Pilipinas eNewsletter

Volume 3, Issue 1

April - June 2024

FILAMCCO's Kalayaan 2024: The Spirit of Freedom, Diversity and Unity

By Joyce Jameson

Thousands of Filipino-Americans and notable guests and performers attended  FILAMCCO’s Kalayaan 2024 on June 1st at the Southfield Pavilion to celebrate  the Philippines’ independence. The day began with a vibrant parade showcasing  Filipino culture and pride, followed by an opening ceremony led by Joe Javier.  Throughout the celebration, Filipinos and friends united in a joyful expression of  freedom through traditional dances, music, and presentations.

The cultural program, hosted by Joe Javier, kicked off with a diverse array of  performances. Highlights included Pastor Leo Abad’s rendition of “Lead Me Lord,” the  energetic dance “Pamaypay Ng Maynila” by Angel Squad, and Lexie Salazar’s moving  performance of “As Long As You Are There.” Other acts included a traditional Indian dance “Bharatnatyam” by Dhanya Menon, Pat Paalam’s rap song “Guwapo Moreno  Pilipino,” and the captivating performance of “These Islands” by artists from Grand  Rapids.

The performance of Himig Quatro was a popular addition to Independence Day lunch  and attendees enjoyed a celebration of the holiday. VIP guests dined on an array of  delectable Filipino cuisine generously prepared by Julie-Ryan Catering, along with a  delicious crispy lechon (roast pig) sponsored by VDM Management of Michigan. In the  spirit of community and camaraderie, leaders and representatives of FILAMCCO  extended warm invitations for attendees to join them at their tables, brimming with an  assortment of delectable Filipino cuisine.

Children’s games, sponsored by Triple A Bugg & Associates and coordinated by Lisa  Bugg and Michelle Oh, started at 12:30 PM, offering Filipino-inspired fun for young and  young at hearts attendees.

The second part of the cultural program, hosted by James Santos, featured a choral  rendition of “This is Amazing Grace” by the PAECUSA Choir, and a lively dance “Ang  Sarap, Ang Saya Maging Pilipino” by PMA – MetD, Other performances included  instrumental music “Handpan Sounds” by Jay Flack, a Thai dance “Busaba Sieng Tien”  coordinated by Dr. Su McKeithen-Polish, and the energetic “Na Vaquero” dance by the  PACCM Hula Dance Class. Additional dances showcased the cultural richness,  including “Binaslakan” by performers from Grand Rapids, “Pangalay” by FASA of University of Michigan, and “Iniibig Kita” by Circulo and Friends. The program also  featured a martial arts demonstration by Kil’s Tae Kwan Do, School of Masters Jack and  Hilda Kittinger.

The Ethnic Fashion Walk, guided by Ruth Rush, shimmered as a pinnacle moment of  the festivities. Revealing a splendid assortment of traditional and contemporary Filipino  attire, models exuded poise while donning vibrant mestizas, ternos, and barongs,  blending classic and modern styles with grace. This celebration of heritage and creativity proved to be a crowd-pleaser, captivating audiences with its vibrant display of  Filipino fashion and cultural richnes

Ryan Rosario conducted the awards presentation, recognizing community contributions  and announcing the Filamcco grant winners: PACCM’s Paaralang Pilipino, DFAA – Down River Filipino American Association, IAM – Ilocano Association of Michigan, and  PNAM – Pilipino Nurses Association of Michigan. Additionally, Mina Aniciete, a member  of Circulo Pampangueno of Michigan, took home the round-trip ticket prize, sparking  excitement and cheers from the crowd.

Notable VIP guests included Teresa Recinto representing Oakland County Executive  David Coulter, Dr. Ken Siver, Southfield Mayor, Sen. Stephanie Chang, Michael Manion from the City of Southfield Community Relations, Dan Klein, Oakland County  Community Engagement Representative, Oakland County Commissioners Linnie Taylor  and Yolanda Smith Charles, Vicki Perry from the City of Southfield, Christopher Sims  from Stellantis Diversity Supplier Development, Hazel Park Judge Brian Hartwell, Dr.  Sue Polish, CAPA President, Stephanie Beau, CAPA Founder, and many other  esteemed guests.

The day ended with Batchada group dance lessons led by Gerry Tablada, inviting attendees to dance until closing time.

From the vibrant parade to captivating performances, every moment reflected the  resilience and vibrancy of the Filipino spirit. Bringing together over 100 prominent VIPs  and more than 3000 guests from near and far away towns, cities, and states,  FILAMCCO’s Kalayaan 2024 was a colorful celebration of freedom and culture. The  vibrant community and its togetherness made the day filled with jubilation and tradition,  marking a truly outstanding and successful event to commemorate and honor our past  and embrace the opportunities ahead. It was a unifying experience and a symbol of  hope and optimism, knowing that together, we can build a brighter and more inclusive  tomorrow. Mabuhay!

FILAMCCO’s Kalayaan 2024 was orchestrated by a dedicated production team and  volunteers including Program Director Arcie Gemino and committee members Ruth  Rush, Hilda Kittinger, Boots Gabarda, Joe Javier, James Santos, Espie Armendi, Len  Len Jenks, Al Thompson, and Rose Caoagas, with DJ music provided by Lunar  Sessions.

A Message from Ryan Rosario, FILAMCCO President

I am thrilled to share that the FILAMCCO Kalayaan 2024 event was a remarkable  success, surpassing all expectations and breaking the attendance record at the  Southfield Pavilion.  This achievement is a true testament  to the hard work, dedication,  and collaborative efforts of our incredible FILAMCCO board members and event  committees.

 My sincere thanks to every member of the FILAMCCO Board members and event  committees. Special thanks to Ceasar Sumanting, Kalayaan Chair, and event co-chairs  James Santos and Ruthy Rush for their exceptional leadership and guidance. A  heartfelt appreciation goes out to the event program director, Arcie Gemino, for her  outstanding vision and meticulous coordination.

 The unity aspect of the event was truly remarkable, with over 40 member organizations  coming together to enjoy camaraderie, share stories, indulge in delicious Filipino food,  and dance the day away. It was a beautiful display of solidarity and cultural pride.

 Let’s not forget about the dazzling fashion models who showcased their elegance and  style, as well as the 15 captivating cultural shows that delighted and entertained all  attendees. These displays of talent and creativity added another layer of richness to an  already unforgettable event.

 We are immensely grateful for the support of our sponsors, Eastern Michigan University,  Page Honda/Toyota, 168 Group, and Brighton Sleep Diagnostics, whose generosity  helped make this event possible.

 Together, we have proven that when we come together as a community, we can achieve  incredible feats and create unforgettable moments. Here’s to more successful events,  stronger bonds, and continued celebrations of unity and culture in the years to come!

Congratulations to the First Ever Kalayaan Grant Recipients

By Dr. Meriam Caboral-Stevens

This year, FILAMCCO President, Ryan Rosario, suggested to the Executive Board about rewarding Filipino organizations for their loyalty and commitment.  He proposed offering the first-ever Kalayaan grant.  This grant was opened to eligible Filipino organizations and recipients may use the money from the award for any initiatives here in Michigan. There were six applications received from the community.  The applications were reviewed anonymously by three Executive Board officers who were not affiliated with any of the applicant organizations. The reviews were counted by Dr. Meriam Caboral-Stevens and the results were verified by Mr. Al Thompson. Below are the recipients of the first Kalayaan Grant and their projects.

Ilocano Association of Michigan (IAM) – to hold classes and workshops on financial literacy for seniors. 

Paaralang Pilipino – award will be used for copying and printing materials needed in the schools. 

Philippine Nurses Association of Michigan (PNAM) – money will be used in welcoming and onboarding newly arrived nurses going to Henry Ford Health System. 

Downriver Filipino American Association (DFAA) – the award will be used for student scholarships. 

We would like to acknowledge the three reviewers – Eleanor “LenLen” Jenks, Joyce Jameson, and Jeff Vedua – for agreeing to review the applications.

We also would like to thank all the applicants who submitted and did not receive the award. Please make sure to resubmit for next year’s grant.       

Congratulations to all the award recipients! 

Michigan Welcomes NaFFAA’s 15th National Empowerment Conference and the 2024 Civic Leadership Forum

By Amy Risvold

Michigan will proudly host the 15th National Empowerment Conference (NEC) and  the 2024 Civic Leadership Forum (CLF) at The Atheneum in Detroit on August  16-17.  Organized by the National Federation of Filipino  American Associations  (NaFFAA), this landmark event promises to unite Filipino American leaders from across  the United States for two days of inspiration, empowerment, and community building.

 Home to over 28,000 Filipino Americans according to the U.S. Census, Michigan is a  fitting location for this significant gathering. The Filipino American community in  Michigan has a rich history and has contributed significantly to the state’s cultural and  economic fabric. Hosting the NEC and CLF in Michigan highlights the importance of the  Filipino American community’s role in shaping the state’s future.

 The conference will feature visionary speakers, dynamic activities, and opportunities for  attendees to connect with fellow trailblazers. This event is not just about celebrating our  heritage and honoring our history; it’s about shaping the future and making a tangible  difference in our communities.

Great Lake State President Wilmar Suan expressed his enthusiasm for hosting the  event. According to him “It is a profound privilege to welcome the nation’s top Filipino  American leaders to Michigan. This gathering represents the strength, unity, and  potential of our community, and we are honored to be the backdrop for such an  inspirational event.”

 Michigan State President Amy Risvold added “Hosting the NEC and CLF in Michigan is  a testament to the vibrant Filipino American community here. We are excited to  showcase our state’s rich heritage and provide a platform for meaningful dialogue and  action.”

 NaFFAA National President Mariela Fletcher extended a heartfelt invitation to all Filipino  Americans: “Join us in Detroit to engage, participate, take charge, and be inspired! This  is a unique opportunity to connect with leaders and advocates dedicated to empowering  our community. Together, we can make a lasting impact.”

Don’t miss this chance to be part of a historic Filipino American event. Register now and  join us in celebrating our heritage, empowering our community, and shaping a brighter  future for all.

For more details and registration, visit  NaFFAA NEC 2024 .

For additional information contact: 

Wilmar Suan, President, Great Lakes Region (586) 883-3037                          

Amy Risvold, President, NaFFAA-MI               (586) 344-1476                             

Ellen Dioso, Event CoChair                              (734) 658-3223                             

Corazon Gabarda, Event CoChair                (248) 229-4724                             

Arcie Gemino, PRO                                          (586) 214-2597

Gawad Parangal 2024 ng Paaralang Pilipino, Matagumpay

By Ruthy Rush, PP Director

Mayo  5,  2024  –  Matagumpay  na  ginanap  ang  ika-41  na  anibersaryo  ng  Philippine

 American  Community  Center  (PACCM)  at  ang  taunang  Gawad  Parangal  ng  Paaralang  Pilipino  para  sa  taong  2024.  Nakatanggap  ng  sertipiko  ng  pagkilala  ang  mga  rehistradong  estudyante  ng  Paaralan  na  matagumpay  na  nakatapos  para  sa  taong  ito.  Sila  ang  matiyagang  pumapasok  bawat  Linggo  at  natuto  ng  wika,  tradisyon, at  kulturang  Filipino.  Isinagawa  ang  Gawad  Parangal  sa  dating  lokasyon  ng  PACCM  sa  Northpark  Court,  Southfield  na  dinaluhan  ng  mga  estudyante,  mga  magulang  at  kamag-anak  kasama  na  rin  ang  mga  guro,  volunteers,  PACCM  board  members  at  iba’t-ibang  miyembro  ng  organisasyon  mga  Pilipino  dito  sa  Michigan.

 Para  sa  taong  pamparaalan  2023-2024,  naging  katuwang  ng  Paaralang  Pilipino  ang  mga  masisipag  at  magagaling  na  volunteer  teachers  na  sina  April  Karl  at  Anita  Adlawan  (Binhi  class);  Jelaine  Johnson  at  Eileen  Taay,  mga  guro  sa  Wika  (Batibot  at  Bagets  classes);  Gean  Almendras,  guro  sa  musika  (Batibot  at  Bagets  classes);  Si  Elenita  Juco,  guro  sa  sayaw  (Kabataan  class);  Josie  Palu-ay  at  LenLen  Jenks,  guro  sa  Arts  &  Crafts  (Batibot  at  Bagets  classes);  James  Wilson  at  Cathy  Javier,  guro  sa  Filipino  Youth  Initiative  o  FYI  (Kabataan  class);  at Tess Porcalla, Romy at Evelyn Alip, guro sa Musika at Kultura (Bayani class). 

 Sa  darating  na  pasukan  at  taong  pampanuruan  2024-2025,  ang  Paaralan  ay  mangangailangan  ng  katuwang  na  mga  guro  o  substitute  teachers  na  makakatulong  sa  pagtuturo  ng  Wikang

 Filipino  o  Tagalog,  mga  tradisyunal  na  kanta  at  sayaw,  o  may  kaalaman  sa  kasaysayan  at  kultura  ng  Pilipinas.  Kung  nais  mong  maging  bahagi  ng  Paaralang  Pilipino  at  magturo,  lisensyado  ka  man  o  may  kasanayan  at  kaalaman  sa  kultura  at  kasaysayan  ng  Pilipinas,  maaari  kang  magpasa  ng  iyong  aplikasyon.  Ipadala  ang  iyong  resumè  kay  Ruthy  Rush,  Paaralang  Pilipino Director –  rushruthp@gmail.com

UPAAM Celebrates 40 Years of Empowering Youth: Outstanding Youth of Michigan Gala Event

By Roy Coloma

The University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Michigan (UPAAM) is  celebrating the 40th anniversary of its Outstanding Youth of Michigan (OYM)  scholarship program with a gala on Sunday, June 30, 2024, at 3:00 pm at the  Macedonian Cultural Center.

As our Philippine National hero Jose Rizal said, the youth is our hope for tomorrow, so  the UPAAM started the OYM awards in 1984 to inspire and encourage our youth  towards excellence in academics, leadership, community service, sports, and other  extra-curricular activities.  Since its inception, our program has proudly supported 225  outstanding individuals in pursuing their higher education dreams.

This milestone anniversary gala event promises to be an unforgettable celebration,  featuring the presentation of the 2024 OYM awards, musical performances by OYM  awardees, showcasing their talents and achievements, bringing together past and  present scholarship recipients and their parents, community leaders, and supporters.  This special evening is not only a tribute to our program’s legacy but also a vital  fundraiser to ensure its continued success. Your support will help empower the next  generation of leaders, innovators, and change-makers.

Our scholarship program has a profound impact on the lives of young people, providing  not only financial assistance but also a network of support, mentorship, and  opportunities. By investing in their future, we strengthen our community’s future. Join us  in celebrating 40 years of transformative impact and shaping the future of our youth.  Make your reservations now for this extraordinary event and help us continue to fuel the  dreams and potential of high-achieving students. Together, let’s build a brighter  tomorrow!

Why has UPAAM continued the OYM program for forty years? Some even want to  eliminate school grades, arguing that school grades promote racism. Grades provide an  objective measure of academic progress thus motivating students to put in their best  efforts. Grades are indicators of a student’s ability to learn, apply knowledge, and meet  deadlines. If there are concerns about inequality, we need to ensure equitable  environments where all students have access to resources and support that are needed  for their success.

Striving for excellence in academics, leadership, community service, sports and the arts  help our youth develop a diverse set of skills. Academic success develops analytical  and critical thinking and problem-solving. Leadership and community service develop  interpersonal and organizational skills. Participation in sports and the arts fosters  teamwork, discipline, and creativity. All of these prepare students for future challenges,  fostering resilience, perseverance, and a commitment to continuous improvement and  life-long learning which are very important in this rapidly changing world.

See What’s New at PACCM as of April & May 2024

By Rick Cruz & Tony Kho

In unity, there really is strength.

Our ‘home away from home’ is starting to shape up as more and more renovations are underway  through the ‘bayanihan’ and the unwavering efforts of some of our fellow Filipinos. Efren  Balancio, Al Thompson, and Rick Cruz did the removal of old floodlight fixtures and installed  dusk to dawn lights in front of the chapel that illuminates it at night.

Their team worked hard to troubleshoot lighting circuits and completed converting all the  fellowship hall and the costume room light fixtures to LED. Furthermore, Al and Rick cleaned a  large area on the north side of the property, cutting the grass to the back of the garage and the  main house front yard. They also buffed and mopped the main school hallway and the library.

WiFi is now working in the building while the PACCM officers recently held the board meeting.

For those interested to spare their time and give a helping hand, your presence is needed and  appreciated. They are looking for individuals who are experienced in grass cutting using mowers  and must be 21 years old. The team is willing to train and supervise you while you are learning.  They are likewise willing to teach, and train interested individuals on how to edit web pages,  videos, or add graphics, etc. If interested, contact Rick Cruz.

To view all these exciting changes happening at PACCM, check this link  https://thegotooguy.infinityfreeapp.com/see-whats-new/?i=1

An Appeal to the Filipino Community

By Rebecca ‘Becky’ Tungol

As PACCM President, I humbly and urgently appeal to my fellow Filipinos, friends, and  goodhearted people for the complete restoration of our so-called  ‘home away from  home’  currently located at 23800 Lahser Rd., Southfield,  Michigan 48033

As valued members of our community, we are reaching out to you with an urgent  request. Our beloved cultural center, a place where members gather, friendships  flourish, and memories are made is on its way to reality, but we need your help and  support to reach its completion.

Our Journey So Far

Thank you to the unwavering dedication of our board members and community  members we have purchased the building that will house the PACCM but there’s still  work to be done.

 At the time this is written we have accomplished the following:

  1. The roof was replaced with the generous donation of Drs. Joe & Stella
  2. The site plan and permits to start restoration have been approved. Thanks to the pro bono service of the avid supporter of PACCM, Engr Noel Santos, PE., the  project manager.
  3. Electrical works in the church and classroom area have been done and completed by volunteers, Engr’s. Efren Balancio and Rick Cruz assisted by our  building manager, Al Thompson.
  4. Removal of debris in the surrounding areas was done by many volunteers.
  5. Tony Kho, the executive director, oversees the progress of the project.
  6. We raised $350k so far. Many thanks to our major sponsors and individuals who have contributed to keep us going.

 How you can help?

  1. Donate Generously: Every dollar counts. Your contribution,  whether big or  small, will directly impact the completion of our restoration of our PACCM.  Visit our donation page to make a secure online donation
  2. Spread the Word: Share our cause and purpose with  friends, family and  Encourage them in joining us achieve our vision a reality.
  3. Renovate and Furnish : The building requires essential renovations,  including plumbing, electrical work, painting, and upgrades.
  4. Sponsor a Room to clean and decorate .
  5. Volunteer: If you have skills in construction, design,  event planning, grass  mowing, and landscaping please consider volunteering your time.  Contact us  at  paccm@comcast.net  to get involved.  https://sqr.link/paccm-donate

Together, We Can Do It! Let’s share our spirit of BAYANIHAN.

Thank you for being an integral part of our community.  Let’s build an everlasting legacy  together that the future generation will enjoy. Maraming salamat po!

 PACCM’s EIN number is 38-2448801.

PNAM Receives FILAMCCO Grant for a Good Cause

By Sofia Espada Bole, RN

The PNAM has been a member of FILAMCCO for many years, a strong supporter by supporting its activities through volunteerism, donations especially when unforeseen calamities affect our homeland, the Philippines. Several PNAM members also joined FILAMCCO as Officers. One of the examples of volunteerism was last December 2023, during Rizal Day celebration. PNAM took care of table decorations lavished with exotic orchids of variable colors.

The decoration committee was led by Josie Paluay whose expertise in decorating is beyond description.

Last April 2024, the Filipino American Community Council (FILAMCCO) announced that they are offering mini-grants of $500.00 to member organizations. Fortunately, the Philippine Nurses Association of Michigan (PNAM) is one of the recipients of the said award. The PNAM objective in the application is to use it for welcoming and orienting newly arrived Filipino nurses here in Michigan, specifically to those recruited for HFHS, or any new nurses arriving in Michigan.

The PNAM grant application stated “The State of Michigan is in dire need of nurses to address the health care needs of the people. The Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) is coordinating with the Philippine Nurses Association of Michigan (PNAM) to recruit nurses. There will be an influx of new Filipino nurses coming to Michigan in the coming months and years. ———————— .”

In the last three years, PNAM welcomed several Filipino nurses coming from the Philippines, Qatar, and Germany. Most of them were recruited to work in Nursing Homes. Lately, in anticipation for extreme nursing shortage, HFHS hired a recruiter specifically for Filipino nurses, but open to other nationalities also. They went to three places in the Philippines to interview potential hires. Several PNAM representatives met with them and their families, bringing them the necessities of daily living. There is a person assigned to contact them regularly to check on how they are coming along, the PNAM Sunshine person. Newly arrived nurses need to adjust to culture change as they immerse in the American culture, get adjusted, and develop their nursing careers. But most importantly, to make them feel at home knowing someone cares. The prediction of a grave Nursing shortage by 2030, makes several hospitals get ready to ensure adequate delivery of healthcare to patients without compromising quality.  One recourse by many hospitals is to recruit nurses abroad, mostly from the Philippines.

Last May 24, 2024, at lunchtime, a group of PNAM members: Dr. Meriam Caboral-Stevens, Boots Gabarda, Connie Sumalde, Sofy Bole, Amy Risvold, and Val Garza met the four newly arrived Filipino nurses. We brought homemade food, and we had a great time to get to know each other. They were invited to attend the Kalayaan Picnic 2024. Ellen Dioso procured a driver to pick them up with their families and take them home thereafter. Virginia Alinsao who interviewed them in the Philippines came here in Michigan from Maryland just to meet them during the Kalayaan 2024 celebration, at the same time to ensure they are doing well especially their adaptation to a different culture. It was a boost to their delight knowing they were well taken care of.  We anticipate more arrivals this month and in the years ahead.

So, FILAMCCO giving a mini-grant money to PNAM is a blessing. These nurses need basic needs like food, especially rice, utensils, cooking pots, and pans, most likely until they receive their first salary.  One very important issue is transportation. This issue is only temporary until these new nurses get paid and can save for their own car. For now, they live close to the hospital and there is an HFHS transportation service they can call to pick them up to and from work. From what we have gathered, these nurses are happy with how the hospital treats them and makes them feel good. Some were able to bring their husbands with them as immigrants. At the FILAMCCO Kalayaan Picnic on June 1, 2024, a Korean couple also came, the wife is a nurse and her husband came with her, also a recruit by the said hospital. So, recruitment is not limited to Filipino nurses only. These days, any nurse recruited here is good news in preparation for maintaining quality healthcare delivery. 

We just hope that these nurses abide by their signed contracts with the recruiting hospital. It costs a lot of bucks to recruit each nurse just to come here and work. This is one of the issues we reiterate to the newly recruited nurses, be thankful, and be grateful for the opportunities our adopted country offers.

On behalf of the PNAM, we will continue to support FILAMCCO as we did in the years past. The organization is a Filipino umbrella organization that leads the way in maintaining our cultural heritage most especially when we are far away from home.

Thank you FILAMCCO for your caring gesture, a much-needed one. Indeed, caring for each other boosts the spirit and lightens the load brought about by anxiety and fear of the unknown in addition to being in a foreign land. Let us continue helping each other, and working together, we are empowered to achieve the best! Mabuhay!

New Nurses from HFHS Attended Kalayaan 2024

A Night of Endless Love: PACCM Spring Ball 2024

By Dr. Meriam Caboral-Stevens

On Saturday, April 13, the PACCM Spring Ball was a stunning affair themed “Endless Love (Walang Hanggang Pag-ibig).” It was an evening where love, cultural entertainment, and community spirit came together in a spectacular celebration as the premier fundraising event for the Philippine American Community Center of Michigan.

Venue and Decorations

The event took place at the elegant Larsa Palace Banquet Facility Inc., located on Old 13 Mile Road, Warren. In addition to its charm and aesthetics, the venue comfortably accommodated over 300 attendees.  The spacious hall was transformed into a romantic haven as the tables were adorned with lovely centerpieces of floral arrangements to enhance the ambiance and the decor created a warm and inviting atmosphere, setting the stage for an unforgettable evening.

Attire and Atmosphere

Guests arrived in their finest attire, embodying the elegance and sophistication that the Spring Ball is known for. Guests showcased rich cultural costumes, reflecting their heritage and the community’s diverse background. The beautiful and fair ladies glided into the hall in their exquisite gowns, mestizas, and Filipiniana dresses, each more stunning than the next, while the gentlemen wore tailored suits, tuxedos, and Barong Tagalogs. Under the theme of everlasting love, old friends reunited, and new connections were made under the joyous energy of laughter and joyful conversation. This theme reinforced the community’s affinity for one another and their shared heritage.

Entertainment

As expected, the evening’s entertainment provided a visual and a musical feast to complement the theme. The DJ kept the energy level high, ensuring the dance floor was never empty. In a picture-perfect scene of romance, couples swayed to the music, their elegant attire swirling in motion. Music and colorful lights transformed the dance floor into a vibrant mosaic of movement.

Memorable Moments

Several moments stood out throughout the evening as highlights. A particularly touching moment was the heartfelt speech and video presentation delivered by Rebecca Tungol, PACCM President. Ms. Tungol gave an update on the PACCM’s status giving guests and attendees a glimpse of the Filipino community’s ‘home away from home.’ It was heartfelt and highlighted the collective efforts and achievements of the community, she underscored the transformation of the center and the significant progress made in revitalizing the center leaving many in the audience emotionally moved. The update served as a powerful reminder of the importance of the cultural center, the impact of the evening’s fundraising efforts, and the profound contribution of collective action and generosity.

Adding to the evening’s grandiosity was the parade of featured couples celebrating and paying tribute to their endless love for each other. These couples highlighted the theme of everlasting love. Each couple’s unique love story was shared. From childhood sweethearts to finding each other in the most unexpected places, to couples who found love later in life, their stories inspired, wowed, and touched the hearts of everyone in attendance. They danced together, surrounded by loved ones and friends, their love shone brightly, reminding everyone of the enduring power of love, magic, and unity.

Conclusion

PACCM Spring Ball 2024 was more than just an event but was an experience that celebrated love in all its forms. Attendees are left with hearts full of joy and memories that will last a lifetime, eagerly anticipating the next gathering where love will once again take center stage.

The Spring Ball proved that love is not just a fleeting emotion but an eternal force that can be celebrated endlessly. Until next year, let us carry the warmth and spirit of that beautiful night, cherishing the endless love that binds us all, not only to each other but also to our community, culture, and heritage. It is a commitment to nurturing and preserving our shared identity, ensuring that the flame of tradition continues to burn brightly for generations to come. As we look ahead, we do so with a renewed sense of purpose and dedication, knowing that our collective efforts are fueled by love and a firm commitment to pursue our dreams for the next generation.

Artikulo 4: Summer Bucket List

By Ruthy Rush

Summer season na ngayon sa Michigan at karamihan sa mga tao dito ay naghahanda na ng kanilang summer bucket list. Maikli lamang ang araw ng tag-init at mabilis itong matatapos. Kaya naman maaga pa lang ay pinagpaplanuhan na nang maigi ang ilalagay sa listahan.

Ang bucket list ay listahan ng mga bagay na gusto mong matupad ngunit sa maikling panahon, mas maganda kung makakamit mo ito. Karamihan sa atin ay mayroong bucket list sa buhay ng pangmatagalan katulad ng travel bucket list, career bucket list, shopping bucket list, friends bucket list, kid sports bucket list, movie bucket list, love life bucket list at marami pang iba’t-ibang klase ng bucket list. Ngunit ngayon tag-init magpopokus tayo sa masaya at maiksing summer bucket list na mabilis lang makamit at nakakaaliw gawin.

Narito ang limang suhestyon para sa inyong magiging summer bucket list na tiyak na  makakadagdag sa inyong listahan.

Una, mag-summer cleaning. Kung meron tinatawag na spring cleaning, meron din summer cleaning. Halungkatin at linisin ang mga gamit sa kwarto o paligid ng bahay, piliin ang mga gamit sa loob ng bahay na hindi na nagbibigay ng “spark”. Ibenta ito sa garage sale upang kumita ng pera o di kaya ay i-donate sa Salvation Army, simbahan o non-profit na mga organisasyon. Maaari ding ilagay sa balikbayan box at ipadala sa mga pamilya, kamag-anak, o kaibigan sa Pilipinas.

Pangalawa, magsagawa ng summer picnic kasama ang pamilya at kaibigan. Pumili ng masayang tema at maglagay ng makukulay na dekorasyon sa inyong bakuran. Mag-barbeque ng paboritong karne o sariwang isda at huwag kalimutang magluto ng kanin o pansit para kumpleto ang handaan. Mainam kung may swimming pool sa bakuran para makapaglaro ang mga bata subalit kung wala naman, pwedeng-pwede naman gawin sa City Pool.

Pangatlo, bumili ng postcard sa lugar bakasyunan. Kung nais mong maglakbay sa iba’t-ibang lugar at mangolekta ng magandang alaala, highly recommended ko ang postcard na may iba’t-ibang larawan ng lugar. Ihulog sa post office ang postcard at ipadala sa iyong sarili. Pagbalik mo mula sa iyong bakasyon, tiyak na matatanggap mo ito. Maaalala mo pa ang iyong masayang bakasyon.

Pang-apat, mag-alaga o mag-ampon ng cute pets tulad aso, pusa, rabbit, ibon, pagong, butterfly o kaya goldfish. Kahit anong uri ng pet basta madaling alagaan dahil pwede mo itong bilhin sa pet store o animal adoption center. Kung hindi ka pwedeng mag-alaga ng hayop, bumisita sa Detroit Zoo o kaya sa Metropark Nature Center na malapit sa iyong lugar.

Panglima, magbasa ka ng paboritong mong libro. Pumunta ka sa city library na malapit sa lugar mo. Siguradong marami kang makikitang magagandang libro na sagana sa impormasyon. Sa araw ng tag-init itabi muna ang gadget habang nagbabasa ng libro. Magkaiba ang libro sa papel at libro sa gadget, mas mainam kung bibigyan mo ang sarili mo ng pagkakataon na madagdagan ang iyong kaalaman sa pamamagitan ng  librong papel.

Sa muli, ang bucket list ay listahan ng mga bagay na gustong matupad sa buhay. Mahirap man itong makamit, marami namang paraan upang matupad kahit sa maikling panahon. Tiyak na nakakarelax at nakakatulong itong mapaunlad ang ating mga sarili.

Filipino – American Widow/Widower Grief Support

Living Free: Privileges and Responsibilities

By Roy Coloma

Most of us living in the Philippines or the United States take our freedom for granted, freedom that has been bought for a price by our patriots, freedom that we celebrate in the Philippines on June 12 and in the United States on July 4. We take freedom for granted because we do not live in places like North Korea where the government maintains strict control over all aspects of life and the people live under constant surveillance and propaganda, or in China where the government restricts freedom of expression, controls the press, monitors internet use, and harshly punishes political dissent, or in Iran where the practice of religion is limited to Islam and women’s rights are significantly restricted.

What does freedom mean to us personally? It covers many of our civil liberties like freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and the press, as well as the right to privacy and to make personal choices about our lives and bodies. We can express our beliefs not only by spoken or written words but through artistic expression, all without fear of retribution. We can practice any religion without government interference. We have the right to gather peacefully for protests and rallies and join groups and organizations. We can vote and run for office allowing us to influence government policies. We can own property, start businesses, and choose employment enabling us to attain our financial goals.

Without realizing it, freedom brings about personal and community benefits. Being able to pursue our interests and passions leads to greater personal fulfillment and happiness. Freedom promotes an environment where innovation and creativity can thrive which can lead to advances in technology and culture. Freedom promotes social justice and equality by allowing marginalized people to be recognized and fight for their rights. Freedom allows economic opportunities that promote competition and economic growth. Imagine what our lives would be without the freedom we enjoy, and it makes you more appreciative and grateful.

Freedom comes with personal responsibilities to make sure it is preserved, respected, and balanced with the well-being of the whole society. These responsibilities include participating in the democratic process, upholding the rule of law, protecting the rights of others, contributing to the common good, and promoting tolerance and diversity. It is an election year, so need to vote and be informed about the political issues, candidates, and government policies. We can respect and defend the rights of others by standing against discrimination, injustice, and oppression. We need to engage in honest and ethical business and workplace practices and yes, pay our taxes because they are used to support public service and infrastructure. We just celebrated Memorial Day, and we want to continue to honor and support those who serve to protect and preserve our freedom.

Freedom encompasses a broad spectrum of liberties that we enjoy, which helps us lead fulfilling lives and contribute to the progress of the whole society. It comes with personal responsibilities to promote, preserve, and defend it. Living free is part of the American dream. Let us celebrate freedom!

Spaghetti Sauce from Scratch

By Sofia Espada Bole, RN, FILAMCCO Board Member

Spaghetti alone has no impressive taste. The secret lies in the sauce to enhance the flavor. A spaghetti meal is very easy to make, and it seems very popular with children (my own experience with my children and grandchildren).

To make a real homemade spaghetti sauce with excellent flavor that can be catered to your discriminating taste, start in the garden. Now that summer is here, it’s a good time to do vegetable gardening. It is a long process but if you enjoy gardening, at the same time, you will find it a very satisfying hobby. 

In the summer of 2023, my husband and I had a small vegetable garden in the backyard with a variety of tomatoes from Big Boy, Roma, beef steak, cherry tomatoes, and other varieties. We also had peppers, eggplants, ampalaya (bitter melon), and zucchini.  When tomatoes ripened almost at the same time, there was so much more than we can consume. We shared it with neighbors and friends. Nevertheless, there’s still more. And this gave me the idea to try a homemade sauce. The process takes a long, but the result is very pleasing to discriminating taste buds.

Showing you dear readers, pictures of the steps of making tomato spaghetti sauce from scratch: the garden, watering, weeding, aeration, lifting fragile branches propped by small sticks. To ensure a good harvest, planting some deterrent device may be needed to drive squirrels away. After a few weeks, ripened tomatoes bring delight to the gardener. At this point, harvesting is a most awaited part of gardening. Making the sauce is another episode of tedious process but the result is worth it.

Spaghetti is a long solid cylindrical pasta. It is a staple food of traditional Italian cuisine, made of milled wheat, and water, and sometimes enriched with vitamins and minerals. Italian spaghetti is typically made from durum wheat semolina. Usually, the pasta is white because refined flour is used, but whole wheat flour may be added. Spaghettini is a thicker form of spaghetti, while spaghettini is a thinner form. (Wikipedia). A good spaghetti meal is as good as the sauce mixed in it. Adding meatballs or lean ground beef enriches the flavor.

The steps to make a real homemade spaghetti sauce begin with planting. From harvesting, it is another tedious process to end up with the sauce, but the product is worth more, that is if you enjoy and take pride in your homemade labor.

Split the ripe tomatoes into halves, then remove the seeds. To remove the skin, deseeded split red tomatoes need to be boiled (no water added) till the thin skin just automatically detached from the tomato meat. Then remove skins from the mixture and discard. Tomatoes are succulent, and it takes several hours on low heat to medium heat to finally reach a point where the thick consistency is ripe for adding spices of choice. Sprinkle garlic powder, onion powder, or chopped fresh onions, add thinly chopped peppers, chopped parsley, chopped rosemary, and salt to taste, even mint if you prefer. If you love hot flavor sauce, you can add chopped hot peppers and toss it in the mixture. To some they add a small amount of sugar to diminish the tangy tomato taste, it’s your preference. Perhaps, the magic in the taste lies in the freshness of the main ingredients used, fresh tomatoes picked from the garden. Homemade meatballs or lean ground beef can be added to enhance the flavor. Before adding the tomato sauce, cook ground meat separately, then discard fat before adding in the sauce. Add sauce to cooked spaghetti and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. My family loved it, and so will you. Bon appetite!

Other vegetables harvested from the garden 2023 are shown here

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