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Consul General Claro S. Cristobal (front, center) together with the leaders and members of the 85 Fil-Am organizations represented at the 2019 General Assembly at the Philippine Center’s Kalayaan Hall in New York on Feb. 9, 2019.  (Photo by Mr. Michael Azucena)


Consul General Claro S. Cristobal welcomed the leaders of the Filipino-American community representing Filipino-American organizations in the U.S. northeast at the 5th General Assembly held at the Philippine Center’s Kalayaan Hall in New York on Feb. 9, 2019.

Fil-Am leaders from New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Pennsylvania participated in the annual event which served as the venue for them to be apprised on the Consulate’s calendar of activities, programs and services for 2019.

Cristobal introduced the Consulate’s projects and calendar for the year and gave a report on the Consulate’s activities last year.

He highlighted new projects such as academe networking, women entrepreneur’s forum, business and career networking event, workshops on Leadership and Management for the Fil-Am community organizations, and Post-Arrival Orientation Seminar for newly arrived Filipino immigrants.

He encouraged the Filipino community to support the Consulate’s annual flagship projects such as the Consular outreach services, Know Your Rights seminars, Filipino Restaurant Week, VIP Tour, Paaralan sa Konsulado, and Sinehan sa Summer, among others.


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Consul General Claro Cristobal (left) answers Fil-Am communities’ questions regarding the Consulate’s programs and activities for 2019, while Deputy Consul Kerwin Orville Tate (right) moderates the event.  (Photo by New York PCG)


The consul general also reminded members of the Filipino community to exercise their right to vote this coming Philippine elections, stressing that Overseas Voting will run from April 13 to May 13, 2019.

Senior Trade Representative Nicanor Bautista of the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in New York, Tourism Attaché Susan Del Mundo of the Philippine Department of Tourism Office in New York, Member Services Officer Michael Azucena of Pag-Ibig Fund, and Welfare Officer Josephine Sanchez-Tobia of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) were also present and gave updates on their agencies’ respective programs and services for the year.

Jersey City Council President Rolando Lavarro, in his remarks to the Assembly, related how, as a Filipino, he got involved in politics.

He expressed his readiness to assist members of the Filipino community in Jersey City.

With the Filipino community being one of the biggest immigrant groups in Jersey City, he said that the Filipino community could play a significant role in community building.

True to its continuing theme “Connecting and Collaborating for Change,” the General Assembly’s highlight was the breakout sessions held in the afternoon, where the participating organizations were divided into three groups, with topics assigned to each group such as inspiring engagement with young Filipino-Americans, broadening involvement in local community building and socio-political processes, and strengthening linkages and collaboration with the Consulate.


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Fil-Am community leaders during the 5th General Assembly hosted by the Philippine Consulate General in New York.  (Photo by New York PCG)


Within their respective group, each organization was able to share experiences on the topic assigned, had constructive discussions among themselves, and were able to come up with specific programs, activities and projects that they can collaborate on.

Event partners PNB New York, GMA Pinoy TV and Philippine Airlines were present and gave updates on their company’s new services available to the Filipino community.

GMA Pinoy TV’s Grace Labaguis presented a GMA Network’s video dubbed as “Sama-samanating ‘Pusuanang Totoo’” which is the network’s campaign for safeguarding the ballot and delivering truthful, accurate and comprehensive coverage of the forthcoming elections.

Philippine Airlines shared the news that the flag carrier will soon have a daily Manila-New York-Manila flight and raffled off a round-trip ticket to the Philippines.

Filipino-American singer Angel Ram had the participants dancing as she rendered an upbeat version of Lionel Richie’s “Say You, Say Me” and “All Night Long.”

The Assembly likewise discussed the community events led by the different organizations, as well as the upcoming Philippine Independence Day parade in June.

This year’s General Assembly drew nearly 170 participants representing 85 Filipino-American organizations in the U.S. northeast region.


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During breakout sessions, Consul Arman Talbo facilitates discussions on inspiring engagement with young Filipino-Americans.


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Bea Martin of Kabataan Alliance and Francis Miranda of Forum for Wholistic Development Media report on the group’s collaborations.


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During breakout sessions, Deputy Consul Kerwin Orville Tate facilitates discussions on broadening involvement in local community building and socio-political processes.


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Christopher Rivera of Filipino American Association of Philadelphia Inc. and Laura Garcia of National Federation of Filipino American Associations - NY report on the group’s collaborations.


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During breakout sessions, Vice Consul Tanya Faye Ramiro facilitates discussions on strengthening linkages and collaboration with the Consulate.


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Cecille Castillon of Helping Hands FilAm Inc. and Vice Consul Tanya Faye Ramiro report on the group’s collaborations.


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Tourism Attaché Susan Del Mundo (left) of the Philippine Department of Tourism Office in New York and Senior Trade Representative Nicanor Bautista (right) of the Philippine Trade and Investment Center New York talk about prospects for Philippine tourism, trade and investment for 2019.


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Pag-IBIG Fund representative Michael Azucena encourages the Filipino community to become members and avail of the funds’ programs that aim to provide fund members with adequate housing through an effective savings scheme.


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Welfare Officer Josephine Sanchez-Tobia presents OWWA’s programs and services available to the Filipino community in the U.S. northeast.

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