Laoag City International Circle, Inc.

LAOAG City International Circle Inc. (LCIC) will be holding its first general meeting and membership driver under the leadership of their 2012-2014 newly-elected officers this Sunday, March 18, from 12nn-5pm.

As is the practice, members will host a potluck luncheon at the Eagle Rock area residence of Marites Chu-Lo, 4747 Collis Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90032, (323) 422-8188. All interested fellow Laoag City expatriates, any prospective members and supporters are most welcome.

A Los Angeles-based State of California registered civic organization, LCIC has successfully sponsored college scholars in its comparatively brief existence since 2004. To date, this close-knit and very well-focused group of former residents of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte Philippines, now based in the United States and abroad–can proudly proclaim a dozen of its scholars who had already earned or are fast on their way to completing their bachelor’s degrees and vocational certificates. Of those, LCIC had administered the scholarship of three Mayor Eulalio F. Siazon Foundation awardees–a tribute of former LCIC Pres. Rose Siazon-Bonoan to her late father. Mayor Siazon staunchly fought for the cityhood of the former Municipality of Laoag, became its first city mayor, and at twenty years at the helm he holds the longest record of service.

The three pioneer LCIC scholars: Czarina Mae Cid, Nemesio Daryl Boy Adora III, and Maybeline Ventura had solidly set the pace for all the rest. A consistent top placer since her elementary years at Holy Spirit Academy of Laoag and throughout high school at Ilocos Norte National High School, Czarina graduated magna cum laude and delivered the valedictory address at Mariano Marcos State University-Batac, while Daryl placed cum laude. All three passed their national nursing board examinations at first take and had automatically been employed shortly thereafter: Czarina is now working at a Saudi Arabia royal hospital. Daryl is currently a clinical instructor at Divine World College of Laoag and is now working towards his master’s degree. For her part, Maybeline now belongs to the nursing staff at Ablan Ilocos Norte Provincial Hospital.

Although most of the successful baccalaureate degree-holders had chosen nursing, education, and accountancy, LCIC scholars are encouraged to pick their own field of concentration. Applicants are chosen by the scholarship committees here in the United States and in Laoag City, both collaborating with each other throughout the entire selection process. Potential scholars interested in enrolling at the LCIC accredited schools: Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) and the Ilocos Norte College of Arts and Trades (INCAT), must undergo interviews, background checks, and document authentications. The US committee makes all final decisions.

Aware of all the demands and stressors that could affect a student’s performance and chance for success, LCIC had decided to combat them head-on, hence the “full” in scholarship. Tuition, uniforms, books and other related materials and supplies, internships, course-related event or club fees, transportation costs, and yes–even counseling–are all covered. Successful applicants and their parents are bound by a signed contract which lays out expected scholar conduct and academic performance. The group’s constitution and contracts had been meticulously discussed and drafted by themselves–to the littlest punctuation. And if, like clockwork, the 100% graduation rate of the scholars is any indication of the effectiveness of LCIC’s policy-making and operations, then the more inspired and determined this group becomes.

Although the scholarship is LCIC’s flagship endeavor, the organization has also contributed to other community causes such as the replacement of the city’s 17th century St. William’s Cathedral roof, the memorial fountain at the Eulalio F. Siazon Elementary School, and even hosted a benefit concert by San Nicolas Mayor Alfredo Valdez for the retrofitting of his town’s historic but earthquake-damaged San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish Church, just to name a few. Fundraising events had promoted Philippine culture through dance, music, and couture most notable of which highlighted the Ilocos “inabel” avant-garde Luth Garde creations of very talented Laoag City, Manila, and Los Angeles clothing designer, Luthgarda “Lulu” Raval-Fong in a much-enjoyed fashion show. Legendary Laoag City dance and music instructor Teresita Manuel-Bustamante also choreographed productions and taught songs from different historical periods and regions of the Philippines. Past LCIC guest speakers include: Republic of the Philippines Court of Appeals Associate Justice Santiago Javier Ranada, Jr., I.N. First District Rep. Roque Ablan, Jr., I.N. Provincial Board Member Kristian R. Ablan, San Nicolas Mayor Alfredo Valdez, Jr., City of Carson Mayor Jim Dear, Rev. Danilo Laeda, and Los Angeles-based Atty. Noriel Flores.

In its nascent years, LCIC, under the outstanding leadership of its former Pres. Rose Siazon-Bonoan and its founding officers–had focused mainly on the group’s establishment and development. Consequently, after having achieved relative stability and integrity for LCIC, the newly-elected set of officers led by Pres. Macqueline C. Palalay plans to expand membership and to further reach out for more active and more diversified community involvement, especially from the up-and-coming younger generations of Filipino-Americans. All these are strategically designed to ensure the future of LCIC and the continuance of its noble, far-reaching, and empowering causes.

The 2012-2014 LCIC OFFICERS are:

President: Macqueline Cacal Palalay
Vice Presidents: Marites Chu-Lo, James Siazon Bonoan, Melchor Navarro Palting
Executive Secretary: Corrie Guerrero-Swetich
Corresponding Secretary: Jennifer Carlos-Bonoan
Treasurer: Samantha Abad-Jackson
Assistant Treasurer: Josie Lazo-Carlson
Auditor: Jamie Anne Lo-Williams
Assistant Auditor: Francis Lingaling
Public Relations Officers: Edmund Baldonado, Kristina Guerrero Raza, Eileen Palting-Hutcheson
Sergeant-at-Arms: Reygan Ganaden, Cliff Hutcheson
Board of Directors: Gregoria Dimaya-Palting, Johnny Guillermo, Jonas Lazo-Abad, Leticia Ong, Cora Quilala-Guillermo, Jean Pasion
Advisers: Dwayne Carlson, Rick Enrique
Past President: Rose Siazon-Bonoan (2004-20011)

What better way to look back to our familial roots and pay tribute to our heritage than to give and leave the best piece of ourselves–for a long-range legacy–to our native City of Laoag and our people? PLEASE COME and CELEBRATE our proud origins through your involvement with the LAOAG CITY INTERNATIONAL CIRCLE, INC.–the Ilocano grassroots organization that establishes its vision, seeks what it aspires, and above all, delivers what it promises. Onward we go!

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