10th National Empowerment Conference of the Federation of Filipino American Association (NaFFAA)
October is designated a Filipino Heritage Month in Michigan.

It is recalled that House Bill Number 6138 was introduced on May 5, 2010 in the state House of Representatives by 23 Michigan state representatives was later referred to the committee on government operations.

The bill designated the month of October of every year as Filipino Heritage Month in the State of Michigan. The bill was later approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate and signed into law by the governor.

The law makes a person of Filipino American heritage proud. The law reads:

”The legislature recognizes the contributions that the Philippine–American community of Michigan has made throughout the entire state. This recognition is a reflection of unselfishness and commitment to the common good that is most commendable. The members of the Philippine American community give to the citizens of this state a very important gift, a rich culture based on traditional values of family, religion and strong work ethic.

“The Philippine-American community in Michigan is committed to strengthening the public institutions that promote the cultural heritage of Filipinos as well as eliminating prejudices, stereotypes and ignorance. By promoting awareness of Filipino-American contributions to social, economic, cultural and political life in the US, everyone can take great pride in their effective community service.

“The heritage of the Philippine people enriches our own culture, and the legislature welcomes the heritage, culture and contributions of the Philippine-American community to our state and our nation. The Philippine-American community of Michigan will continue to accomplish its goal to foster understanding through the development, promotion, and preservation of Philippine values, culture and tradition.

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“These concerned citizens have truly made a difference, and their professional and civic involvement will continue to enrich our state far into the twenty-first century.”

To lead the celebration of the Filipino Heritage Month in the Great Lakes state, the Michigan chapter of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA-Michigan) headed by this writer will hold its annual dinner-dance for the 10th year in a row to highlight the contributions of Filipino Americans to the main stream American society. The celebration will be held in the evening of Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, at the MET Hotel in Troy. This premier event will bring together community leaders and distinguished guests from the government and corporate world.

Troy Mayor Dane Slater, Grosse Point Woods Councilman Kevin Ketels, State Rep. Martin Howrylak and State Sen. Steven Bieda have confirmed their attendance at the affair. Rob Carino of Comerica and Iqbal Singh of DTE Energy will lead the guests from the corporate world. Fifteen members of NaFFAA Ohio led by NaFFAA Region 3 East Chairperson, Vilma Helms and Armin Sayson are expected to join the event.

During the event, NaFFAA-Michigan will give the Prominence Awards to Filipino-American community leaders in Michigan who have achieved national prominence for effectively leading their national organizations.

For sponsorship opportunities, advertisements in the souvenir program and ticket reservations, anyone planning to attend the affair may contact Connie Sumalde, event chairperson, at email address [email protected] or this columnist at tel. 586-713-8621 or at email ad [email protected]