Jersey City, N.J. Mayor Steven Fulop (2nd from left) was given a Plaque of Appreciation by the Knights of Rizal during the GSFAA 45th anniversary celebration on Dec. 6. With him are (from left) Domingo “Jun” Hornilla, Francis Sison and Ed Toloza.

JERSEY CITY — The popular Mayor Steven Fulop of this city, once again showed his ability to excite a crowd as he attended and spoke of his achievements in Jersey City after four years in office before New Jerseyans, mostly Filipino-Americans, at the 45th anniversary of Garden State Filipino American Association (GSFAA) at the Renaissance Hotel in Elizabeth, N.J. on Dec. 6.

Mayor Fulop, who willingly had photo ops with endless lines of adoring Filipinos, cited the remarkable growth of Jersey City during his first four years in office in his address, and the likely possibility that Jersey City will become the No. 1 city in the state in the not too distant future.

Unlike other mainstream journalists who have been asking the mayor whether he would run for governor in 2016, this writer asked when he would make the announcement?

Mayor Fulop laughed and said, “I’ll just do my job as mayor. I love Jersey City.”

Jersey City Council President, Fil-Am Rolando Lavarro, Jr., was also present.

In his talk, he praised GSFAA on its anniversary celebration and greeted those who filled the ballroom, Merry Christmas.

Ten outstanding Filipino-Americans were given awards.

They were:

1. Nueva Elma - Senior Citizen;

2. Dr. Connie Uy, M.D. - Medicine;  

3. Joycelyn Aligarbes - Nursing;

4. Prof. Antonio Alonzo - Literature;

5. Craig and Samantha Abaya - Arts & Entertainment;

6. Medy Taeza - Community Service;

7. Raul Cajigas - Education;

8. Marvin Cardonigara - Education;

9. Ludy Corrales - Community Service;

10. Greg Agulan - Religious Ministry.

Maria Joyce Alano Castillo was crowned Mrs. Garden State.

Manila’s acclaimed fashion designer Leonard Co presented his latest designs of colorful Barong Tagalog and summer wear at the same event parading local models.

Francis D. Sison, GSFAA president, thanked the more than 250 people who came and filled the ballroom of the Renaissance Hotel.

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