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June 2008 Issue

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TABLE OF CONTENTS: Link on topics below to view its contents.


KAMI PO SA PAARALANG PILIPINO
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
MY INSIGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
HFCC - UPDATE
PCA RECOGNIZES TALENT AND SERVICE
SENIOR’S APPRECIATION NIGHT
MISS PHILIPPINES HAMILTON 2008 PAGEANT
PHILIPPINE AMBASSADOR
110TH INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS
FLAG RAISING CEREMONY AT HFCC
PINOY MIXED BOWLING LEAGUE


HAMILTON FILIPINO COMMUNITY ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT
FRESH NEWS FROM PBA
2008 SPRING SENIORS EXCURSION
SOCIAL UPDATES
FILCRAH ACTIVITIES
CLUB NOVO ECIJANOS OF HAMILTON
WHERE ARE THEY…?
A FAMILY LEGACY...
GRACEFULLY…. GRACIOUSLY…. OVER 60!
ONCE… THERE WAS THIS PUPPY LOVE

TO DEC '07 BALITA


KAMI PO SA PAARALANG PILIPINO (We, at the Pilipino School)
ni: Gng. Sally Viquiera (Punong Guro)

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“Current educational research indicates that learning or maintaining a second or third language has a positive effect on all aspects of a child’s educational development. For this reason and for reasons of fostering global awareness and connections with Canada’s “community of communities”,

International Language classes are open to all children, regardless of their respective ethno cultural backgrounds.”

The Hamilton International Language School just had another successful year-end program on May 30th at the Blessed Sacrament School. It was a memorable event with many of the members of the community in attendance.

Pavielyn Carandang, the new Miss Philippines Hamilton 2008, also a school alumnus greeted the students. Many new families came to support our school. It is always nice to see new faces in the community.

Inaliw ang mga panauhin ng mga mag-aaral ng kanilang natutunan na mga kanta, tula at mga katutubong sayaw. The students worked hard for their year-end presentation and they have shown what they learned throughout the year. Our other activities during the school year were Halloween celebration in October and Christmas concert in December. The students also performed when Ambassador Brillantes came to Hamilton. Some students participated in the Santacruzan at St. Margaret Mary Church and the flag raising ceremony at HFCC. This year also the Pilipino school staff attended a multicultural potluck sponsored by the International Language School at the Croatian hall. It was a good opportunity to meet the other teachers of the International Language programs and see the diverse groups we have in Hamilton. It was an well-attended event and we were glad to be there.

Being the head teacher at Pilipino School is a great honor with big responsibilities. Being a volunteer and a teacher at Pilipino School for many years made the transition to head teacher easier because of my passion to teach children and the youth.


The support and assistance of my colleagues, Mrs. Virgie Alavata and Mr. Ben Baliat, the supply teachers, and the volunteers helped tremendously in the smooth running of the school.

We certainly appreciate the co-operation of our area supervisor Mr. Sam Agro for taking care of our needs and also to Mr. Bradica, principal of Blessed Sacrament School for accommodating our students. The PCA and their president, Mrs. Estela Guevarra has given an endless support to our Pilipino School as well.

Salamat din sa lahat ng magulang sa pagdadala ng kanilang mga anak sa Paaralang Pilipino at sa patuloy na pagtangkilik ng ating wika. Masuwerte ang ating mga anak sa Canada at nabibigyan sila ng pagkakataon na makapag-aral ng ating wika ng walang babayaran.

The staff and students of Pilipino school would like to thank Estela Guevara and the PCA for their endless support. Estela is the contact person for the school and fills in as a supply teacher if necessary.

For any children who wish to attend Pilipino School please contact Estela Guevarra at 905 573-9481 or Sally Viquiera at 905 578-1171.

Pilipino School Staff:
Ginang Sally Viquiera, Punong Guro
Ginang Virgie Alavata
Ginoong Ben Baliat

Supply Teachers:
Rachel Viquiera
Marie Santos
Bernardita dela Cruz.

Volunteers:
Jean Rose Alavata
Querine Alavata
Jamil Arriola
Gabrielle Miguel
Marlie Valencia
RJ Viquiera.

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Executive Board
2007 - 2009


Estela Guevarra
President

George Santos
1st Vice President

Sivenar Pineda
2nd Vice President

Christy Wilson
Secretary

Elma Naguit
Treasurer

Elsa Langsford
Auditor

Nelson Naguit P.R.O
Editor, Liham Balita

Doris Sanchez
Luzmindo Isidro
Chairs, Education
and Cultural

Thelma Tan
Carmelita Halili
Chairs, Social

Jun Policarpio
Chair, Sports
Eliseo Tan
Co-Chair, Sports

George Santos
Representative, HFCC

Sivenar Pineda
Chair, Membership

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This year, there were moments when I can proudly say, “I am a Filipina from Hamilton”. We have shown that the Filipino Community here is truly caring. We will not allow anyone to suffer in silence, no matter what association he/she is associated with. Everyone in our community is always willing and ready to help out when help is needed. This rallying together towards a common goal to help others bring out our compassionate nature.

Now that it is summer, the fun loving side of us will be evident once again. Everyone will be looking forward to the weekly picnics, backyard barbecues and outdoor pot luck dinners. These are great venues to renew old friendships and create new ones. So let us all take advantage of the many opportunities in our community at this time to build a stronger bond for a more cohesive and solid community. Only then can we continue to be compassionate and caring as we are now.

Enjoy the summer!
Estela Guevarra

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PILIPINO MASS


Last April, the PCA sponsored the Pilipino Mass at St. Lawrence Church on Picton Street near John St.
Estela Guevarra was the commentator, Zeny Halili read the Responsorial Psalm, Luzmindo Isidro read the Petitions and Nelson and Elma Naguit brought up the gifts. Father Joe Pena celebrated the Mass. It was well attended and there was a gathering in the basement after for some refreshment which the PCA provided.
The PILIPINO MASS is celebrated every 3rd Sunday of the month at St. Lawrence Church by Father Joe Pena. It starts at 5:00 pm. It is a great opportunity for us to hear the Mass entirely in Tagalog, including the hymns. After the mass, there is always refreshment in the church basement for some socializing. Different groups sponsor the Mass each month.
Father Pena is proposing to have a “SIMBANG GABI” at St. Lawrence Church starting on December 15. It will be at 9:30 in the evening for 9 days. This is another opportunity for us to keep one of our traditions alive so let us support this great event. Maybe with a little “puto bumbong and some kakanin”, it will feel like having the midnight Mass back home.

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MY INSIGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
By: Nelson Naguit

The last six months of 2008 have been memorable for my family and me as we went through the usual ebbs and tides of our lives. At the same time, the Pilipino community of Hamilton has many memorable and significant events as well.
After a hectic Christmas holiday and New Year’s celebrations, the community started the year with the re-opening and continued energy and vitality of the different basketball teams. Dinner and dances were being held one after another to brush away the winter blues with PICAH’s Valentine’s Day celebration, Novo-Ecijano’s Spring Welcome and the FILCRAH’s Annual get-together. We also honoured our seniors with a special evening sponsored by the PCA. The much awaited Miss Philippines Hamilton Beauty Pageant was held in May and our year will not be complete without remembering our Independence Day Affair, which started with the Gala Night, the Flag-raising ceremony and the Independence Mass. Liham Balita and its staff hopes to inform you of the PCA’s commitment to our community and its activities.

Happy reading and have a safe and enjoyable summer!!


EDITORIAL and PRODUCTION TEAM

Fel Marpa

Edna Moreno

Elma Naguit

Nelson Naguit

Webmaster FEL MARPA

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CONTRIBUTORS

Ruby Amog
Penn Carlos
Estela Guevarra
Fel Marpa
Edna Moreno
Restie Pineda

Jun Policarpio
Fil Santos
Bonner Villabroza
Rachel Viquiera
Sally Viquiera


A note from the Liham Balita Editorial And Production Team

We encourage members of the Pilipino community to submit articles for publishing in the Liham Balita. Not only do we welcome articles about community happenings, we also encourage the submission of short fiction, poetry and yes, even opinions. The Liham Balita strives to be a showcase for local Pilipino Canadian literary talent, in addition to being and informative newsletter.

We are also accepting social announcement, including birthdays, anniversaries, marriages, etc. Publication dependent on space availability. For advertising, the following rates apply:

1/4 page- $ 25.00
1/2 page- $ 50.00
Full page-$ 100.00

The projected publication for the next issue is July 2008. Deadline for submission is June 15, 2008. For further information, please contact any PCA Board member.


The Liham Balita Editorial and Production team reserve the right to edit all articles submitted. Please note that the opinions expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Pilipino Canadian Association of Hamilton.

We apologize:

To those whose names may have been inadvertently omitted, misspelled or were not received in time for inclusion in this issue.

We are grateful:

To all advertisers and to all who in one way or another contributed to the success of this edition.

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HAMILTON FILIPINO COMMUNITY CENTER – UPDATE
By: Bonner Villabroza


May 18, 2008—
GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING


At the general membership meeting held at the Hamilton Filipino Community Centre, 1275 king St. E., Hamilton, the following resolutions were passed:

Resolved: Financial Report submitted by the Treasurer, Ben Baliat, was reviewed, approved and accepted by the membership. Total cash money on hand—$269,573.43.

Resolved: The following amendments as presented by Filamer Santos, 2nd Vice President who headed the review for the Board and without Mr. Marino de Jesus were ratified. They are as follows:

** For every elected position a word :appointed “ will now be affixed.

** Electronic form of communication, Emails, is now an acceptable means to use to communicate within the Board and membership. Confidential information must stay restricted

** Ethics and Governance Guidelines is now affixed to the Constitution and By-Law in which every elected/appointed HFCC Board member must go through a briefing period prior to taking his/her position.

** An automatic review of Constitution and By-Law will be due every five years, therefore, the next review will be 2013.

** A member can cast his/her vote at the general membership meeting, upon proof of paid membership to a supporting organization or an attendance of two consecutive years to HFCC general membership meeting.

** The word “ceremonial role” after the chairman of the board will now be deleted.

** A committee headed by Filamer Santos and Goy Liaw Santos has been created to look into feasibility of forming a “FOUNDATION” for HFCC. This is supposedly a charitable organization that would be in parallel with the present HFCC

BOARD AND OFFICERS MEETINGS ADJUSTMENT

The tedious monthly full board of directors meeting is history. The Board has decided to meet every other month; however the Officers who are in-charged of operating the center will still have to meet monthly. The change should be strictly guided by the new Ethics and Governance guidelines that just has been incorporated in the constitution and by-law.
What constitutes a Full Board Meeting: It is a meeting of all elected Board plus all representatives of all supporting organizations or clubs. House rules to adhere to in order to expedite and better facilitate meetings:

Email your issue or topic to the Chair of the Board or designate one week before the meeting.

If you have any tickets to distribute, have them in an envelope allotted to each recipient and distribute them before or after the meeting.

Any transaction with the Treasurer or any other officer must be dealt with before or after the meeting.

What constitutes Officers meeting: It is a meeting of all elected Board; the President, the 2 Vice-Presidents, the


Treasurer, the Internal Auditor, the Secretary 1 and 2, the Director ofF und Raising and Special Project, the building Director Operation, the Hall rental Director, the Social Director and the property care taker.

** There will be a monthly meeting every first Thursday of the month.

** On the month that Full Board is to occur, meeting will be held an hour and a half before the full board meeting.

** Email your issue or topic to the President or designate.

** If you have any tickets to distribute, have them in an envelope allotted to each recipient and distribute them before or after the meeting.

** An transaction with the Treasurer or any other Officer must be dealt with before or after the meeting.

HISTORIC VISIT OF PHILIPPINE AMBASSADOR JOSE BRILLANTES

His Excellency’s visit to HFCC and to Filipino Community in Hamilton as part of his Filipino community tour in Ontario is hailed as the first announced official visit by the highest ranking Philippine dignitary to HFCC. The visit on May 3rd with his consulate entourage was a case of the Philippine Embassy reaching out to the community to disseminate the information the Philippine government mandated to do to promote economic development, travel & tourism.

The Ambassador did not hesitate to make a statement that the number one dollar earner for the entire country is the remittances of the off-shore foreign workers. It is a phenomenon a third world country like the Philippines has embarked in this new age. Export of human services is the best the Philippines can contribute to the whole world.

For the record, the first Ambassador to visit Hamilton Filipino community was the late Privado Jimenez in the 80’s, followed by Francisco Benedicto in 2002 when he opened the 2002 Philippine Intercity Basketball Tournament of North America. Ambassador Jose Brillantes had the honor of crowning the winner of the Miss Philippines Hamilton Beauty Pageant, the 19 year old Pavielyn Carandang on May 4, 2008 at Carmen’s Banquet Hall and Convention Center.

NEW LEGAL COUNSEL FOR HFCC.

Walter Jazvac, a practicing lawyer specializing in Family Law has accepted the designation as legal counsel for HFCC. He was introduced to the community at the last Phil. Independence Gala at Michelangelo Banquet Hall last June 7, 2008. He has replaced Krish Channan who retired from practice over 2 years ago, Mr. Jazvac can be reached at his office at 124 Young St., Hamilton, ON. For any legal assistance, call him at Telephone number 905-523-0872. He has special rate for members of our community.

4 DIALYSIS MACHINE WAITING FOR SHIPMENT

HFCC through the effort and connection of one of the PBA former officers was able to procure 4 Baxter System 1000 series, 2003 model dialysis machines from a local hospital who was in the midst of upgrading their equipment. Each machine has been spoken for to go to the following regions in the Philippines, they are: one to Nueva Ecija, one to Ilocos, one to Bicol and the last one to Visayas.

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PCA RECOGNIZES TALENT AND SERVICE
by Estela Guevarra

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MRS. EDNA MORENO received the award for her many years of hard work and dedication as the Editor-in-Chief of the LIHAM BALITA.

Edna graduated at Philippine Normal College (now PNU) with a Degree in Elementary Education, taught for a few years in the Philippines before coming to Canada in 1973. She also took several bookkeeping and accounting courses at Mohawk College. She says, “ Educational achievements have helped me focus on emphasizing my life in Canada. Sharing my ups and downs, my high and low, my frustrations and contentment, with my family and close friends have given me the motivation to be who I am now. To me, that is my greatest achievement.”

She is married to Roger and has two daughters. Imee is married to Lee Paule. Cindy is now living in Vancouver with her daughter Kiana. She has another granddaughter, Denise. Edna was the Woman of the Year in 1997 for her dedication and service to the community.

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MRS. LINDA TRINIDAD received the award for 30 years of hard work and dedication as the Principal of the Pilipino Heritage Language School.

Linda came to Canada in 1971 with a Degree in Education from the Philippine Women’s University in Manila. She taught in Cebu, Quezon and at the Institute of Languages and Culture at the Philippine Women’s University. She started her service for the Pilipino School in 1977, ending only when she retired as it’s Principal in 2007.

She is married to Allan and they have 2 sons. Ian is married to Jennifer and they have a daughter Kyra. Neal will soon be married to Christine.

Linda was the Woman of the Year in 1981 for her service to the PCA and to the community.

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AYEZA COBARDE is the daughter of Roel and Gina Cobarde. She will be going to McMaster University in the fall to register in their Life Sciences program. Her high academic achievements at Cathedral High School are indeed impressive. She brought great prestige to that school when she won the Hamilton Health Sciences Summer Research Bursary last year.

This year, she won a place at Shad Valley, open to students from all across Canada but will only accept the top 620. Indeed! She has consistently achieved marks in the high 90’s. What an achievement, indeed!

According to the Head of Science at Cathedral, she has a strong work ethic, interpersonal skills, and commitment to excellence and achievement.

She is equally active in the fields of Arts and Sports. She was a member of the volleyball and basketball teams at Cathedral and was a co-captain of the cheerleading team. She has also an extensive volunteer program in the community. She won the Best in Talent with a declamation at the recent Miss Philippines Pageant.

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NORIEL JON SANTOS is the son of Noel and Marie Santos. He will be going to Mohawk College in the fall to register in their Social Work program, with emphasis on the Aboriginal Stream. He has been able to achieve good marks in his 2 years at Cathedral High School, and has been on the honor roll consistently.

He twice received the Academic Excellence Award in Grade 12.According to the Head of Guidance at Cathedral High School, Noriel is very special because he is always willing to help others.

He is kind and patient, attentive and respectful. He is also very active in Sports, participating in the PBA basketball league, and was a member of the Cathedral High School Volleyball team for the past 2 years.

Presently, Noriel is very much involved with the Apostolate Divine Mercy of Canada, Hamilton Chapter as a guitarist in their choir.

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SENIOR’S APPRECIATION NIGHT
By Estela Guevarra

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Our seniors had another memorable night last May 17, Saturday at the HFCC. It was the annual “ Seniors Night “, when the PCA honors our seniors 65 years and over. There were around 80 seniors in attendance, including a 101 year old lady, Nanay Amanda who came all the way from Guelph. Because of her age and endurance ( she stayed later than most of the seniors much younger than her), she was given a special prize.

As before, the seniors were given a token gift of appreciation for their many years of support for the PCA and the many years they have worked hard for their families and society. It is time they get the recognition they all deserve.

Our sincerest thanks to Nila Tallara who generously provided for the water given to the seniors and to the welcome treat each senior received as they arrived. GT Tallara provided us with the entertainment. Many were also touched when we all lighted a candle and prayed for family members and friends who have passed on.

Thanks also to Erwin and Daryll Tan who were the disc jockeys for the night. They provided great line dance and social dance music as usual.
Most of all, the night would not be a success that it was if not for the hard work of all the officers of the PCA present. WHAT A TEAM !

Before leaving, many of those in attendance said that they are already looking forward to next year’s event, they were impressed with the great food and the generous gift they got this year. As long as the PCA fund will allow it, we will continue to honor our seniors.

Next year’s event is being planned for the first Saturday in May. Mark that on your calendar.

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MISS PHILIPPINES HAMILTON 2008 PAGEANT
Presented by the Hamilton Filipino Community Centre (HFCC) and the Miss Philippines Pageant Committee

By: Ruby (Sarmiento) Amog

Guests from Hamilton and around the Greater Toronto Area filled the seats of Carmen’s Banquet Hall on May 4, 2008. This gathering celebrated a cultural landmark event, the Miss Philippines Hamilton 2008 Pageant! Among them sat the Philippine Ambassador to Canada, H.E. Jose S. Brillantes, marking his first ever visit to Hamilton. Accompanying the Ambassador from the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa were Minister and Consul General Joseph Gerard B. Angeles, Second Secretary and Consul Rhenita B. Rodriguez.

The pageant began with hip-hop dance collaboration by all seven contestants, choreographed by Christopher Elane with the help of his assistant, Samantha Amog. Before the next creative acts, Pageant Chair and Host Ruby (Sarmiento) Amog took center stage and addressed the focus of the event: a platform for empowering women and preparing the youth for a successful future. HFCC President and CEO, Bonner Villabroza supplemented Ruby’s speech with a discussion of the financial and fund-raising objectives behind the pageant.

The next guest, at merely 13 years of age, had plenty of creative experience under her belt, having performed at the opening ceremony of the Philippine Basketball Association and on the TV show Filipino Eh! Krystal Valencia captivated the audience as she sang Colours of the Wind.

All seven contestants then walked down the red carpet in their evening gowns and took the stage amid endless applause. More songs and performances marked the evening. Darius Cirias’ voice entertained the hall with songs in Tagalog. Rhythmic drumming filled the air as Te Fetia (Samantha Amog and Wenonah Mahase) performed an exotic Tahitian dance. Then the beating and tapping of bamboo poles set the pace for Tinikling, the national dance of the Philippines.

Despite the abundance of talent and entertainment, the audience had plenty of time to admire the pageant contestants as they strode down the carpet in their swimsuits. To mark the end of the evening, Canadian Idol finalist Mikey Bustos gave a most memorable performance, escorting and serenading each contestant to the stage.

The judges then submitted their scores for tallying. Shortly thereafter, the awards ceremony commenced and, to end the pageant, Ambassador Brillantes crowned the winner. Ms. Belle Tumbokon, one of the major sponsors from Toronto, assisted him.

The winners were:

Miss Pavielyne Carandang won the Crown, $3000.00 and a one year Apprenticeship Contract from Minerva TV/Rogers Mabuhay Channel. She also won the title for Best in Swimsuit, Miss Photogenic and Miss Philanthropy.

First Runner-Up, Miss Tiffany Alejandro received $1000.00. She also won title for Best in Evening Gown, Best in Terno and Miss Congeniality.

Second Runner-Up, Miss Vanessa Tillner received $500.00.

The other candidates were: Miss Ayeza Cobarde Miss Sandy Aquino, Miss June Lascano and Miss Nicolette Tai

All the contestants voted the winner of the Miss Congeniality award. The Official Photographer in collaboration with the Pageant Director judged the winner of the Miss Photogenic award. The Pageant Director based on ticket sales and advertisements judged the winner of the Miss Philanthropy award.

THANK YOU

The success of the Miss Philippine Hamilton Pageant, 2008 could not have been realized without the support of the parents and relatives of the candidates, the sponsors, advertisers and donors, HFCC, Mrs. Ruby (Sarmiento) Amog, and the Pageant Committees.

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PHILIPPINE AMBASSADOR TO CANADA H.E. JOSE S. BRILLANTES
MAKES SUCCESSFUL FIRST OFFICIAL VISIT TO HAMILTON

BY: RUBY (SARMIENTO)AMOG

May 03, 2008 was a landmark day for the Filipino community in Hamilton. The Philippine Ambassador to Canada, H. E. Jose S. Brilliantes marked the historic day with his first ever visit to Hamilton. Accompanying him from the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa were Minister and Consul General Joseph Gerard B. Angeles, Second Secretary and Consul Rhenita B. Rodriguez as members of the delegation. The Ambassador presented us with a beautiful Philippine Flag and the catering for this special event.

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The Embassy delegation held a briefing/orientation-seminar for overseas Filipinos, aimed at workers, members, and leaders of Hamilton’s Filipino Community. This seminar served as a platform for engaging new migrants and for acquainting the community and overseas workers with the functions and services of the Embassy and Consulate. Over 300 members of the Filipino community attended the orientation. Among other topics, they were informed about the services that address overseas Filipino workers, immigration and citizenship issues, settlement, remittances and labour laws. Presenters for the program included members of the Embassy delegation, local settlement, immigration, citizenship and labor officials, businessmen engaged in migrant services. Hamilton’s Filipino community is the first in Ontario to have received such an opportunity.

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The Honourable Diane Finley acknowledged the importance of Ambassador Brilliantes’s visit to Hamilton, seeing it as a historical step forward in fortifying cultural ties between Canada and the Philippines. MP, Chris Charlton, Hamilton Mountain, MPP, Sophia Aggelonits, Hamilton Mountain and MP Wayne Marston, Hamilton East – Stoney Creek were present and extended greetings to the Ambassador, the delegation and the Hamilton Filipino community

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The highlight of Ambassador Brillantes’ visit was the interaction with the Filipino community in Hamilton. Ambassador Brillantes applauded the Filipinos in Canada and the United States for topping the sending of money remittances to the Philippines thus helping "our country's economy." Ambassador Brillantes funded catering service, which allowed the HFCC to host a dinner for everyone following the orientation and open forum. A cultural program followed the dinner

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On May 2, 2008, the Hamilton Filipino Community Centre’s Board of Directors, Fundraising and Special Projects, Ruby (Sarmiento) Amog met the Ambassador and Embassy delegation. She personally assisted them to an official meeting with Hamilton’s Mayor, Fred Eisenberger. The delegation received a warm welcome from Mayor Fred and his staff. The Mayor recognized and acknowledged the positive contributions of Filipinos to the City of Hamilton through their skills, professionalism, economic output, and civic involvement. The Ambassador thanked the Mayor and the City of Hamilton for the hospitality afforded to the Filipino migrants.

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Ruby and her husband Sonny hosted a private diplomatic dinner at the Skylon Revolving Restaurant, overlooking Niagara Falls. The occasion provided valuable discourse for building goodwill and cordial relations, both of which contribute toward a positive image of the Philippines and Filipinos in Hamilton and Canada.

(Editor’s Note: Ms. Ruby (Sarmiento) Amog organized and conducted the Ambassador’s official visit to Hamilton. She is the Director of Fundraising and Special Projects of the HFCC Board )

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110TH INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS
by Fil Santos

Formal Gala

A Gala Night celebration highlighted the 110th anniversary of the Philippine Independence Day. The venue was held at Michelangelo Banquet Centre, known for it's beautiful ambience and friendly service.

Introduced by the 'traditional' Parade of colors representing supporting and affiliated associations, the evening unrivalled as Awards for community service and sports champions were presented and given, coordinated by Fil Santos, 2nd VP HFCC Board.

The vibrancy of youth and elegant array of beautiful young ladies aptly characterize the formal presentation to the Filipino community of the recently concluded Miss Philippines Hamilton 2008 Pageant contest by it's Chair Ruby (Sarmiento) Amog. It is also quite a treat to all the guests that the EMCEE of the evening is a capable and young lady reigned as Miss Philippines Toronto 2002, no other than our very own Miss Abigail Santos.

The crowned beauties - Miss Pavielyne Carandang of Hamilton and her royal court, First Runner-Up, Miss Tiffany Alejandro of Mississauga, and Second Runner-Up, Miss Vanessa Tillner of Toronto, graced beautifully the evening. As each individual was escorted and presented to all the guests, they were serenaded by RJ Lingao.

Our young entertainers are members of Rachel Viquiera's Dance Group and are all alumni from the Pilipino School. Beside our community, they also performs at functions of other City communities.

Speakers included Bonner Villabroza, HFCC President & CEO who welcomed all the guests, MPP David Christopherson praising the cohesiveness and resiliency of the Filipino Community. And capping the evening's programme, in her closing remarks by Chairperson Goy Santos, expressed appreciation and gratitude to all the committee members who contributed their time and efforts which made this occasion possible. And significantly, to all the Guests.

The souvenir programme, produced by Fel Marpa and Fil Santos, while it is for the occasion, it was also intended as a souvenir copy dedicated to all the associations within the Filipino Community portraying their pictures along with their leadership rosters. The rest of the evening can only be describe in four words, . .dance . .dance . .dance and enjoy!

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FLAG RAISING CEREMONY AT HFCC
by Fil Santos


On the exact day of the Independence, is the Flag Raising Ceremony, June 12, Thursday, held at the Hamilton Filipino Community Centre. Chaired and organized by Zeny Misa, this celebration part of the festivities, has been held yearly for the last 30 + years.

Perhaps, this occasion touched the emotions of practically everyone who attended. Against the backdrop of a bright and sunny skies, the hoisting of two national flags - Philippine & Canadian flags, each accompanied by the national anthems, sung by a group of children from our Pilipino School, directed by Goy Santos, illustrates the weaving of a beautiful cultural tapestry only found in a Canadian Mosaic landscape. As expressed eloquently by Bonner Villabroza, President & CEO of HFCC, 'after all these years, whenever we stand and sing our two national anthems, goosebumps shivers runs through my whole body!'


Love for country & freedom as experienced in Canada, portrays a stronger bond than ever and binds tightly everyone as never before. Entertainments provided by students of our Pilipino School, arranged and managed by Rachel Viquiera.

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Webmaster Fel Marpa

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PINOY MIXED BOWLING LEAGUE
By Fel Marpa

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Another milestone has been achieved with this years league. We have just concluded our 30th year of bowling with our banquet & picnic at McQueston park Pavilion June 29th and there is no better to express this event than by picture. We will continue on our merry quest for perfection, attained by some and a lot of close calls from a few others, there is always next year.

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Webmaster Fel Marpa

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Sunday, June 22, 2008, this tournament was held at Chippewa Creek Golf Club at Mount Hope. This year’s event was sponsored by Philippine Islanders Cultural Association of Hamilton. PICAH President – Jimmy Ravarra made the announcement that the beneficiary of this event would be a young person either a son or a daughter of one their members who will receive a scholarship award for a higher education. There were 63 golfers that participated, 12 delegates came from St. Catharines and Niagara peninsula headed by Dan Zapata and Jimmy Alejandro. Southern Ontario Golf Association or SOGA sent in 7 players headed by its executives, Joe Paule – president and Art Cuaresma – vice president.

A lone lady golfer, Sol Antonio visiting from the Philippines made it to the tee blocks early in the morning. The results of the tournament are as follows: Ernie Cabling is the tournament champion and bagged the Low Net; 2nd low net went to Jimmy Alejandro of St. Catharines and the 3rd Low Net went to Bob Faulve of SOGA. The best round for the tournament was by Fred Canaon who shot a 73 and bagged the Low Gross trophy. In a friendly competition between St. Catharines, SOGA and Hamilton in which the best 4 total of each club were tallied, Hamilton came up as the winner. The closest to the pin trophy went to Ernie Cabling and the longest drive – close to the line trophy went to Jimmy Alejandro. The money closest to the pin winners are; Fel Marpa, Edgar Regudo, Mario Valdeavila and Jim Houston.

PICAH wished to thank all the volunteers and prize donors for the success of this year’s tournament. This writer made an announcement that the next major tournament Filipinos of Hamilton will be in competition … is the PIBNA Basketball and Golf in Ottawa, this Labor Day weekend.

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Click on photo to view slide show.

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FRESH NEWS FROM PBA
By Jun Policarpio

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With the 17th year of our basketball league now over, it is my pleasure to announce that we once again had a successful and exciting season. We had 16 Teams in the Men’s Open Division that competed toe to toe, and it came down to one winner, the Cambridge Team manage by Matt Soliguin. With the height advantage and quickness on Cambridge’s side, the defending champions, Thoze Guyz were outscored. In the senior’s division, Kabsat, managed by the Calura Family, kept their Championship title for another year by beating Estudyo of Mississauga. We also had a New Champion in the Masters division, The J.C. Collision, owned and managed by Joey Abad, who beat the defending Champions RG Masters, sponsored by Dr. Nona Barrientos.

I am also proud to announce that the Youth Division, sponsored by the PBA, was again successful in its members and support. It is important that we acknowledge how important our youth are in basketball, as it is at this time that they learn the proper ways of teamwork and sportsmanship for their future lives. This year we had the Mosquito, Pee-wee, Bantam and the exclusive Girl’s Division, and as always we grouped them in balanced teams based on strength and ability to have fun and challenging games..

Starting June 15, 2008 we will be practicing for the upcoming PIBNA (Philippine Intercity Basketball of North America) tournament, which will be held in Ottawa on August 30 and 31, Labor Day Weekend. We have 5 teams participating this year: Men’s Open, 5’10” and under, Seniors, Masters and for the first time Pee-Wee (11 yr. and under).

How much PBA has grown over the past years is unbelievable. The amount of teams we had this year is much more than we have ever seen in the years before, and some are still on the waiting list. As always, we welcome new faces (parents and participants of PBA) to input their ideas and to help keep our growing league. At the end of this year (2008) we will be electing a new PBA President. I have been your president for the past 4 years, and the success of our league was the combined effort of our PBA officers, parents, and Hamilton Filipino community that made every year terrific. I would like to thank each and every one for a job well done throughout the years of my presidency, and I wish the new president, as well as the PBA, ongoing growth and glory in the years to come.

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2008 SPRING SENIORS EXCURSION
By: Restie Pineda


The early chilly morning of April 5 was the day the UFCSAH members with their relatives and friends, gathered at Limeridge Mall parking lot. The 2 buses were immediately filled up with smiling, enthusiastic passengers (believe it or not, there were 92 of us) who wandered what to expect. Ernie Estrabillo handled one bus as the guide and the second bus by me. The trip itinerary covered Selkirk, Nanticoke, Port Dover, and the last stop being Brantford.

Our first stop was at Kindy’s Fur & Leather & Mink Store. The store offered SPECIAL DISCOUNTS and sold quite a number of high quality goods. Some pocketbooks thinned out a little bit and some credit cards were a bit worn out as the ladies had a field day buying leather goods and fur stole. Carriages pulled by huge Belgian horses transported everyone from the store to Muddy Lane Maple Syrup Farm, which was about 1-1/2 kilometer away. Each carriage accommodated 15 passengers. The carriage ride was a new experience for most and surely was the highlight of the trip. Delicious huge buttered pancakes with the maple syrup made at the farm were served and some could not help combining their breakfast with juicy grilled sausages. It was a festive and exuberant atmosphere. The farm guides explained and showed how maple syrup is extracted from the maple trees and turned into delicious maple syrup. Allan Yager, owner of the farm and his staff were graceful hosts. The farm sold quite a big number of different sizes of bottled maple syrup. From there, the buses spent a few minutes at the Nanticoke Hydro Generating Station.

Next stop was scenic Port Dover by the beach. It got a bit windy and chilly but the brave souls still walked on the beach, visited the lighthouse and others went shopping for smoked fish at the famous Port Dover fish stores.
At 1:00 o’clock, it was time to move on to Brantford’s China King Restaurant. Everyone had a great tasting lunch of vegetables; rice (what else???) chicken and pork.

Brantford Casino was the last stop of the excursion. Most tried their luck at the slots or card tables while some were contented just walking inside the casino. Some got lucky and won but others boarded the buses later with an unwilling and forced smile. The casino gave food coupons worth $10 to everyone, which became useful for the supper at the Casino restaurant..

What a great day it was! The majority of the participants went home exhausted but happy with the well deserved fun and relaxation.


FEL DID IT
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WEBMASTER: FEL MARPA

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SOCIAL UPDATES


PCA WELCOMES NEW MEMBERS

Betty Charles
Roel and Gina Cobarde
George and Bienvenida Fernandez
Noel and Maria Santos
Ryan & Catharine Taggart

WELCOME NEW BABIES

Mia Panaligan
Daughter of Ronald & Monica

The newlyweds:
Congratulations to:


Jay Yip and Marie Baltazar
Clay Magnus & Donna Palafox

UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS

August 2, 2008
August 9, 2008
October 4, 2008
October 10, 2008
December 6, 2008
December 7, 2008
December 13, 2008
December 19, 2008

FILCRAH Picnic –Willow Cove, Confederation Park
NOVO ECIJANO’S Picnic – Willow Cove, Confederation Park
NOVO ECIJANO’S “Golden Voice Singing Contest” Holiday Inn, Burlington
P.C.A. Fund Raising Dinner Dance - Michelangelo
PICAH Christmas Dance- St. Naum Macedonian Church Hall
PICAH Children’s Christmas Party at HFCC
ATO ATO Christmas Party
Heritage Language School Christmas Celebration


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FILCRAH ACTIVITIES


ONGOING:
1. Trip to Flamboro Slots every 2nd Thursday of the month.. Bonus - $10 voucher for cash
2. Line dancing – every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month at the HFCC

TRIPS:
1. Atlantic City – June 30 – July 3, 2008 – Bally’s Hotel and Casino
2. Shopping at the Grove City Prime Outlet Mall, Millcreek Mall and Seneca Casino October 14, 15, 16, 2008 – Free breakfast everyday –
SPACE STILL AVAILABLE! 2 in a room -$165.00 3 in a room - $150.00 4 in a room - $135.00

***If interested in any of the activities and trips, please call Yoyex Chan at 905-574-3923 or Estela Guevarra at 905-573-9481.
FILCRAH SPRING DINNER/DANCE

Last April, the FILIPINO CANADIAN RETIREES OF HAMILTON held its annual dinner and dance to raise some funds for charity. About 170 guests attended the affair which was held at the Michelangelo Banquet Center.

With RB Disc Jockey Services providing the music, the guests had a great time dancing the night away. As always, Michelangelo provided good food which was supplemented by a sweet table of various kinds of desserts at 10:30 in the evening. The guests stayed until closing time, enjoying more food and a lot of line dancing.

Some of the proceeds from the dinner/dance will go to the different food banks at Christmas time.

REMINDER: EVERYONE IS WELCOME!
FILCRAH PICNIC ON AUGUST 2, 2008 AT THE WILLOWCOVE PAVILION, CONFEDERATION PARK. ***There will be an election of new officers at the picnic.


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CLUB NOVO ECIJANOS OF HAMILTON
By: Rachel Viquiera


The Club Novo Ecijanos of Hamilton held their annual dinner and dance on March 8, 2008. Even through the inclement weather conditions, supporters braved the storm to attend the event. Thank you to all the members, officers, and friends who came to celebrate with us.

A dialysis machine is being donated to Cabanatuan General Hospital through the help of HFCC. We are making arrangements to ship it along with a box of medical supplies to Nueva Ecija, Philippines.

We would like to remind everyone of our upcoming events. Please come and join us!

AUGUST 9
ANNUAL PICNICWillow Cove, Confederation Park
Pot luck lunch, games for children and adults

OCTOBER 4
GOLDEN VOICE SINGING CONTEST
Holiday Inn, Burlington

Cash prizes, contestant must be of Pilipino heritage, ages 15 and above.

For more information and to register please contact Rey & Sally Viquiera at 905 578-1171
or email rey.viquiera@sympatico.ca

MARCH 2009-ANNUAL DINNER AND DANCE
Holiday Inn, Burlington


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WHERE ARE THEY…? AN INTERVIEW VIA E-MAIL….With Sheila Savedia Cayabyab

(Edna Moreno has been privileged to contact another member of our Hamilton family.)

FEL DID IT

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Frank and Sheila with daughter Katelyn Misha


Liham Balita: Did you have an opportunity to work in Hamilton?
Sheila: I worked for a year as a Research Assistant with a Neurologist (Dr. Michael Mazurek) at the McMaster University. Dr. Mazurek encouraged me to pursue Medical School and specialize in Neurology.

Liham Balita : What motivated you to move to Vancouver?
Sheila: My residency program brought me out west to University of British Columbia. We fell in love with Vancouver right away. Fortunately, Frank found a good postdoctoral position which kept us together while pursuing our own careers. Our plan was to stay here forever. I actually started my community neurology practice here for a few years.

Liham Balita: We heard you have moved once again to another part of Canada?
Sheila: Opportunity knocked once again! After Frank’s post-doctoral job, he found a tenure track position at the University of Saskatchewan. Then I was offered a position as well as a Clinical Associate University Professor in the Dept. of Neurology. Initially, we were reluctant to leave beautiful BC; but to our surprise, we like it here! It is a small city compared to Vancouver but the cost of living is much lower, and very child-friendly. Both our jobs have allowed us to travel. Before the age of 2, Katelyn has already been to Prague, and a few cities in the United States.

Liham Balita (LB): Can you share with us what you miss most when you left Hamilton? How often do you visit?
Sheila: We miss our family the most. We visit at least once a year and my parents come to visit during Katelyn’s birthday in April. We haven’t gotten anyone to come out during Christmas as they are afraid of “the cold”; but surprisingly had a better winter than what we heard you go there in Hamilton.

Liham Balita: Tell us about your family.
Sheila: My husband Frank has collected several degrees including Bachelor of Engineering, Masters Degree in Engineering Science in the field of Gastroenterology; and finally, Ph. D. in Neuroscience at the University of Toronto. He is now pursuing a career goal as an independent scientific researcher teaching Physiology courses and simultaneously running a lab with several students.

His interests lie in looking at models of stroke, epilepsy and ALS. Our little Katelyn Misha hopes to get to Montessori school sometime soon. She loves to read. Her favorite activities are going to the local water and amusement parks with her little friends.

Liham Balita: Are you actively involved in any Filipino community activities where you live?
Sheila: We’ve only been here for a little over a year. We are still settling in; but we haven’t forgotten our Filipino culture. We manage to find a “Filipino Restaurant” and stores that sell ingredients for Filipino food.

Liham Balita: What can you advise our young readers about career choices in this day and age where the work force is very intense and competitive?
Sheila: Finding the right career is a journey. Hopefully, their journey will not be as long as mine will. But along the way, it is important to learn from each experience (whether it is educational or personal). There is never a right or wrong path. To reach any goal, the important quality is tenacity. When one reaches a certain level in any academic or non-academic pursuit, competition is tough but it is hard work, a willingness to learn and a positive attitude that will distinguish you as the successful candidate.

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A FAMILY LEGACY... A Reunion Worthy of a Balikbayan Trip
By : Penn Carlos

FEL DID IT

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Pampanga High School recently celebrated its “Centennial Reunion”. Thousands of alumni from different parts of the country and many corners of the world attended. One of the awardees was Miss Bernardina Victorio Baltazar, Indang Dinang as she is affectionately called was among the attendees. Although wheel chair bound, she attended the festivities. As the oldest surviving alumnus of Pampanga High School, she was honoured to meet President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who also unveiled the statue of her father, the late President Diosdado Macapagal. Indang Dinang proudly informed her that her father was her high school classmate.

Let me share with you what makes Indang Dinang very special! She was born in Sto. Thomas, Lubao, Pampanga 99 years ago last May. She grew up with 6 siblings, one of whom was Tata Efren, a well-respected physician in our community. She loved children so much, she decided to become an educator. Her dedication, organization, and methods of teaching were exemplary. Indang Dinang never married yet became the mother of thousands of children under her tutelage. She considered her students her own, nurtured them and guided them to believe in themselves. She always believes that education is the key to success and success leads to a better life.

During the reunion, hundreds of attendees came to Indang Dinang greeting her and thanking her for all support and guidance she gave them during their elementary years, the foundation of good, basic education. She surely has marked her legacy in our “small society”

(Note: Mrs. Penn Carlos and Mrs. Linda Allanigue are the nieces of Indang Dinang, their mother’s sister. Both made their special Balikbayan trip to attend this reunion and to give honour to their Aunt Dinang)

Picture above shows President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo greeting Indang Dinang at the celebration of the Pampanga High School 100th anniversary

WEBMASTER: FEL MARPA

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GRACEFULLY…. GRACIOUSLY…. OVER 60!
By: Edna Moreno

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Talk about reality shows on TV!

What about waking up one day and realizing …. “I am over the hill!!!!

I looked at myself in the mirror and sighed… and then asked myself, “How do I feel?” My teeth are mostly complete and are still good for eating corn on the cob or apple. Other than the fine lines around my eyes, laugh lines and dryness around the lips, droopy eyelids, my skin looks good. My hair is quite manageable with my maintenance touch-up every 4 weeks (used to be every 6-7 weeks). My eye doctor says I could still get away with single vision prescription glasses; though I noticed I need longer arms as I try to read small prints without squinting.

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Then, I told myself, ”Why am I emphasizing on my physical appearance?” How do I really feel within me? Have I learned anything about the purpose of my existence for the last many years? “

Then I started talking to friends my age and those close to me.

One said, “Friends and relatives stopped asking me to be a baptismal sponsor.

Matanda na talaga. Ninang na lang sa kasal.”

Another one said, “ I wake up finding my joints stiff and painful. Thanks to madjong, it helps exercise my fingers.

My doctor recommended a well-balanced diet of gulay, gulay and more gulay.

“Talk about forgetfulness,” another one complained. “I get embarrassed whenever I meet old friends. Calling their names is sometimes impossible. Now everyone is kumare and kumpare . Worse at home when I am looking for my keys, eye glasses, jewelry and even my wallet.

“ I am more patient and forgiving now that I am older. I am more adaptive to my family’s needs more than mine. I have learned to accept the realities of physical age and emphasize more on having good health and peaceful, caring, and loving life,” another “kumare” said.

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After all those answers, I wondered what my right attitude should be. What can I do about this reality of aging? The answer is quite simple. Accept aging gracefully and graciously.

Now I have willingly and resignedly adapt. I organize my thoughts by writing and preparing a “to do list” daily. I adore the energy of young people. Socializing with them make me feel young. Besides our young people need us too for our knowledge, experience and advise. I walk, exercise and dance whenever I can. I drink a lot of water and green tea and control my urge to drink coffee and soda pop (I have to admit I can’t resist an offer of Starbucks). I spend more time looking at window displays and catalogues re-learning how to apply make-up and dress my age. My mirror at home is my granddaughter, my number one admirer and critic, who suggests “what not to wear”.

I easily forgive. I readily laugh. I willingly help those who need it. I have made my family and close friends the focus of my life and not me as their centre. Lastly, I count my blessing everyday and thank our Creator, the Centre of my existence. I am still healthy enough to lead a productive life, and enjoy the company of those I love.

My motto:
LIFE IS SHORT, FORGIVE QUICKLY, KISS SLOWLY, LOVE TRULY,
LAUGH UNCONTROLLABLY. WHATEVER YOU DO, HAVE FUN.


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Once… there was this puppy love
by Edna Moreno

Childhood years have gone by…
But my heart still longs for you…

Memories have kept me awake…
As one by one they come…

The smiles and laughter we have shared…
The secret glances, the whispers, the hidden touches..
The love notes, the thoughts and dreams…

The news of your passing on has put tears in my eyes…
Just like before, I secretly wiped my sadness away…
Just like before, I hid my grief and sorrows…

And now, it is time for prayers…
The life, the love, the joy…
Rest now, dearest friend…

“May the Lord keep you in His Eternal Embrace”

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WEBMASTER: FEL MARPA

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SUMMER ISSUE
JUNE 2008