PILIPINAS E-Newsletter

Issue: 4

Editorial Board 2022-2023

Editor-in-Chief : Salvador Jr. ‘Bads’ Pante | rodavlasetnaprj17@gmail.com

News Editor : Joseph Javier | joseph.paul.javier@wayne.edu

Features Editor : Sofie Bole | sbole928@gmail.com

Coordinator, Community Calendar of Events: Ruthy Rush | rushruthp@gmail.com

Digital Creative Director: Dan Moen | dmoen@dijurimedia.com

I.T. Consultants: Tony Kho | tkho000@gmail.com & Gerry Tablada | gatablada@yahoo.com

Publicity Chairperson: Arcie Gemino | arciegemino1113@yahoo.com

Shine a light to give our best to PACCM’S Spring Ball

By: Arcie Gemino 

While PACCM had brandished years of celebration under its signature event known as the “Post Valentine’s Ball,” in February, it had transitioned into a new event now dubbed as the “Spring Ball” held into a new month in April. This all started last year in 2022 and after much conjecture, the change was delightedly welcomed so Spring Ball is here to stay.
The organization has sprung into its initial stages of prepping for a yet bigger attendance and higher hopes to raise more funds than ever before to achieve its plan to move into a new building. Adding novelty to the groundwork is the move into a new locale, the stylishly and newly renovated Royalty House in Warren, an affiliate banquet facility of the Larsa Palace in Sterling Heights.
Spearheading this year’s celebration, a young novice making her maiden appearance as chairperson is Ruth Rush. She is a board member of PACCM and holds the Administrative Assistant post in the Paaralang Pilipino personnel. Congratulations and welcome aboard Ruth as you get a taste of the lead role in a major event. Co-chairing the celebration is Resty Teodoro, fittingly chosen from his prior experiences in community involvement.
Chairing the Wedding Celebrants’ segment is Ryan Rosario assisted by Espie Armendi. This year’s plan is to gather at least 15 couples and anyone desiring to participate can book a package for $750 that includes a table for 12, VIP seating, video photos, 12 alcoholic beverages and flowers for the lady celebrant. Admission to the group is on a first come, first served basis, and must meet the deadline of April 8. Important to note is we no longer require the 5-year increments in the anniversaries so anyone wishing to partake can do so if the deadline is met.
The program preparations are in full swing and yours truly, the Program Director, is close to wrapping up the event’s content and lineup. The entertainment program at this time of writing is closed. Other evening festivities include induction ceremonies of the newly elected officers officiated by past PACCM president Dr. Ben Fajardo, awards presentation, acceptance of donations to the community center, dance galore, and a few other details still being mapped out.
Becky Tungol once again was unanimously elected as President of the organization and will carry even bigger responsibilities and other sizeable tasks now that the search for a new home for the Filipino Community is underway. She, along with the PACCM board, is asking all who can and are willing to assist in reaching our fundraising goal. We sincerely hope it will truly be an “all hands on deck” endeavor by our entire community as it does take a village to achieve such an incredible undertaking.

FILAMCCO forms alliance with Asian collaborators to celebrate International Women's Day

By: Arcie Gemino 

International Women’s Day is a global holiday celebrated annually in March as a focal point in the women’s rights movement bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, global feminist movements and the celebration, promotion, and achievements of women’s rights.

The celebration goes back to as early as 1917 but became more recognized in the 1960’s. Here in Michigan, IWD was celebrated by the collaborative partnership ventured by several Asian organizations of which Filamcco was one. The event was held at the Vista Tech of Schoolcraft College on March 11, 2023. The theme was “Embracing Equity”, signifying a gender equal world free of bias, stereotype, and discrimination. A world where difference is valued and celebrated with the concept that together we can forge women’s equality.

The event featured 3 speakers, among whom was our own Filipino Educator and distinct leader, Dr. Connie Tingson Gatuz, Associate Vice-President of the University of Michigan’s Student Life. The speeches were conducted by an interactive discussion on the topic: “Women Rising.”

There was a cultural show in which our community was represented by the members of the PNA- Met D who performed a dance entitled Mamang Sorbetero (Mr. Ice Cream Man). A hearty lunch of hot pasta Italiano Bar was enjoyed by the attendees. Each participating organization had their banners displayed and a video presentation of their vision, mission, signature events, corporate sponsors, business supporters, contact information, 2022 past community activities and pictures of Filamcco board members were shown. Each organization also had their banners and logos displayed on stage.

FILAMCCO, NAFFAA and PNA-MET-D were well represented by the 22-member delegation composed of Dr. Ernie Mac, Lavinia Mateo, Tess Porcalla, and Arcie Gemino. Ruth Rush, Nina Mc Caulley, Fe San Agustin, Ellen Laboga, Trinie Alair, and 12 members of PNA-Met D and their guests.

FILAMCCO had long been part of the IWD celebration in Michigan. In 2009, International Women’s Day Celebration sponsored by the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit, selected 3 Filipino women, Dr. Ernie Mac, Becky Tungol, and Arcie Gemino and honored them with awards of distinction into the “Whos’ Who Among Michigan Professionals ” Gala. In 2011, IWD spearheaded by Asian Indian Women Association and other Asian groups was celebrated at the PACCM and Becky Tungol received her second award as one of the Distinguished Woman Leader in the Asian Community.

IWD is sure to hold its impact not only to women but men and all generations to come. Our community continues to embrace this honor and remembrance of women’s roles in the world at large.

Kalayaan ventures into indoor celebration, moves to a new venue

By: Arcie Gemino 

After more than 25 years of celebrating Kalayaan at Halmich Park in Warren, FILAMCCO took a bold act to move its biggest outdoor signature event to a new location at the Southfield Pavilion located at 26000 Evergreen Southfield, MI 48076. Also, this year’s date had been changed to July 15 due to the unavailability of the facility in June. Next year, however, the committee will work on getting it booked in June, the actual month of Philippine Independence Day.

What prompted the relocation were several factors that necessitated the move: the ever-growing large number of revelers trekking the event in recent years, tight parking, smaller pagoda space to watch the cultural show and engage in dancing spree, and a few other reasons. The Southfield Pavilion is one of the most versatile and unique venues in all Southeast Michigan with a square footage of 28,000, huge enough to accommodate more than 2000 guests and hold a large display space.

With the shift in this activity, the organizing team headed by FILAMCCO president Ryan Rosario, four co-chairpersons namely Betsy Henry, Rob Dionisio, Resty Teodoro, Eleanor Jenks while Arcie Gemino serves as the program director. They had been preoccupied formulating plans and mapping out segments that would comprise the day’s festivities. Plans are in the offing to hold dual events in two timelines: Kalayaan from 11am to 3pm exclusively for FILAMCCO member organizations, their families and friends, and thereafter from 4pm to 8pm open it up to the public and ethnic communities. The motivation of extending the celebration beyond its usual crowd and timeline is the opportunity to showcase our ethnic identity that will bring focus to us Filipinos in Michigan helping us gain better connection, alliance, and relationship with other Michigan communities.

At this point of writing, all particulars and other relative information of this forthcoming event are not detailed here yet until final plans are completed. Meanwhile member-organization presidents and readers are encouraged to share the news of the 2023 Kalayaan to all they can reach out. As PRO and media contact, Arcie Gemino will continue to provide information to the FILAMCCO Council through our list serve and our tech team will likewise continue disseminating them through social media.

Let’s start building excitement as we look ahead to the coming of this grand summer bash.

FILAMCCO spreads the gifts of warmth and comfort

By: Joseph Javier

The holiday season is about spreading cheer and the sharing of blessings. These sentiments were celebrated this past winter by the friends and families of FILAMCCO with several community outreach events focused on keeping our community warm and fed.

Thanks to the donations of gently used coats and clothes from community members, we were able to help keep people warm and comfortable. A joint project of FILAMCCO, PACCM, and PAFI, the warming items were distributed to those in need. The first batch of winter coats and clothes were given to newly arrived Filipino teachers and their families. The second batch of donations were delivered to immigrant families and unhoused men and woman at the HOPE Warming Shelter in Pontiac by FILAMCCO Service Chair Eleonor Jenks with Joseph Paul Javier and Rob Dionisio. Lastly, the third batch was sent out to help those in war-torn Ukraine.

Food and care boxes courtesy of 168 Group were also delivered to the Philippine American Cultural Center and were delivered to local families around Metro-Detroit. And thanks to a joint project with DTE, new energy-efficient LED lights were also given to members of our community to help save the costs of electricity.

DTE offers help to our community

By: Joseph Javier

DTE offers programs, rebates, and tips to help reduce energy use, save money, and improve the comfort of your home.

Home Energy Consultation: An energy specialist will show you ways to save and install free energy efficient products. Visit dteenergy.com/hec.

Virtual Energy Efficient Home: Explore room by room tips, rebates, and programs that can help you save energy in every room of your home. Learn more at dteenergy.com/home.

Energy Efficiency Assistance: If you have limited income, you may qualify for help to make your home more energy efficient. Learn more at dteenergy.com/eeassistance.

If you are behind on your energy bill, please contact DTE immediately. DTE, along with government and private agencies, can help find relief funds and an assistance program that works for you and your budget. The sooner you call, the more options that will be available to you.

Call 2.1.1 for help or visit dteenergy.com/help for more information on energy bill assistance or call 800-477-4747 for more information.

PACCM fundraiser kicks off with Talent Show & Fashion Walk

By: Joseph Javier

As we begin the search for a new building to call the new home of the PACCM, efforts to raise funds needed for the big move kicked off with a spectacular showcase of talent and fashion. The students, teachers, and families of Paaralang Pilipino came together to highlight their varied talents in a well-attended afternoon featuring singing, dancing, and cultural fashions.

For the talent portion of the program featured vocal renditions, folk dance, hula, martial arts demonstrations, instrumental performances, modern dance, and even solving a Rubik’s cube on stage. It was a family affair as generations of Filipino-Americans took to the catwalk showing off the ethnic fashions representing the multi-cultural backgrounds of our diverse PACCM members. Apart from the expected Filipiniana, cultural costumes featured were from Africa, Scotland, Poland, Vietnam, England, Mexico, Norway, and other areas across the globe.

As the PACCM has the goal of $500K to raise in order to purchase a new building which we will call home, be on the lookout for more fundraising events in the upcoming months. We thank you all in advance for your continued support as the PACCM prepares to find a new home for our growing, thriving community!

The famed Philippine Madrigal singers is coming to Detroit

The University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Michigan UPAAM presents The Philippine Madrigal Singers, a one-night choral performance on Friday, April 28, at 7:00 pm at the Berman Center for the Performing Arts.

The Philippine Madrigal Singers, or “Madz,” is a world-renowned choral group from the Philippines recognized by UNESCO as “Artists for Peace.” The group has received top prizes from prestigious choral competitions worldwide, including the distinction of being the first choir to win the European Grand Prix twice (1997 and 2007).

The group is known for its virtuosity of repertoire as they continue to touch the hearts and souls of those who have come to their performances and carried on various programs to nurture and develop future generations of conductors and choral singers all over the world.

Victoria Reyes-Bryan, President of UPAAM, is excited to announce that tickets are now available online or by calling (248) 406-6675. To purchase online, click this link: https://jccdetroit.csstix.com/events.php?err=cartsession Ticket prices are: $55 General Admission, $80 VIP, and $35 Students (code: UPAAMSTU (ID will be checked at the door). Group Discount Code: UPAAM12 can be used if you buy 12 tickets for the price of 10. Please call Roy Coloma (734) 459-3177, Victoria Reyes-Bryan (313-378-9337, or Lavinia Mateo (248) 318-5897 if you need any assistance with tickets or any other inquiries.

Don’t miss this extraordinary event as our tribute to the Fil-Am community to “Heal the World Through Music” as we celebrate UPAAM’s 40th Anniversary this year!

Justin Alesna: Detroit Ambassador for tribal and contemporary Pilipino arts

By: Joseph Javier

Fabulous Ferndale was alight with Filipino music, dance, and cuisine as the community came out to support first-generation African-American/Filipino-American performance artist, Justin Alesna, represent Detroit and explore his Filipino roots through the The KULARTS Tribu Tur.

Held last month at 215 West Ferndale event and social space, the home of PanDeMonium, a pop-up restaurant featuring Filipino food offerings as well as Club PanDeMonium nights, the evening fundraiser was set-up to help Alesna participate in The KULARTS hands-on field study, custom-designed for participants to explore, discover, and draw empowerment from indigenous Pilipino cultures of Mindanao.

“It truly has been an honor to have been chosen as one of the many talented American Arts Ambassadors through Kularts San Francisco to experience the hospitality and cultural diversity of the Pre-colonial Indigenous Tribes of the Philippine Island of Mindanao.” said Justin. “Magsukul, Sukran, and Salamat Po to Kularts and the National Commission of Cultural Arts in the Philippines.”

The fundraiser featured the dance talents of Justin Alesna as well as musical performances of his friends from our local Filipino-American community. Guests were also treated to PanDeMonium’s Pinoy cuisine like pandesal, lumpia, Filipino bbq, and more.

Through the support of the community, Justin was able to travel to the Philippines and participate in KULARTS Tribu Tur where he engaged in meaningful interactions with T’boli, B’laan, Maguindanaon, and Manobo tribal leaders, shamans & healers, and master artists in their ancestral homes in Davao del Sure, Sanggani, South Cotabato, and Maguindanao.

“This process will help me create new performative and healing works that will showcase both the beauty and splendor of an integral part of my culture. It will also enrich and enlighten those who may not know our histories—both collective and personal,” added Justin. “We are the Ancestors of the future, it’s our turn to pass on our stories, our knowledge, and our heritage in hopes that our myths of Us will not go feared and misunderstood.”

Filipino - American Widow/Widower Grief Support ‘Tahimik na Lenggwahe ng Kalungkutan’

By: Ruth Rush

Nais ko ibahagi ang kwento ng aking buhay para sa kapwa ko byuda at byudo dito sa Michigan. Noong October 2007, ito ang taon ng paglapag ko sa lupa ng oportunidad o bansang Amerika. Matatawag ko itong importanteng taon dahil bilang bagog salta dito sa Amerika, alienated sa lenggwahe, pagkain at kultura, ito rin ang araw na ikinasal ako at nagsabi ng “I do” sa aking gwapo at Amerikanong asawa na si Ray, at dito nagsimula ang bago kong buhay bilang Ginang Rush.

Masaya ang simpleng buhay namin na mag-asawa. Nabiyayaan kami ng tatlong anak — sina Riona, Raiden at Raymond. Maririnig ang mga ngiti at kulitan sa iba’t-ibang parte ng aming bahay. Tuwing Linggo, palaging naglalaro ng baseball at soccer ang aking mag-aama sa likuran ng aming tahanan. Palagi rin silang tumatambay sa swingset, habang ako naman ay nagtatanim ng gulay at bulaklak sa maliit kong hardin. Bilang mag-asawa, nasanay kami na palaging magkasama at nagtutulungan sa lahat ng mga gawain tulad ng pagluluto, paglalaba, paglilinis, at pagtatabas ng damo sa likod-bahay o di kaya ay pagbabayad ng bills. Kapag may miting sa school ang mga bata, pareho kaming dumadalo at sinusuportahan namin ang aming mga anak. Magkasama din kaming namimili ng groceries sa tindahan at dumadalo ng doctor’s appointment ng mga bata.

Noong ikalabing lima ng Agosto 2014, bandang alas-syete ng umaga, pagkagising ko ay lumingon ako kay Ray para batiin siya ng “Good morning Honey.” Ngunit napansin ko wala si Ray sa tabi ko, naisip ko baka maaga lang syang nagising o baka nanonood lang ng balita sa TV o baka naghahanda ng aming almusal. Lumabas ako ng kwarto at hinanap ko si Ray pero napansin ko na hindi sya nagluto ng breakfast, walang mainit na kape sa lamesa, walang good morning kiss o kahit “Good morning Honey, it’s time to wake up, your coffee is ready!” Lumingon ako sa paligid at bumungad sa aking ang katahimikan. Ilang minuto ay nagpasya akong pumunta sa kwarto ng mga bata, ang tatlo kong mga anak ay mahimbing na natutulog. Naglakad-lakad ako at hinanap ko si Ray sa buong bahay pero wala sya sa kwarto, wala sa kusina, wala sa living room, wala sa bathroom, at wala rin sa basement. Lumabas ako ng bahay at pumunta sa likod-bahay pero wala rin sya dun. Binuksan ko ang garahe, wala rin sya dun. Lumingon ako sa driveway, nakakapagtaka naman kasi ang dalawa namin sasakyan ay naka-park. Bumalik ako sa kwarto at nag-isip-isip at tinanong ko ang sarili ko, asan ba ‘tong si Ray? Nasaan kaya ang asawa ko? Lumingon ako sa end table, nakita ko ang wallet at susi ng sasakyan nya, hanggang makalipas ang ilang minuto ay bumalik sa aking alaala na “I lost my beloved husband, Ray passed away last night.” At muli, ako’y nalungkot, lumuha, at patuloy na umiyak sa loob ng kwarto.

At dito nagsimula ang panibago kong buhay bilang isang byuda. Nag-iisa na lang ako. Wala na akong katulong sa lahat ng gawain sa bahay. Mag-isa ko na lang binubuhay ang tatlo kong mga anak. Wala ng nagtitimpla ng kape sa umaga. Wala ng good morning kiss at greetings. Wala na si Ray. Wala na ang asawa ko. Araw-araw akong lumuluha. Kahit saan ako pumunta, o lumingon, o sinuman ang aking makausap. Ang aking mga luha ang nagsilbing tahimik na lenggwahe ng aking kalungkutan (Tears are the silent language of grief). Iyan ang lenggwahe ng mga katulad kong byuda at byudo.

Makalipas ang siyam na taon, masasabi kong kinaya ko (I survived) ang lahat ng mga pagsubok ng buhay, sa matinding kalungkutan at pangungulila sa aking mahal na asawa. Upang matulungan ang ibang byuda at byudo na nakaranas ng parehong karanasan, binuo ko ang kauna-unahang widow group sa Michigan – ang Filipino – American Widow/Widower Grief Support (FAWGS). Ang grupong ito ay tumutulong sa lahat ng mga byuda at byudo para sa kanilang healing process. Ito ay isang grief support na nagkikita-kita ng quarterly upang tulungan ang isa’t-isa na maging matatag sa pang-araw-araw na buhay, maibahagi ang kalungkutan at saloobin, makatulong sa iba, at magbigay ng emosyonal na suporta.

Iniimbitahan ko ang mga widow or widower na nakatira sa Michigan na dumalo sa aming susunod na Grief Support Meeting ngayong darating na Spring Season. Kung gustong maging miyembro at makatanggap ng private email announcement kontakin lamang sina: Ruthy Rush – rushruthp@gmail.com at Amy Risvold – amymark1970@gmail.com.

FAWGS Mission Statement

Finds comfort, encouragement, and support after the death of the spouse. Offers caring the opportunity for healing & wellness to Filipino widowed men and women of all ages. Our enrichment activities meet a variety of needs to facilitate the journey from loss to a new sense of joy and purpose while remembering (or reminiscing) the wonderful memories of our loved ones. All Filipino American widow/widower regardless of length of time since the death of a spouse, are welcome to participate in all activities and special events. Click here to register https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1WP0wy6ChUk8hPukyFOCTPeCTZ6kj53uHuksSf6EOIQE/edit

Calendar of Events