St. Paul at Fil Am General Assembly
SPMA USA received Certificate of Attendance, L-R Pierre Marie
Martinez Santos, Marilyn Abalos and Myrna De Guia Guttierez.
Paulinians were among the over 100 delegates of 67 community organizations in the US Northeast who took the first step in building a stronger community at the 2nd Annual Filipino-American Community General Assembly held last February 13 at the Philippine Center New York. Paulinians present were Myrna De Guia Guttierez (QC), Carolyn Joyce Pena (Ilocos Sur), Pierre Marie Martinez Santos (Cagayan), Grace Perez Lirio (Pasig) and Marilyn Abalos (Manila).
Guided by the theme "Building relationships for a stronger community," the delegates shared information about their groups that will be published in a Directory of Community Organizations, and exchanged ideas on how they could strengthen cooperation with each other.
"The General Assembly is one successful and well attended event. The day highlighted the Filipino spirit of service and giving. As a Filipino-American physician in Massachusetts, I find myself in a field doing just that- everyday," said Grace Perez-Lirio, President, Philippine Medical Association of New England. "I feel empowered to see all my other kababayans in the same room, working toward a common goal which is to give back to the Philippines. It is amazing to see the different ways we all do it."
In his keynote address, Consul General Mario de Leon Jr. exhorted the delegates to work together as a way to raise the profile of Filipinos and the Filipino culture, to increase the community's political and economic clout in the mainstream US society, and to multiply the effect of their various initiatives particularly their charitable causes.
SPMA USA Chair Marilyn Abalos spoke to the General Assembly about the Alumnae’s support of St. Paul Music Therapy Center in Manila through its Fleur-de-Lis Fund. The Center which opened in 2014 is the FIRST music therapy center in the Philippines designed for differently challenged children, adolescents and adults. She highlighted that St Paul University Manila is the only educational institution in the Philippine which offers both a Masters Program in Music Therapy as well as a Bachelors degree.
The Alumnae’s Father James Reuter Theatre Series, established to acknowledge the legacy of Fr. Reuter’s contribution to theatre and the arts in the Philippines, continues to offer theatre nights to benefit the Fleur-de-Lis Fund which provides for education scholarships, the music therapy center and community projects in the Philippines.
During a special segment to discuss the work ahead to conduct the overseas voting in the Philippine national elections by way of the automated election system (AES), Consul Kerwin Tate conveyed the Consulate General's search for volunteers to serve in the various Special Boards of Election Inspectors (SBEIs) and to help in the voter education campaign. He also shared initial information on the availability of the voters IDs to those who registered in 2015.