Outstanding Fil-Ams highlight PACCAL’s 21st anniversary

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On Sunday, October 13 at 1:00 PM at the grand ballroom of the Ramada Plaza Hotel along Frontage Road in Newark, NJ, the Pan American Concerned Citizens Action League, Inc. (PACCAL), a Jersey City-based 501 (c3) non-profit organization, will holds its 21st founding anniversary with a dinner-dance gala highlighted by its annual awards ceremony.

As the only Asian Provider Agency recognized by the Hudson County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office on Aging, PACCAL has had a string of valuable accomplishments and unprecedented honors in recognition of its unparalleled community service since its inception in 1993.

Former Jersey City Deputy Mayor Linda Mananghaya Mayo, in her undoubted think-tank machinery and innate capacity to lead, justifiably founded and established PACCAL with the help of a group of World War II veterans. A member of the Hudson County HIV/Aids Planning Council, a community partner of the Asian American Federation for the US Census 2010 and NYU-Project AsPIRE of the Kalusugan Coalition in the study of hypertension in the Filipino community in Jersey City, PACCAL has successfully sustained its steadfast advocacy in providing various assistance and services to the ever growing New Jersey’s Filipino and Asian populace.

With its commitment to uphold the dignity of professionalism and recognize the accomplishments of Filipino-Americans in the community, PACCAL annually earmarked the second Sunday of October to honor their notable deeds. Respected community leader Lumen Castañeda chairs this year’s event. These are the sixteen most distinguished recipients of PACCAL’s 21st anniversary awards:

Ramona Sansait Gapasin, Excellence in Medical Laboratory Science

Ramona’s 40-year long career in medical laboratory science is testament to her dedication to her craft.

She had a string of hospital affiliations from the time she met the requirements in her post graduate training. Currently, Ramona practices her profession at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) in Newark, New Jersey and at the Hoboken University Medical Center in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Dr. Prospero A. Lim, Excellence in Humanitarian Service

Dr. Lim obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Santo Tomas and since then practiced his profession with unmeasured dedication and utmost dignity. His leadership in his field was clearly manifested by his being past presidents of several organizations including Philippine Medical Association of America; Katbaloganon Association, USA.

Ave Pimo, Excellence in Socio-Civic Service

Amidst her busy schedule as a registered nurse, Ave still found time to volunteer. She does so at the Philippine Pastoral Center Manager in NY where she coordinated the spiritual and community events of the center. Since her retirement she volunteers regularly at the Mary Manning Home for the Aged, accompanying the seniors to their doctors’ appointment or simply talking to them.

Greg Agulan, Excellence in Business Entrepreneurship

Greg established the Clean World of New York in 2009 and sits as the company’s president. He also founded of Shimjung Workforce International, LLC, a job placement agency for care service providers, warehouse workers and household personnel. Greg earned his Masters Degree in comparative study in World Religions from the Unification Theological seminary in 2000 in Barrytown, New York and presently pursuing a Doctorate degree in Ministry in UTS Manhattan.

Pam Andes, Outstanding Grassroots Organizer

Currently the Council Secretary to City Council President Rolando Lavarro, Pam is a Board Member of the Foundation of the Philippine Medical Society of NJ and also a Sumisibol Board member. Among her various community participation and unsolicited services, she considers her contribution to the eradication of drug abuse in one of Jersey City’s most drug-saturated areas as her greatest achievement.

Ernesto Pamolarco, Jr., Excellence in Education

With hard work and determination, he finished his Master of Science in Education, with Specialization in Early Childhood and Special Education degree at Touro College in 2010. Since 2010, Ernie has been working as Special Education Teacher at New York’s Department of Education. He is Membership Secretary of the Association of Fil-am Teachers of America and Chairman of the Youth Success Global Foundation.

May T. Durano, Excellence in Nursing Profession

Her professional background lists the following facilities: Princeton Healthcare System as an RN Radiologist, Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Queens as an ER staff nurse, Somerset Medical Center as an ER staff nurse, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital as nurse recruiter. She is an active member of the Emergency Nursing Association and the Philippine Nursing Association.

Dr. Edgar F. Lerias, Excellence in the Medical Profession

Rigidly trained in the different aspects of Pediatric Medicine from various prestigious hospitals and facilities, Dr. Lerias distinct specialized skills and well-rounded knowledge in his field resulted in the American Pediatric Society’s publication of his work. He is affiliated with a number of New York medical facilities including Southside Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital.

Leonida Gamboa, Excellence in Health & Human Services

Leoni worked for the Children victims of war in the countryside of the Children’s Rehabilitation Center in Quezon City before she came to the US in 1992. Leoni joined Kalusugan Coalition, Inc. in 2008. Where she currently serves as the Lead Community Health Worker where she trains others and orients on them how to deliver heart health education and provides them ongoing mentorship and support.

Jared Martin, Excellence in Performing Arts (Solo / Tenor)

Jared has cantored in local churches including St. Peter The Apostle Church in Philadelphia. He has volunteered to perform in many nursing homes. He recently he performed in a benefit concert for Bantay Bata 163 at the Philippine Center, in New York City to help the abused children of the Philippines.

Marieta Lamar, Excellence in Community Service

Actively in several community organizations and a regular fixture in many fundraising events, Mariet has been the PRO of PACCSI, Core Officer & Treasurer of Lord’s Flock Charismatic Group of Staten Island, Executive Secretary of PACEC, and a member of the Finance Committee of “Simbang Gabi” at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan.

Ronald R. Cortez, Excellence in Fine Arts

Realist Ronald Cortez has successfully mastered the visual interpretation of any subject as real and actual as it is. A First Prize winner of the Hudson Artist of New Jersey during its 52nd Annual Juried Exhibition, the soft-spoken future master has proudly stashed a long list of awards from different art competitions and art-giving bodies in the Philippines and across the seas.

Juliet Madraso-Oberlin, Outstanding Senior Citizen

A mother of seven, a grandmother to sixteen grandchildren and a grand granny to six great grandchildren, Mommy Juliet isn’t only a prolific hereditary carrier but also a staunch advocate of having a tight-knit family. She loves being surrounded by her family and people she enjoys sharing ideas with.

Bicolandia Association (Buddy Deauna), Outstanding Community Organization

Owner of Asian Pacific Travel & Services, Buddy is actively involved in various community and civic organizations. Currently the president of Bicolandia Association of Eastern Seaboard (USA), he is also a medical mission volunteer of Catanduanes International Association (USA);.

Kaloob: Phil. Music & Dance Ministry (Rino Alcantara), Excellence in Performing Arts (group)

Empowered with wholehearted dedication to the arts and undoubtedly proven its aesthetic impact to the public, Kaloob prides itself to have been especially selected by the Philippine government to be the resident dance company of the Philippine Centennial’s “Expo Pilipino” in 1998. Since then, the ministry has branched out to arranging performances for a general audience in the hope of spreading profound appreciation for Philippine heritage, both locally and internationally.

Suriya and Rebecca Samanyaphon, Outstanding Parents of the Year

The union of two individuals is always considered a success when founded on a solid foundation of love, trust, and understanding. Individual differences in terms of economic status, creed, ethnicity, education, and family orientation are sometimes blindly defied. One such successful marriage is that of Suriya Samanyaphon of Bangkok, Thailand and Rebecca Salazar Abesamis, of Nueva Ecija, Philippines.

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