The City of Albuquerque and the Filipino American Foundation of New Mexico (FAFNM) presented the Celebration of the International Day focusing on the Philippines on Sept. 22, 2021 at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial Park for two hours. The event was emceed by Vicky Adaoag, a board member of FAFNM with invocation by Rev. Fr. Joel Bugas. The presentation showcased Filipino talents in singing, dancing, kulintang music and fashion show with around 50 participants. Choreographers were: Maricar Castro, Chearie Alipat and Darwin Virtusio. Booths included Food from Basil Home Cooking and other food donors, DHI-FEMA, NM Immigrant Law Center, NM Asian Family Center, Filipino Student Organization of UNM, Fil-Am Nursing Assoc. of NM and Art Pieces of Jocelle Bautista. Covid Vaccination Team was also present. Thanks to Larry Miller Toyota for their support. The Event Committee included: FAFNM President Myrna Samson (Chair), Vicky Adaoag (Program), Cora Romillo (Dance Coordinator), Ariel Bondoc (Set/Program Design), & Gloria Kauz (Consultant). Thank you to the City of Albuquerque Cultural Services, performers, volunteers, donors, supporters, booth participants, FAFNM BOD and members. We hope to see everybody at the Christmas Party on Dec. 2. Please check EVENTS page in November for details.
Thanks to Ana Bhandari of UNM who created a short video for this event. Click to watch: Fiesta Filipino
The following photos were from the FAFNM volunteer photographers and Jasmine Quiambao. Thank you all. (Click on individual photo to enlarge image.)
After missing the 2020 Santacruzan due to the Covid19 pandemic, the Filipino American Foundation of New Mexico (FAFNM) revived the annual celebration of Santacruzan on May 30, 2021, Sunday at the St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, attended by around 200 people. Anna Shibuya was Reyna Elena and Ethan Esparza was King Constantine (photo below). The event was celebrated by Archbishop John Wester, Fr. Joel Bugas, Pastor Vincent Paul Chavez and Deacon Leandro Centenerra. The event was chaired by FAFNM President Myrna Samson with Cora Romillo as consultant.
Chito Zafra, now 99 years old, (right photo) and her late husband, Eugene Zafra introduced Santacruzan in Albuquerque in 1977 which was traditionally celebrated at the Old Town Plaza. The left photo above shows his grandchild, Angela Armijo and great grandchild, Violet Ann Armijo receiving the Recognition and Appreciation Certificate in behalf of Chito from FAFNM President Myrna Samson.
After 44 years, this was the first year we missed Heddy Long who passed away in April. Heddy was one of the organizers of Santacruzan for decades. She was thinking of Santacruzan even during the last days of her life. Myrna Samson and Cora Romillo, other organizers, who were with her days before she passed away assured her that they would continue the tradition.
The Santacruzan Committee: Chair – Myrna Samson, Consultant – Cora Romillo, Music – Ariel Bondoc, Food – Annie Bondoc, together with the BOD of FAFNM. Photos courtesy of Maricar Castro and one from Gloria Kauz.
The event would not be possible without our donors: Carla Lanting Shibuya, Jane Anderson, Annie Bondoc, Philip Esparza, Pearl King, Jose and Nita Pascual, Cora Romillo, Myrna Samson, and Chito Zafra. Special thanks to all the Reynas and Sagalas and all the volunteers who continue to support this event for more than four decades.
April 11, Sunday: Heddy Long, 80, passed away from heart failure. She was predeceased by her husband, Dick Long. Heddy is the first lay person and first Filipina Family Life Director of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. She was the one of the long time Santacruzan organizers. In fact, she was thinking of Santacruzan on her last day, according to Myrna Samson, FAFNM President. Santacruzan is a Filipino cultural and religious event introduced by Chito Zafra in 1977 in Albuquerque (see photo) and still being celebrated until now. Our condolences to Heddy’s family. Heddy has left a legacy in the Filipino community. More about Heddy from the book, “The Filipino American Experience in New Mexico.” (Published by the Filipino American National Historical Society Rio Grande, 2014). Click below:
April 4, Sunday.Bill McKibbin, a dear friend of the Filipino community who always volunteered in many of our activities for several decades, passed away peacefully. Bill is the partner of Cora Romillo, one of our Filipino community leaders, for 25 years. Our condolences to Cora, her family and Bill’s family and friends. He will be missed. May he rest in peace.
Events that have happened in 2020. For review of previous years, search for “YEAR (type the year) in Review”. Due to the Covid19 pandemic which enforced social distancing since mid-March, no public event has been scheduled in the Filipino American community in the Albuquerque and surrounding areas. Take care. OBSERVE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND PLEASE WEAR MASK WHEN YOU ARE AROUND PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF HOME. LET US ALL COOPERATE AND END THIS SOON.
Dec. 13, Simbang Gabi (Evening Mass) at Sangre de Cristo Catholic Church, 8901 Candelaria Road NW, Albuquerque, NM 87112. Space is limited so please register and call Myrna Samson 505-319-8821. DUE TO COVID19, there had been requests to have it available ONLINE due to Covid. Stay tune.
August 28. Susan Saludo Parks, shown with her sons, passed away. She was a member of the FAFNM Cultural Dance Group in 2013. She is the daugher of Ron and Edith Saludo who are active in our Filipino community. We appreciate any donation towards her medical and funeral funds thru GoFundMe by clicking: DONATION TO SUSAN. Here are video clips of the performances where Susan danced with us. She was truly talented and professional.
CELEBRATION: June: Fr . Joel Bugas, Spiritual Director of the Filipino American Ministry, is shown celebrating his 11th year of priesthood on Pentecost day. He is the only Filipino priest in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. Thanks for all the Spiritual work and guidance you do for the community. We are so proud of you.
August 13. Fr. Bugas’s older brother at age 55 passed away in Davao, Philippines.
DEATH: February: Potenciana (Nenette) Boucher passed away in February. She received the Pamana Award for Community Service (2002) and was featured in the book, The Filipino American Experience in NM (2014). She was an educator in Gallup and moved to Albuquerque when she and her husband, Ray, retired.
Catie Cheshire, Summa Cum Laude, Regis University, Denver. Daughter of Stan and Lisa Cheshire, granddaughter of Heddy Long, May 2020.
Krystal Limalima, UNM, BS in Biology, May 2020.
Carlo James Aragon, Fletcher School, Tufts University, MA, Master of Art in Law and Diplomacy, May 2020.
Jasmine Quiambao, UNM, BS in Chemical Engineering, May 2020, Cum Laude. Jasmine received a grant from the NM WRRI. Click: Jasmine’s Grant.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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...
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.
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 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
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
With our PRAYERS, LOVE and EMPATHY....
Dr. ARMELI QUEZON, FEELINGS INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS SOCIETY (FIAS). The above is posted in FIAS.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 (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.
Sheila Aguinaldo – Master of Science in Nursing, Grand Canyon University, Arizona, May 2019.
Izekiel (Zeke) Racca – Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Cum Laude), University of New Mexico (UNM), May 2019.
Renz Bustria – Bachelor of Business Management in Accounting, UNM, December 2018.
Ashley Cabiltes – Bachelor of Science in Music Production (Advance Achievement Awardee), Full Sail University, Florida, May 2018.
Tricia Desquitado-Marx – Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, UNM, May 2018.
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.
Megan Fernandez – Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies, University of California, Berkeley, May 2019.
Michael Isidro – Bachelor of Science in Nursing, UNM, August 2019.
Lyle Leonen – Bachelor of Science in Psychology (Cum Laude), UNM, December 2017.
Lorenzo Pascual – Bachelor of Science in Biology, UNM, May 2018.
Larriane Jiezel Tan – Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, UNM, December 2018.
Rryod Saromines – Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Magna Cum Laude), UNM, May 2019.
Justin Cabiltes – Rio Rancho HS, (3rd Honor), May 2018.
Nicholas Centenerra – Central Bucks HS, Pennsylvania, May 2019.
Anna Cheshire – Eldorado HS, May 2018.
Angelo Egrubay – Volcano Vista HS, May 2018.
Ashley Hildebrand – Rio Rancho HS, May 2019.
Mary Josephine Hollins – La Cueva HS, May 2018.
Ashley Yssabelle A. Leonen – Eldorado HS, May 2018.
Arianna Lumanog – Sandia HS, May 2019.
Matthew Lloyd Macias – Rio Rancho HS, May 2019.
Miracle Angele McCastle – V. Sue Cleveland HS, May 2019.
Jacob Olaguir – Albuquerque HS, May 2019.
Dominic Joshua Pimentel – La Cueva HS, May 2019.
Lester (Buknoy) Racca – Eldorado HS, May 2019.
Remson Ramos – V. Sue Cleveland HS, May 2019.
Rhudovic Ramos – V. Sue Cleveland HS, May 2018.
Adin Rollins – Cibola HS, May 2018.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Dec. 7, Morning, FAFNM Membership Meeting/Election of BOD, North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center.
Dec. 7, Evening, FAFNM Annual Christmas Party at the Inn at Rio Rancho with speaker Dr. Christopher Gonzaga and a tribute to Past FAFNM Presidents (watch video clips). The 2020 FAFNM Board was inducted by Rio Rancho Gregg Hull.
Dr. Christopher Gonzaga, medical doctor and composer, dedicates song, Di Na Magtatagal (It Won’t be Long) to Dely’s legacy.
Five Simbang Gabi (Evening Mass) services with Fr. Joel Bugas, spiritual director of the Filipino American Ministry: Dec. 6, 13, 20 at Sangre de Cristo Church, Dec. 22 at Prince of Peace Church (both churches are in Albuquerque); Dec. 14 at Santa Maria de la Paz Catholic Community, Santa Fe. This is a project of FAFNM, coordinated by Emilie Underwood for several years.
Caroling Group led by Jim Custodio, and coordinated by Myrna Samson went to several members of the Filipino community to carol and raise money for the scholarship fund.
Nov. 9, Inn at Rio Rancho: The Philippine Consul General Staff in Houston assisted 224 Filipinos according to the Consul General report (see below). The Staff which was headed by Vice Consul Marco Lopez (left photo) had a one-day Consulate Outreach at the invitation of Gloria Kauz (in photo), president of Filipino American Foundation of NM (FAFNM). Other Consulate staff were Melinda Hernais (Admin), Edgardo Esteban, Ilisea Garcia-Sarion, Nadjefah A. Mangondaya and Jessie D. Franzela. We want to thank Gloria and FAFNM for helping Filipinos in NM and surrounding states (as far as Oklahoma) for saving a $400 round trip airfare (or a long drive) to Houston! Thanks to all the volunteers and to all for coming!
Aug. 22, Disaster Relief Concert by the Singing Boholano Priests directly from Bohol, Veterans Memorial Park. Sponsored by the Filipino American Community Council.
June 8, FAFNM Independence Day, Haynes Park, Rio Rancho.
May 18, Annual Santacruzan at the Old Town Plaza. See Santacruzan page.
April 13, Remembering the Fall of Bataan at Bataan Park, sponsored by FAFNM. Veterans and families, Filipino community had a picnic/potluck in honor of the Bataan veterans. Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller came.
April 9, Leah Salonga (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables) performed at Popejoy. Watch video of Lea and Peter, a volunteer from the audience. Thanks to Bamba (Elvie) for this clip: The Whole New World.
Jan 26, DEATH: Allan Sebastian (Jojo), son of former Fil-Am Assn. of NM (now Filipino American Association. of NM, now called Foundation) President, Connie Perkins passed away. His remains were taken to the Philippines. Thanks to Myrna Samson for hosting the rosary at her residence.
Mr. Brian Colon, NM State Auditor was the guest speaker at the Santacruzan on May 18, 2019 at the Old Town Plaza which started with the Holy Mass at the San Felipe de Neri Church at 4 pm and followed by the procession at the rotunda and Cultural Show at the gazebo.
Chito Zafra, 97, who introduced Santacruzan 42 years ago, with FAFNM President Gloria Kauz
This annual free event which is sponsored by the Filipino American Foundation of New Mexico (FAFNM) was introduced by Consuelo (Chito) Zafra, 97 and her late husband, Eugene Zafra in 1977. Other FAFNM members who have made this event possible for 42 years are: Heddy Long, Cora Romillo, Myrna Samson, Betsy Custodio and members of the Filipino community. The Cultural Show included singers Reena, Gwen and Ashley. The Filipino performing groups were: Ethan Sabay Philippine Folkloric Group and the Filipino Performing Arts Group). Chairman of 2019 Santacruzan was Myrna with members Jim, Betsy, Carminia and Heddy. Chairman for Cultural show was Gwen who was also the master of ceremonies. This FAFNM event was co-sponsored by the City of Albuquerque City Cultural Services and the Filipino American Community Council. The event is usually scheduled on the third Saturday of May.
“Santacruzan” is the word that Filipinos use to refer to “Santa Cruz de Mayo,” a celebration in honor of our Blessed Mother. The celebration commemorates Queen Helen’s finding the Holy Cross during the reign of her young son, King Constantino. It is believed that “Reyna Elena,” “Rey Constantino,” and their subjects asked for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary to help them find the Holy Cross which had been taken away from the Christians by the infidels. The “Santa Cruz de Mayo” is celebrated by a procession commemorating this historic event. Throughout the procession, the song “Dios de Salve” is sung.
During the month of May in the Philippines, every evening, there is a town somewhere celebrating the “Santa Cruz de Mayo.” A town usually does it for nine consecutive evenings, like a novena. On the ninth evening, the whole town has a fiesta. Nine consecutive evenings are not practical here in Albuquerque.
“Santa Cruz de Mayo” is also referred to as “Flores de Mayo.” May is the month when flowers of all kinds are blooming in the Philippines, so the procession is adorned with colorful gay flowers. For this reason, one of the queens in the procession is called, “Reyna de las Flores.”