APODCAA Joins the Philippines Independence Day Celebration
June 6, 2004

One can’t help but admire the dedication APODCAA continues to demonstrate in the tri-state region of Washington DC, Virginia, and Maryland. Once again, APODCAA members along with their families and friends showed up to support this year’s Philippine Independence Day (PID) celebration held at the Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington, DC.

Sunday, June 6, started out as a dreary one with overcast clouds threatening to dampen the spirits (joy) of the day’s festivities. But as the day went on, and as the people started to show-up, the saying that “the show must go on” really lived up to its billing on this day. The cultural show was fantastic and the sumptuous local dishes and delicacies from the various provinces of the Philippines were absolutely mouthwatering. Quite frankly, I found the Parade representing the different generations of immigrants into the US a stunning revelation. For instance, I was delighted to know that the first batch of immigrants went to the bayou of Louisiana before the pineapple plantations of Hawaii. Wow!

This year’s PID Parade Marshals duties were honorably carried out by over 40 distinguished members of APODCAA. Event organizers and spectators alike commented that this year’s parade along Pennsylvania Avenue was the most orderly to date. The onlookers’ cooperation and the absence of disorder is true evidence of the respect APODCAA has earned in the community. The parade route was cleared of anxious bystanders who in the past caused the collapse of the cordoned-off areas resulting in unnecessary delays. It surely made me feel so proud when people approached us from all directions thanking APO [NOTE, not just APODCAA, but APO] for our invaluable contributions to the success of this year’s PID celebration.

This remarkable display of APO’s cardinal principles of Leadership, Friendship, and Service was truly apparent throughout the day’s celebration. Brod/Pres Doods Castellano’s Leadership as evidenced by over 40 members and family who enthusiastically participated during the Service. Of course, I would be remiss if I failed to highlight Brod Lem Banaga’s enormous contributions in successfully crafting an obviously successful strategy to have an orderly parade.

Quite an impressive array of APO members [spanning over four decades as young as Batch 60’s to Batch 90’s] gathered and stood in solidarity to support Brod/Pres Doods Castellano’s effort to build strong community relationships amongst the Filipino expatriates. Just another proof of APODCAA’s collective desire to advance APO’s cardinal principle of Friendship; not just amongst our ranks, but throughout our respective communities!

Finally, the discovery of a ‘sleeper cell’ in the persona of Brod Ferdie Gomez, this year’s PID celebration also served as a welcome treat to the newly-arrived Sipin family from the Philippines: Brod Santy, Sis Lulu, and their lovely daughters. Another surprise of the day was appearance of yet another offspring of Beta chapter, ACNA President Dan Maines, who flew in from Ontario to share the pride and joy of Service with APODCAA.

Need I say more about Service?

(Bro Vic DeLeon, #10370, 2X4KRO)

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