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.
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 email@example.com 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.
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:
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).
The 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.
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:
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.
Asian American Association of New Mexico (including their Oral History Group). Past presidents who are Filipinos: Dr. Dely Alcantara and Rod Ventura. 2019: Co-presidents are also Filipinos: Anni Leming and Robert Nelson. Ligaya White has also been one of the key organizers of the annual event: Festival of Asian Cultures for several years.
National Hispanic Cultural Center. The Philippine flag is one of the many flags flown at NHCC to show countries that were/are under Spanish colonization. NHCC has also sponsored with FANHS RG the Manila Galleon Trade Exhibit (2007-2008).
Bataan Memorial, Bataan Park
Bataan Ceremony, Bataan Park
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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)
Highlights on the Philippines-New Mexico Connection
The 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.