Hope springs from every beginning, and the beginning of New Year 2018 provides us hope that FILAMCCO (Filipino American Community Council), the umbrella organization of some 40 Filipino-American groups in Michigan, will further improve its service to the community this year.
One reason for great optimism is the assumption of office by the newly elected officers led by President Wilmar Suan. A CPA and a successful businessman, Suan is expected to use his business and administrative expertise in managing the affairs of the umbrella organization. FILAMCCO Vice President Ernie Mac, a philanthropist and an influential leader, will be a big help to President Suan.
Another wellspring of hope is a program launched in 2015 by then FILAMCCO President Imelda Martin-Hum and continued by her successor Ryan Rosario, immediate past FILAMCCO president. This program calls for the grant of financial support for important projects of the FILAMCCO member-organizations.
At the end of Hum’s term, she handed over funds to five organizations as assistance for their projects. The following organizations received $1000 grant each from Hum during the Rizal Day celebration in 2015: Far East and American Nurses Association (FANA); Ang Bisaya of Michigan (ABM); Bikolandia Association of Michigan (BAM); Philippine Nurses Association of Michigan (PNAM); and Ilocano Association of Michigan (IAM).
Last Dec. 30, outgoing FILAMCCO President Rosario also distributed checks to five organizations as financial support for their projects. These organizations are Philippine American Cultural Center of Michigan (PACCM), Bikolandia Association of Michigan, Philippine Nurses Association of Michigan, US Pinoys for Good Governance (USP4GG) and the Kapulongan ng mga Katolikong Pilipino sa Michigan (KKPM).
This particular program is seen to revitalize FILAMCCO as the financial grants for projects could serve as incentive for active participation by the member organizations in its events and activities.
We note that in the last few years, there had been declining interest in FILAMCCO affairs. This is shown by the lean attendance in FILAMCCO meetings.
We surmise this was due to the fact that the member-organizations feel they are not get anything in return for their involvement in FILAMCCO.
But the program providing financial grants could prompt the association leaders to step up their involvement in the umbrella organization.
Most of these associations are undertaking projects that benefit poor Filipinos in our homeland. These projects, which are done in the spirit of giving back, include medical missions and breast-awareness campaigns.
Recently, there had been innovative projects. One such project called for the tilapia seeding of a lake in Albay. Undertaken by the Bikolandia Association of Michigan during the term of President Rhodes Porcalla, this project benefited poor villagers in Albay.
With the fund grants, FILAMCCO has become an important partner of the member-organizations in the implementation of projects whose beneficiaries are less fortunate Filipinos.