Circulo gala event[box type=”default” size=”large”] New Circulo officers led by President Rose Coagas sworn in [/box]

Philippine Honorary Consul General Jose L. Evangelista and World Medical Relief President-CEO George V. Samson led outstanding Pampanguenos who were honored by the Michigan Circulo Pampangueno (MCP) with awards at the group’s Pearl Anniversary Celebration and Inaugural Gala held on Nov. 21, 2015 at the Somerset Inn in Troy.

Evangelista, who is a doctor of medicine by profession, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Born and raised in Candaba, Pampanga, Evangelista is described as “one of the rare men who not only excel in whatever they do but also serve to make a positive impact wherever they are. He is truly a great asset to the Filipino community in the US and well known, respected and treasured leader of the Filipino community…”

Samson, who got this year his doctorate in public administration, was honored with the Outstanding Capampangan Award for Humanitarian Services. Born in Magalang, Pampanga, Samson is president-CEO of the Michigan-based World Medical Relief (WMR), which donates medical equipment and supplies to ill-equipped hospitals in poor countries.

Samson’s rise to the top WMR position is legendary: He came to the US in 1992 and became a full-time volunteer at WMR for one year. He was later hired as manager of shipment. After four years, he was promoted as director of operations, and five years later, he was promoted to chief operating officer/director of international programs. Eventually, he was appointed president-CEO. As a result of his excellent performance, he has received countless appreciation/humanitarian awards from 72 countries all over the world.

The other awardees were Antonio S. Kho, for outstanding community service; Jeremy Marcelo, most outstanding graduate 2015; Harvey Puri, outstanding graduate 2015; and Joseph Irwin B. Vinuya and Justin Lacap Yambao, both outstanding students 2015-2016.

Aside from the giving of awards, another highlight of the event was the induction of the new MCP officers led by President Rose Caoagas. The inducting officer was Dr. Stella Evangelista.

The other officers who took their of office were Lily Anne Lacap, president-elect; Dr. Cionnie Calaguas, vice president; Geoffrey Ko, treasurer; Kathleen Aniciete, secretary; Lily Ambrosio Ylen, auditor; Arice Gemino, PRO.

The members of the board of director were also sworn in. They are Esperanza Changcoco, Shirley Cristobal; Dr. Stella Evangelista, Atty. Marcus Evangelista, Dennis Gosioco, Lydia Guiao, Tony Kho, Dr. Ben Marquez, Dr. Liberata Pantig, Maria Paz Rivera, Jun Sibug and Bert Sitchon. Immediate past president is Flor Sitchon.

In her inaugural address, new President Caoagas said, “I am humbled to be standing before you as the newly elected president of Michigan Circulo Pampageuno.” She said that her Circulo involvement started some 25 years ago shortly after her family moved from Germany to the US, recalling that together with other Circulo youths, “we danced to a jazz number choreographed by no other than our Lola Arcie.”

She also said, “I am proud to say that I am a third-generation Tungol family member to hold this very office (president). My path was blazed by my grandparents Joe and Mary Tungol as well as my aunt Becky Tungol.”

Caogas pledged “to operate this organization solely for charitable and philanthropic purposes, to continue to encourage and progress our sense of community, camaraderie and philanthropy, and to provide a legacy driven by our own Kapampagan values to the following generations, to my children and my children’s children.”

Meanwhile, in her valedictory address, outgoing MCP President Flor Sitchon reported on MCP’s accomplishments in the last two years.

These include MCP’s co-sponsorship of a medical mission Pampanga in 2014 in the amount of $5,000; food mission in Candaba, Pampanga in 2015 with the mission members distributing to “150 families and about 100 children food baskets” and spending $2,000 for the project; and fund drives that raised $5,000 (net proceeds).

She added, “As I step down from my position and turn it over to our very young incoming president, I feel blessed as I had the opportunity to have worked with such passionate, fun-loving and supportive board of directors and cabalens in the past two years.”

Community dancing capped the event. Carter Sights and Sound provided the music. Master of ceremonies was Jonathan Roldan.