Monthly Archives: December 2015

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Filipino American Experience in NM Book/eBook

Filipino American Experience in New Mexico

The book was published in October 2014 and the eBook was released in January 2015.

The Filipino American Experience in New Mexico is the first book and eBook about Filipinos in New Mexico by the Filipino American National Historical Society Rio Grande Chapter (FANHS RG). It is also the first eBook produced by any chapter of FANHS (which has 30 chapters all over the United States). This project was done in memory of our departed FANHS RG members and was dedicated to the next generations of Fil-Ams in NM.  Click on: Departed FANHS RG members.  NOTE: As of Nov. 2021, the following have passed away: Dr. Dely Alcantara, Chol Aquino,  Nenette Boucher, Al David, and Heddy Long.

NOTE:  As of 2018, all copies were sold out and the eBook version was discontinued but you can obtain the PDF of the eBook version (with less photos) by clicking below:

Fil Am Experience in NM with cover eBook version

The book, which was conceived in 2006, tells the history of how Filipinos came to the US and, ultimately, to New Mexico. The contributions of Filipino Americans to NM are documented into five categories: agriculture (Balido, Galbiso, and Gorospe families), education (Dr. Dely Alcantara, Nenette Boucher, Helen Manzanillo and Myrna Tsinnajinnie), medicine (Chol Aquino, Dr. Jose Martinez and Dr. Faith Ventura), military (Cris Underwood and Chito Zafra), and religion (Sr. Josephine Gorostiza, Heddy Long and Fr. Gil Mangampo). An added article highlights the Military legacy between New Mexico and Philippines with a particular emphasis on the 200th (a New Mexico National Guard Unit), and 515th Coast Artillery during World War II.  It features the late Al David, a 93-year-old Bataan survivor (at the time book was released). (Al passed away in 2018 at age 97). It also features George Curry, governor of three provinces in the Philippines and in New Mexico (before its statehood).

Book Project MembersThe book was launched on October 25, 2014 at the Student Union Building University of New Mexico attended by 82 people.  The event was co-sponsored by the UNM Filipino Student Organization through the help of their president, Shaine Sagisi.

Photo shows the Book Project members (from left):  Tessie Greenfield, the late Dr. Dely Alcantara, the late Heddy Long (representing her late husband/writer, Dick), Pearl King (FANHS RG president), Evelio Sabay, Bob Tsinnajinnie (representing his late wife/writer, Myrna), Cris Underwood, (behind- Rod Ventura) and Aggie Dagucon.

The eBook version is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Apple iBooks Store. (See links below.)  The people behind the book project, which was completed after 8 years, are:  Book Project Members.

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.

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FAFNM Scholarship

Category : Scholarship

College Scholarship /Award

Every year, the Filipino American Foundation of New Mexico (FAFNM) offers scholarship funds to Filipino American students who are FAFNM members and are going to accredited university or community college in New Mexico only.  It is also our way to thank our youth who give back to the Filipino community by performing, attending, and/or volunteering in FAFNM activities.  Check EVENTS page to see what activities you can participate and volunteer.  Busy months:  May (Santacruzan), June (Independence Day/Membership Drive), July or August (Pista sa Nayon, a fund raising project every other year), and December (Christmas party, Caroling, Consular Outreach, if any).  (See more information at the bottom.)


  • To qualify, you must be an active/paid member of FAFNM for at least ONE year.  If you are 18 years and older, you must pay and/or RENEW your INDIVIDUAL membership ANNUALLY ($10).  If you are younger than 18, your family must be active/paid members of FAFNM (family membership: $15).  You can apply for an INDIVIDUAL membership before reaching 18 if your family is not a member.  Keep your receipt and always renew your membership when it expires.
  • To apply or renew annual membership, download the FAFNM Membership Form and mail your form with your check/money order to the address on the form (FAFNM, P. O. Box 94146, Albuquerque, NM 87199-4146).  (Please email the current secretary, Maricar Castro, so that she will know that there are forms in the P O Box.  If you have not been sent your membership receipt in a month or two, please inform the Scholarship Committee Chair, Gloria Kauz.)
  • You can also apply personally for membership during the annual membership drive that is held in June during the FAFNM Independence Day Celebration picnic/potluck. This is what we recommend – for you to attend and sign up/renew.  Visit EVENTS for schedule.

Two Scholarships Available:

  • UNM (General Scholarship) – Main Campus (but must inform FAFNM if you intend to apply) (Deadline:  Feb. 1. Read below before applying.) PLEASE CONTACT PEARL FIRST BEFORE SENDING YOUR INTENTION TO APPLY: [email protected] 
  • FAFNM Cultural Heritage and Scholarship Award (July 15)

NOTE:  You can apply to both if you qualify.  Both require you to be an active/paid member (annually).


  • UNM scholarship  is available only to UNDERGRADUATE and FULL TIME (12 units/semester) students at the UNM MAIN campus only.  It is NOT available to incoming freshmen.  You have to inform FAFNM Scholarship Committee of your interest in applying for UNM scholarship so that you can be included in the list of recommended applicants by FAFNM.  The deadline to email us is Feb. 1.  Although FAFNM Scholarship submits list to UNM, FAFNM has NO INPUT on the application process and decision including frequency of scholarship (whether it is given only once for school year or for both semesters).  Their application process is described below. The fund will be applicable for the incoming school year.  More information on UNM Application and Processes below (Under Application & Processes: UNM).
  • FAFNM Scholarship is available to students at UNM, CNM, NM Highland University and other accredited universities/community colleges in New Mexico only.  It is open to undergraduates currently enrolled (with minimum of 9 units/semester) or graduate, associates, vocational courses, and licenses (minimum of 6 units/semester).  If you are an incoming freshman,  you have to submit a copy of the acceptance letter from the college/university. (Be sure to apply for membership while you are still in High School.) The FAFNM Scholarship Committee uses the “point system” in determining the amount –  GPA, ACTIVE participation in the FAFNM activities and essay, among others (see form).  There is NO age requirement and fund is given only ONCE a year.  Due to the corona virus outbreak this year, 2020, the application form (below) must be EMAILED (instead of mailed) to [email protected]. with the complete requirements (transcript, acceptance letter, essay, etc) before: July 15.  The FAFNM Scholarship Committee reviews the application.  Upon approval, the checks are usually issued to individual students within a month or two.  More information below.

Application and Processes:

  • University of New Mexico

    • Our scholarship is listed under the UNM General Scholarship under “Filipino American Scholarships” (around the 14th scholarship listed on that page).   The applicant
      • Must be an active/paid member of FAFNM
      • Must be full time student (12 units/semester)
      • Must have competitive cumulative UNM GPA

February 1 (deadline for applicants to inform FAFNM):  You must email the FAFNM Scholarship Committee about your interest in applying for this UNM scholarship.  (NOTE:  This is not the actual UNM application.  It is only a prerequisite from FAFNM.)

Download (RTF or Rich Text Format): Form Interest in Applying for UNM Scholarship and email to: [email protected]:

(NOTE: We had problems downloading Word for this form that is why we use the RTF.) You can also use a PDF form, scan it and email: Form Interest in Applying for UNM Scholarship.

Be sure to put: SCHOLARSHIP on the subject of the email so that she will not think it is a spam mail.  The FAFNM Scholarship Committee will review the information and finalize the list of eligible applicants to UNM.  

April 1 (Deadline for FAFNM Committee, NOT students):  FAFNM Scholarship Committee submits the list of eligible students to UNM Foundation who forwards the list to the UNM Scholarship.

The Process:  The Scholarship Selection Committee at UNM then reviews the list to select recipients based upon requirements and information of applicants (from UNM files).  If you are selected, they notify you by email of the pending offer for a scholarship.  The terms of the scholarship are detailed in this email.  Then you respond online and go to LOBOWEB to accept the scholarship.

The UNM Foundation will then email (or mail) the list of students who were awarded to the FAFNM Scholarship Committee.


  • FAFNM Cultural Heritage/Scholarship Award

    • Requirements (These requirements can also be found in the FAFNM Scholarship application form):
      • Active/Paid Member of FAFNM
      • Latest transcript (NOT diploma) (NOTE:  Please send PDF or printed transcript.  Do not forward emails from your school since this requires password and would take too much time for reviewers.)
      • Minimum credit hours/semester:  9 – for undergraduate, 6 – for professional certificates, vocational courses or graduate studies.
      • An Essay (not more than 350 words)
      • For incoming freshmen only: a copy of the ACCEPTANCE letter from the university/college (See “Note to Incoming Freshman” below.)
      • Completed application

Deadline to submit application and supporting documents:  July 15. TO BE EMAILED ONLY to [email protected].  (This year, 2022, applications are EMAILED, not MAILED due to the corona virus outbreak. 

    • The amount (approximately $300 to $500/year in the past) will depend upon the funds available, the points garnered (GPA, participation, essay among others), and the number of applicants.
    • NOTE TO INCOMING FRESHMAN: If you decide NOT to enroll after being accepted, you should inform the FAFNM Scholarship Committee to withdraw your application.  You can reapply at the next deadline when you have enrolled.

About the FAFNM Scholarship Funds:

FAFNM is one of the few ethnic organizations in Albuquerque, New Mexico that offers scholarships to members.  We believe in the importance of education.  As such, we want to support Filipino American students who want to pursue higher education after high school (including vocational courses).

The Scholarship Fund has been a collective effort of several generations of committed members who have been raising funds since 2002. The funds are invested through foundations and the interests accrued are the funds used for distribution.  The funds vary from year to year depending upon the funds raised, points garnered, and the number of applicants.

We have fund raising projects every other year such as Pista sa Nayon for the FAFNM.  In the past, we also had the annual caroling that raised funds exclusively for scholarship.

We want to thank all the donors, volunteers and supporters who have continuously helped us in raising funds all these years.

For inquiries, contact [email protected].  

(This website was updated on April 11, 2020.)

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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.


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 [email protected].  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 [email protected].  Thanks.

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