PAFCOM’s Inauguration Ceremony 2014

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JERSEY CITY, NJ -- With 2014 just around the corner, the stage is now set yet once again for the Philippine-American Friendship Committee, Inc. (PAFCOM) as it enters the upcoming year under new guidance and with a whole new set of officers.

The organization’s annual Inauguration ceremony was held last Monday night, Dec. 2 at University Academy Charter High School on Westside Avenue in Jersey City, NJ. Guests from all around Jersey City as well as its surrounding regions took part in this wonderful and historic event. 


The evening began with PAFCOM’s traditional warm welcome portion of the event as guests greeted and mingled with one another over dinner and refreshments. As everyone began to settle in and be seated, the ceremony had started to get underway. Guest speakers and dignitaries throughout the event included Council President Rolando Lavarro, Councilman for Ward B Chico Ramchal, Councilwoman-at-Large Joyce Waterman, Freeholder and PAFCOM’s Honorary Grand Marshal Bill O’Dea, and Vice Consul Krystina Corpuz of the Philippine Consulate General in New York, who attended and showed their support and appreciation for the outstanding organization and it’s long time commitment and services to the community. 


As Mr. Edwin Solano gave his valedictory speech as the 2013 Overall Chairman of PAFCOM, the newly elected Overall Chairman, Engr. Mario V. Garcia, had graciously accepted the honor as the 2014 Overall Chairman of PAFCOM. Engr. Garcia pledged with grace and conviction in his speech to continue PAFCOM’s long standing traditions as well as many new ideas for the organization and the community. “I am not a great speaker, but a good communicator”.


Other portions of the ceremony also included the acknowledgement of past Grand Marshals as well as the introduction of the upcoming 2014 Grand Marshals, Dr. Edgar and Mrs. Mary Jane Lerias. The couple spoke a few words before the attendees in a speech expressing their utmost gratitude for the prestigious honor bestowed upon them. Also, the officers and member of PAFCOM presented a Lifetime Service Award to Tom and Mila Simba for their more than 20 years of steadfast and untiring service to PAFCOM.


In the duration of the evening, a strong sense of Filipino Pride could be felt throughout the evening’s atmosphere as pictures continued to be taken, applauds got louder, and attendants congratulated one another.


Accompanying Engr. Mario V. Garcia in PAFCOM’s newly appointed office is as follows: 



PAFCOM 2014 Officers


Overall Chairman - Mario V. Garcia; Executive/Recording Secretary - Helen Castillo; Corresponding Secretary - Ellen Alonzo; Treasurer - Ledy Almadin; Asst. Treasurer - Angelita Roxas; Auditor - Luis Morales; Asst. Auditor - Rebecca Cooney; PRO - Augustus Salud Jr.; Technical Advisers - Gerry Austria and Domingo “Jun” Hornilla; Legal Adviser - Emerito Salud, Esq.; Governmental Relations - Ed Toloza  and Pam Andes 


Overall Vice Chairs: Special Events - Isagani Puertollano; Parade - Joel Flores; Festival - Rose Javier


Committee Chairs: Grand Marshals’ Gala Night - Nena Smith and Medy Taeza; Friendship Night & Coronation Ball - Annelyn Flores and Joyce Castillo; Parade - Greg Agulan; Parade Marshal - Rene Reniva; Parade Logistics - Lito Pernia; Festival - Maureen Varco; Booths & Exhibits - Mila Simba




The Philippine-American Friendship Committee, Inc. is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization comprised of Filipino-American community leaders from the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut). Established in 1990, PAFCOM was primarily engaged in delivering an annual parade and festival, every June of each year in Jersey City, New Jersey to celebrate Philippine-American Friendship Day. The aims of the founders of PAFCOM are: (1) to enhance a better understanding of the Filipino culture and activities and be of service to the community and the general public in order to gain for themselves that recognition due them as an ethnic group in the United States of America and (2) to enhance the integration of Filipinos into mainstream America by engaging in socio-cultural, charitable and educational undertakings. 


Annual Parade and Festival - PAFCOM’s strength and dedication towards the community continues to attract a diverse crowd of spectators and participants to its festivities each year. The annual parade and festival, held in the month of June, is an opportunity to share and showcase Philippine culture to mainstream America, through decorated floats, folk dances, arts and exhibits, assortment of native dishes, native and modern music, community organizations, businesses and local talents. A crowd of up to 30,000 people gather.