The Michigan chapter of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA-Michigan) did it again! Kudos to State Chairman Willie Dechavez, Event Chairperson Amy Risvold and her committee for the group’s successful 8th Annual Banquet held last October 29.
The occasion was in celebration of the Filipino American History Month last month. It featured the 12 Outstanding Young Asian Americans in Michigan.
Highlights of the event included the following:
- There were seven major corporate sponsors. These were Comcast, Maple Manor, DTE Energy, Comerica Bank, Beaumont Health System, Global Home Care and General Motors Corp.
- The event drew 380 guests.
- The chairs were covered nicely with white cloth, and NaFFAA-Michigan spent $1.50 for each cloth cover. It took one whole day to put the covers on the chairs, and the big task fell on Amy Risvold, Boots Gabarda and Loida Layno Moses.
- The keynote speaker was His Excellency, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. He was introduced by Dr Stella Evangelista, wife of Michigan Honorary Consul Jose Evangelista
- The event featured a fast-paced fashion show staged by 30 Asian men and women, who included Filipino, Thai and Chinese models. It was choreographed by Flor Penner
- WDIV Weather Forecaster Andrew Humphrey emceed the event with our own Ryan Rosario backstopping him.
- The 12 Outstanding Young Asian Americans were honored for their outstanding accomplishments in their chosen fields. Filipino-American Marcus Evangelista, lawyer,CPA and entrepreneur, was one of the young honorees.
- The souvenir program distributed to the guests had 90 pages. The layout concept and cover design were the collective work of Tony Antonio of Filipino Star News and his sons Percy and Abet Antonio.
- New Miss NaFFAA Victoria San Agustin Dellie, granddaughter of NaFFAA Michigan Treasurer Fe San Agustin, and the farewell walk of Brittany San Agustin, outgoing Miss NaFFAA, lent glamour and glitter to the event. It seems to me that the San Agustin clan has a hold on beauty and brains.
- Special numbers were performed by Singer Fely Villegas, and Curacha dancers Brenda Sanagustin and Dan Carrasco.
- NaFFAA Region 3 Chairperson Princess Emraida Kiram drove six hours from Wisconsin so she could attend the affair and deliver a brief speech. It was noted that she was tired and sleepy.
- Fourteen guests from neighboring NaFFAA-Ohio also attended, headed by Dr. Vilma Helms and Armin Sayson.
- Remarks were also delivered Dr. Ananias Diokino, chief medical officer of Beaumont Health System, and Iqbal Singh, ethnic marketing manager of DTE Energy.
- The banquet was a superbly executed event by NaFFAA-Michigan, which will be the host of NaFFAA national’s 10th Empowerment Conference next year. Is the successful banquet a harbinger of things to come? Let’s wait and pray.
- This is my home state, and the message I delivered in my capacity as NaFFAA national chairman, included my recognition of those who supported me through thick and thin, the significance of the Filipino-American History Month, NaFFAA’s advocacies.
I said, “Lastly, I would like to reflect back when I first came here in the US as an immigrant during the late 60s. After so many years, the Filipino Americans have indeed landed a much more, noticeable spot in mainstream America.
We are now greening, and there seems to have no other options left at this time, but to continue in solidarity with our advocacies, and realize that we must pass on the torch. We need the Ryan Rosarios, the Brittany San Agustins and the Marcus Evangelistas to continue our hard work to be assimilated, while keeping the most of our great Filipino values and traditions in this our adopted land.”