she would admonish, "let us not give up!" Dely was larger than life... with her untimely passing, half of me is gone...
Roderick Ventura from Rio Rancho wrote on December 11, 2019 at 10:28 pm:
Dely had a way of making you feel special. She would talk to you and somehow make you think that you were the smartest, the most capable or the most worthy. She made you feel, at one time or another, that you were necessary and relevant and the community and the world couldn't really work without you. Whatever project was at hand would ultimately fail unless you personally got involved because you were vital. And she was right about everyone. She could see how everyone in the community was and is special and necessary and relevant. It was nice knowing Dely, because in a world full of doubt (and there's lots of it to go around), I, and most everyone else I know, thought that Dely had our backs. The beauty of it is, she did. What was shocking about Dely's passing is that she had always been omnipresent. Even if you hadn't talked to her in a while, you always knew that she was there and that she would eventually come and encourage you or ask something of you or ask about your kids. Even when you were not consciously thinking of her, you always thought . . .you always KNEW. . .that she would always be there. And guess what. . . She always will.
ARMELI QUEZON from RIO RANCHO wrote on December 10, 2019 at 4:22 am:
D .....DEVOTED TO humanity Humanity for all All for peace on the only E.....Earth we have Have to flourish and do progress Progress with much love L ...,.Love with spirituality Spirituality with much FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY, that will live forever be in the Y.....YOUTH and all the stages of life DELY : Your legacy will live on forever. From heaven, you will smile and instill inspirations and strength for everyone to move on and do what are best for the community , thus conquering one heart at a time, for sure, for WORLD PEACE ! With our PRAYERS, LOVE and EMPATHY.... Dr. ARMELI QUEZON, FEELINGS INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS SOCIETY (FIAS). The above is posted in FIAS.
Mila Anguluan from Espanola wrote on December 8, 2019 at 12:52 pm:
Adelamar is an unusual name for a woman, but being simply Dely as she presented herself in her honest and caring ways, is how Dely will always be remembered. And who is to forget her unusually enormous gifts of community building, leadership, and friendship? Who is to forget the extent of time and effort she gave visiting Espanola with Ted, despite the limitations of her physical condition, simply to express her caring for friends and community? Who is to forget her generous donation, through the FANHS-Rio Grande, to the Center for Babaylan Studies to foster its work on indigenization and decolonization? Who is to forget her seeming tirelessness, her dedication to the Filipino-American cause, and to all communities, in general? Nothing could stop her, she was simply the passionate epitome of “Yes, I can!, Yes, we can!” that I have been fortunate to witness, together with my partner, Rusty who admired her greatly. Dely (with Ted’s constant support) helped facilitate the intergenerational exchange at the University of New Mexico a few years back. It was a cultural exchange that brought together a number of elders and youth from the Filipino American, Native American, and Hispanic communities of Espanola, Ohkay Owingeh, Santa Clara, Isleta. and Albuquerque. She helped illuminate the vision of communities learning from and teaching one another, in the tradition of the indigenous core value of “kapwa” in Filipino; which is the ancient wisdom of expressing love through interconnection and interdependence; that all beings, whether human or non-human, are heir to. To you Dely, our “kapwatid”, our sister, you shall live forever within our hearts. Mabuhay ka!
Dorothy L. Cordova from Seattle wrote on December 4, 2019 at 3:43 pm:
Dely was an outstanding scholar, community activist and the founder of FANHS Rio Grande Chapter. She and her husband, Ted, graciously hosted both Fred and I when we first visited Albuquerque in 1997. This has been a sad year or so for FANHS which has lost luminaries - Gil Pilapil, Albert Acena and Dawn Mabalon and now Dely. Please extend Ted condolences and prayers from FANHS National.
Norma wrote on December 3, 2019 at 1:03 am:
Dely was an inspiration to those who knew her. She had a vision, mission, and goals in life. Her passion reflected in the different endeavors she took on. Over the years, both Dely and her husband (Ted) worked on several projects in memory of their beloved son (Manoa). Dely also helped with the different organizational entities adhering and reminding people of its rules and regulations. She was an educator, mentor, supporter, advocate, leader, and a friend. In late 2018, she helped me obtain the Lea Salonga tickets for the 04/09/2019 show at UNM's Popejoy Hall. I will certainly miss you, Dely. Rest In Peace.
Edwina Bergano from Virginia Beach, VA wrote on November 30, 2019 at 7:05 am:
Thank you Dely for your vision and passion to make a better world for us. I'll never forget our visits in New Mexico during our FANHS gatherings. Thank you for sharing these special moments with many of us. You have been my role model to never give up your passion. Rest in peace Dely.
Sima from Los Angeles, CA wrote on November 29, 2019 at 5:37 pm:
Dely Alcantara believed in me so much. Her support, friendship, and scholarship got me to where I am today. My life would have been sooo different without her. I’m so so so grateful to all that she did for me. I’m also so glad she was such a Wonderful friend to my mom. Rest In Peace.
Emilie N. Underwood from Albuquerque wrote on November 17, 2019 at 7:10 pm:
Dely was "our big ideas" source and she had plenty of ideas! She was also very good at finding others who were able to grasp enough of the idea to be able to supply the "nuts and bolts" parts. This made it possible for her to nurture growth in others while working on more than one project at a time. We will never be so blessed as to see the "likes" of her again!
Tessie Greenfield wrote on November 15, 2019 at 8:13 pm:
Dely was unstoppable. She was thinking of running for office when she retired. I told her she was crazy and that if I could not stop her, her gout would. As a leader, she always listened even if I did not agree with her. She valued my opinion and we would come to a solution. Game over and we'd have lunch! Lastly, she was a champion in writing grants, one of which was kulintang workshop. I owed my kulintang skills to her and Ted. She also got me the grant on puppetry for 6 years with the Asian youth through the Asian American Association and later the Asian Family Center. She recognized the value of creative arts. Who will be writing grants now?

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2019 Pamana Awards

9th Pamana Heritage Award and Filipino American History Month Celebration

Every other year, the Filipino American National Historical Society Rio Grande (FANHS RG) in cooperation with the Filipino American Community Council (FACC) recognizes Filipino Americans in NM who have contributed to our Filipino and/or New Mexico communities beyond the call of duties. We are holding this event during the Filipino American History Month (October) to remember the first Filipinos who landed in Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo, California on October 18, 1587.  Click on text below for a glimpse of Fil-Am History and the List of Pamana Awardees since 2000.

Standing: Dr. Ted Jojola (Manoa Foundation), Pearl King, FANHS RG President and David Bency, Rio Rancho Councilor District 6. Seated: Manoa Youth Awardee Lester Racca, Pamana 2019 Awardees – Dr. Christopher Gonzaga, Mairi Mahal Nunag, MA NCBT, Atty. Rod Ventura. Watch video clips from YouTube.
Pamana 2019 Awarees with Graduates and their relatives. Watch video clip on Graduates and photos taken by our volunteer photographers..

9th Pamana Heritage Awards

The Pamana Heritage Awards in conjunction with the Filipino American History Month was held on October 5, 2019 at the South Broadway Cultural Center. Dr. Barbara Gaerlan, FANHS Trustee, gave the welcome address about he Filipino American History Month. See video clip of Dr. Gaerlan.

The Pamana Awardees (adults) received a plaque from FANHS RG. The Manoa Youth Awardee (18 years or younger) receives a plaque from FANHS RG and a scholarship fund ($500) from the MAJICAL Foundation.  MAJICAL stands for Manoa Alcantara Jojola International Center for Arts and Learning.

To emphasize the value of education, we recognized Filipino American graduates from high school, college and masters.  We gave a t-shirt:  “Proud Filipino American graduate” as a souvenir of this event. This is an opportunity for the students to meet others. We have updated guidelines of the graduates we will recognize for 2021 Pamana. Please read after the list of graduates below.

Pamana Awardees (2019)

Community Service and Advocacy

Dr. Christopher Estabillo Gonzaga is currently the primary care physician and specialist in internal medicine and infectious diseases at Rehoboth McKinley Christian Healthcare Services (RMCHCS)-College Clinic in Gallup. For over two decades, Dr. Gonzaga has volunteered his services in the areas of healthcare, the socio-economic and cultural milieu.  He has served as board member to the Cibola Medical Foundation, assisted in fundraising for local schools, and provided flu shots at local homeless shelters for many years.  For eight years now, he has organized the program “Feeding the Homeless” where his wife, Dr. Flor Caballar-Gonzaga, a neurologist, children (Gabe and Astrid) and other volunteers raise funds for the homeless.  They had fundraising events that benefit the Wellness Center, a clinic responsible for the prevention of diseases such as diabetes, and the promotion of general well-being among the population through health education.  For his lifetime of volunteerism and service to the community of Gallup, Dr. Gonzaga received an award from American College of Physicians NM Chapter in 2015.  Other notable accolades included being an honoree in 2016 at the 20thRMCHCS Charity Invitational Fundraising event for the many years of dedicated service to RMCHCS and the people of Gallup and McKinley County.  In the same year, he was also a recipient of the Hope and Healing Honors for his selfless contribution to those whose lives have been touched by cancer.  Dr. Gonzaga’s speechhttps://youtu.be/qzkd0-u3KX0. Introduction by Pearl. Dr. Gonzaga singing his two compositions of Filipino songs.

Mairi Mahal Nunag, MA, NBCT (National Board Certified Teacher), teaches Special Education at the Hodgin Elementary School (Albuquerque) where she also serves as Head Teacher. Her accolades included the 2010 Humanitarian Award by the East Baton Rouge Federation of Teachers (EBRFT) and in 2012, Teacher of the Year. In 2016, she was the Gawad Amerika Awardee for being “The Most Outstanding Filipino Teacher of the Year”. An activist since her college years, Mairi continued to be a human rights, labor and immigration advocate. She initiated the Filipino Educators Federation of Lousiana (where she taught at Baton Rouge). She is the lead plaintiff in the first ever class-certified case against professionals in the US (Mairi Nunag-Tanedo vs. EBRPSS School Board, et al) which won in favor of more than 340 Filipino teachers. Now in New Mexico, she is helping the new Filipino teachers by connecting them to possible individuals and offices in the US and Philippine governments as well as non government organizations that can help them. See video clip of Mairi and introduction by Evelio.

Roderick Ventura, is an attorney who has practiced environmental law, education law, Indian law and various other disciplines. He is currently the Deputy Director of the New Mexico Educational Retirement Board, the pension fund that provides retirement benefits for 50,000 retired educators in New Mexico. He worked for DNA People’s Legal Services on the Navajo Nation where he handled a case representing two residents of the Crownpoint area of New Mexico who were opposing uranium mining in the checkerboard area of the reservation. He worked for the New Mexico Environmental Law Center where he fought for underrepresented New Mexico communities who were fighting large corporations that were damaging the environment and disregarding local community concerns.  He has served as President of the Filipino American Foundation of New Mexico, the Asian American Association of New Mexico and as an officer in the Filipino American Community Council.  He was a founding board member of the New Mexico Asian Family Center.  See video of Rod with introduction by Richard.

Manoa Youth Awardee

Lester Racca (Albuquerque)

Lester (Buknoy) Racca received the Manoa Youth Award, an award given in the spirit of the late Manoa Alcantara Jojola, son of the late Dr. Dely Alcantara and Dr. Ted Jojola, both UNM professors, of the MAJICAL Foundation.  Lester graduated with a cumulative GPA of 4.317 from Eldorado High in May 2019. He has been a performer with the Filipino Performing Arts Group since 2016 which helped raise funds for the scholarship funds of the Filipino American Foundation of NM.  In high school, he briefly joined the Best Buddies program which promotes one to one friendship with Special Ed students. See Lester’s speech and introduction by Miracle.

Filipino American Graduates (Masters, College, HS) Dec. 2017 to August 2019. Watch video clip on Graduates

Masters:

  1. Sheila Aguinaldo – Master of Science in Nursing, Grand Canyon University, Arizona, May 2019.
  2. Izekiel (Zeke) Racca – Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Cum Laude), University of New Mexico (UNM), May 2019.

College:

  1. Renz Bustria – Bachelor of Business Management in Accounting, UNM, December 2018.
  2. Ashley Cabiltes – Bachelor of Science in Music Production (Advance Achievement Awardee), Full Sail University, Florida, May 2018.
  3. Tricia Desquitado-Marx – Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, UNM, May 2018.
  4. Jared Fernandez – Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (Magna Cum Laude) and Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (Magna Cum Laude), Northwestern University, Illinois, May 2019.
  5. Megan Fernandez – Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies, University of California, Berkeley, May 2019. 
  6. Michael Isidro – Bachelor of Science in Nursing, UNM, August 2019.
  7. Lyle Leonen – Bachelor of Science in Psychology (Cum Laude), UNM, December 2017. 
  8. Lorenzo Pascual – Bachelor of Science in Biology, UNM, May 2018.
  9. Larriane Jiezel Tan – Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, UNM, December 2018.
  10. Rryod Saromines – Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Magna Cum Laude), UNM, May 2019.

High School:

  1. Justin Cabiltes – Rio Rancho HS, (3rd Honor), May 2018.
  2. Nicholas Centenerra – Central Bucks HS, Pennsylvania, May 2019.
  3. Anna Cheshire – Eldorado HS, May 2018.
  4.  Angelo Egrubay – Volcano Vista HS, May 2018.
  5. Ashley Hildebrand – Rio Rancho HS, May 2019.
  6. Mary Josephine Hollins – La Cueva HS, May 2018.
  7. Ashley Yssabelle A. Leonen – Eldorado HS, May 2018.
  8. Arianna Lumanog – Sandia HS, May 2019.
  9. Matthew Lloyd Macias – Rio Rancho HS, May 2019.
  10. Miracle Angele McCastle – V. Sue Cleveland HS, May 2019.
  11. Jacob Olaguir – Albuquerque HS, May 2019.
  12. Dominic Joshua Pimentel – La Cueva HS, May 2019.
  13. Lester (Buknoy) Racca – Eldorado HS, May 2019.
  14. Remson Ramos – V. Sue Cleveland HS, May 2019.
  15. Rhudovic Ramos – V. Sue Cleveland HS, May 2018.
  16. Adin Rollins – Cibola HS, May 2018.
  17. India Stokes – Cibola HS, May 2018.

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!

Guidelines in determining graduates to be recognized for the next Pamana (2021):

FANHS RG values the importance of education; however, for a small chapter like ours, we cannot recognize Fil-Am students ALL over New Mexico. We will recognize

  • Students (not parents or grandparents) who are residents of NM in areas mentioned below.  If they graduated HS in NM and graduated out of state in college or higher learning, then they will be recognized.  (If a parent or grandparent lives in NM but child or grandchild lives in another state (in HS), that student will not be considered NM resident.)
  • Graduates from Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Bernalillo and Santa Fe only.
  • ONLY Graduates who attend the Pamana will receive complimentary t-shirts (worth $18), ticket ($15) and program ($5).  Those who are absent will still be included in the program and website.  Relatives representing absent graduates will have to pay for tickets and buy the souvenir program. Thank you for your support.

If you know Filipino American graduates described above, please email the name, school, degree, parents and size of t-shirt (if attending) to Pearl perlagking@cableone.net so that they can be included for the next Pamana in 2021! We will publish name on the website with graduate’s permission. Thank you.


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Filipinos in New Mexico

With New Mexico’s 2 million population, there are 4,647 Filipinos (one race) (Reference: ACS_13_3YR_B02015 NM) or 8,074 Filipino Americans (combination of races) (Reference: ACS_13_3YR_B02018 NM) in New Mexico, according to the US Census Bureau, American Fact Finder, 3-year (2011-2013) survey estimate.  Also see:  Cities with the highest percentage of Filipinos in NM.

See bottom for the Highlights in Philippine-New Mexico connection.

NOTE:  To see full view of photos in the gallery, double click on each photo, then double click again for larger view.  To return to text, click on the (<) arrow at the top right corner of the screen.

Filipino American 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations in Albuquerque, NM:

  • Filipino American Foundation of New Mexico (FAFNM) is the MAIN organization where majority of the Fil-Ams participate, founded in 2004.  The Filipino American Association of NM (founded in 1975) paved the way for FAFNM.
  • Filipino American National Historical Society Rio Grande (FANHS RG) is one of the 38 chapters of FANHS all over the US.  (It is a different organization from FAFNM although all of the FANHS RG members are also with FAFNM.) All the chapters meet biennially in the FANHS National Conference.  The 2016 FANHS Conference will be held from June 22 to 25 in New York.  FANHS focuses on the history of Filipino Americans.  FANHS RG, the 20th chapter, was founded in 1998 by Dr. Dely Alcantara and David Galbiso.
  • Filipino American Community Council (FACC) is an umbrella organization and the main purpose is grant-seeking for the benefit of the Filipino-American community and other Filipino organizations that serve the Filipino-American community.  Although the council was formed in 2012, some of the members, specifically Dr. Dely Alcantara, had obtained several grants for the Filipino community in New Mexico several years before.
  • Others that are non profit and independent groups:
    • For UNM Students, check out:  Filipino Student Organization at UNM.
    • Filipino American Athletics of New Mexico, statewide sports group.  They play basketball and volleyball where they hold tournaments around the state.
    • For Christian groups, check out your churches for Couples for Christ and Youth for Christ.  Many members are Filipinos.
    • See “Where to Find Filipinos in NM” below.

Affiliations

The Filipino community is represented in many organizations and/or has participated in activities in the state.  Many Filipinos have served/are serving as presidents or organizers.

Hosting National/Regional Filipino American Events in Albuquerque:

All these major events were chaired by Emilie Underwood.

  • 2003:   FANHS National Trustees’ Meeting, UNM Zimmerman Library.  Host:  FANHS Rio Grande.
  • 2005:  Filipino and Asian American Conference and National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) Regional Meeting, Marriott Convention Center.  Host: Filipino American Foundation of New Mexico.
  • 2012:  FANHS National Conference (attended by members from 30 chapters all over the US), Marriott Hotel. Host:  FANHS Rio Grande.

Outstanding Filipinas in New Mexico

Celia Ruiz Tomlinson

Celia Ruiz Tomlinson

Dr. Dely Alcantara

Dr. Dely Alcantara

Did you know that:

  • The first registered female professional engineer in New Mexico is a Filipina?  She was also the first minority to found and own an engineering company, Rhombus which existed for 25 years until 2008.  Read about her memoir,  Celia Ruiz Tomlinson.  Learn more:  Celia in Filipinas Mag
  • Dr. Dely Alcantara founded the New Mexico Asian Family Center which has helped a lot of Asians.  (NOTE: Dely passed away on Nov. 3, 2019.  Check: Dely.)
  • Two Filipinas received the Governor’s Award for New Mexico Outstanding Women sponsored by the Women’s Commission:
    • 1993:  Celia Ruiz Tomlinson.  NOTE:  Celia is the first professional female engineer in NM and the first minority woman to own an engineering firm in NM, Rhombus, for 25 years until 2008.
    • 2004: Dr. Dely Alcantara. Learn more: Dely in Boomer Magazine and FANHS RG book/eBook:  Filipino American Experience in New Mexico.  Dely is a recipient of Human Rights award and Dolores Huerta Si Se Puede Award (Cesar Chavez NM, 2018).  View her speech:  Dely.

Filipino students who graduated with honors (& doctorate):

  • 2019:  Rryod Sarimones, Magna Cum Laude, UNM, BS in Nursing.
  • 2019: Zeke Racca, Cum Laude, UNM, Masters in Mechanical Engineering.
  • 2019:  Jared Fernandez, Magna Cum Laude on both majors: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Northwest University.
  • 2017 (December):  Lyle Leonen, Cum Laude, UNM, BS in Psychology.
  • 2017:  Ronadel Joy Ronquillo graduated with a Doctorate of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota.
  • 2017:  Princeton Early King graduated again with high honors (4.07 GPA), Masters in Business Administration, Finance, at UNM Anderson School of Management.  It took him only a little over a year to complete his masters.  See below, 2016.
  • 2017:  Zeke Racca graduated cum laude from UNM with a degree in Engineering.  He was the co-chair of the Youth Committee (dissolved in 2017).
  • 2016:  Princeton Earl King graduated summa cum laude from UNM with Business Administration in Financial Management.  He is the son of Pearl King who also graduated summa cum laude (see 2015 below).
  • 2016:  Ace Leonen graduated cum laude from UNM with a degree in Biology.  He is the treasurer of the FAFNM Young Professional and Youth Committee (dissolved in 2017).
  • 2015:  Carlo James Aragon graduated magna cum laude at UNM, Bachelor of Arts with double majors in Political Science and Foreign Languages.
  • 2015:  Pearl King, FANHS RG President, at 65 years old, graduated summa cum laude, Nursing degree, NM Highland University.
  • 2014:  Ardee Napolitano graduated summa cum laude, from UNM with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (Communication Arts) and French.

(NOTE:  We just started this list in 2015.  If you know any Filipino college student in NM who graduated with honors in the past or whom we missed here, please email fafnmewmexico@gmail.com.  Thanks.)

Where can you find Filipinos in New Mexico?

  • Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Bernalillo, Santa Fe and Surrounding areas:  May is the Asian/Pacific Heritage Month.  The Filipinos celebrate the annual Santacruzan (FAFNM) at the Old Town Plaza (usually on the third Saturday of May, 5:30 pm) and the Filipinos perform at the Asian Festival of Cultures.  You will also find Filipinos in Catholic Churches like the Prince of Peace where you find choirs and Couples for Christ.  In December, FAFNM members and friends attend the Sambang Gabi (Evening Mass Celebration), raise funds through caroling and celebrate their annual Christmas Party.  Go to EVENTS.
  • Espanola: Many of the school teachers at the Public Schools are Filipinos.  Photo shows three sets of Filipino twins from Espanola:  Sagisi (Sharmaine & Shaine), Germino (Guillmer and Guillian) and the youngest set: Kinglet (Rio & Crio).  (The photo was retrieved, with permission, from Shaine Sagisi’s FB.)

    Twins in Espanola: Sagisi (Shaine & Sharmaine), Germino (Guillmer & Guillian) and the youngest: Cainlet (Rio & Crio)

    Many of the Filipino teens/young adults from Espanola are founders of the Filipino Student Organization at UNM.  They usually participate at the annual FAFNM Santacruzan.

  • Las Cruces.  The Filipino American Association of Las Cruces celebrates Valentine’s Day, Independence Day and Christmas days.  President:  Tommy Tomenbang.

Members of the Fil-Am Assn. of Las Cruces, Valentines 2016

Members of the Fil-Am Assn. of Las Cruces, Valentines 2016

Tommy Tomenbang, pres. of Fil-Am Assn of Las Cruces with Tessie

Tommy Tomenbang, pres. of Fil-Am Assn of Las Cruces with Tessie from Albuquerque, Feb 2016.

Support our Filipino American businesses:

Highlights on the Philippines-New Mexico Connection

  • Philippine Mexico stampThe first Filipinos came to New Mexico in the 18th Century.  They came as sailors with the Manila-Galleon Acapulco Galleon Trade.  According to the 1790 Spanish Census, some of their descendants became teachers who settled near Isleta Pueblo.  In 1910 Census, there were 10 native born Filipinos.  In 1930, the number increased to 27. Now, we have more than 8,000 Filipino Americans.
  • Our Philippines and New Mexico histories (both under Spanish colonization) have a lot of similarities, as highlighted in the FANHS RG 2005 brochure: Philippine NM Connection.
  • On December 8, 1941, the 200th New Mexico Coast Artillery engaged Japanese bombers at Clark Field and Fort Stotsenberg, Philippines.  The 200th, composed of 1,800 men, became the first unit to go into action in defense of the United States flag in the Philippines.  Visit:  Bataan Corregidor Memorial Foundation of NM.
  • George Curry was the governor of three provinces in the Philippines (Camarines, Isabela and Samar) during the American occupation.  He also became the governor of New Mexico before its statehood.
  • Read more about the history of the Filipinos in NM in our book/eBook:  The Filipino American Experience in New Mexico (2014).

To read more about similarities of Philippines and New Mexico histories, click:  Philippine NM Connection

If you want to add anything here, please contact fafnewmexico@gmail.com.  Thanks.

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