Prexy’s 2nd Chapter.. says will be better, more enjoyable..
Phil-Am of Surigao in Illinois’ incoming President Dr. Simeon A. Sevandal called his term the “second chapter” around, while outgoing Meriam Opalia-Avila said she’s optimistic, he can achieve more.
Either way, their story began 18 years back, when they had their first medical mission to the Province of Surigao- aimed at alleviating the life of the “less fortunate kababayans”.
Much went well, and to date, they have successfully accomplished 8 medical missions. These include free minor and major surgeries, medical-dental-eye check-up, scholarship programs, donations of laptop computers to Anao-aon Elementary School as well as Saint Francis Xavier Parish Church and medical supplies, such as IV stand, hospital beds and wheelchairs to the Caraga Provincial Hospital.
“I am here ready to take the mantle of the Presidency for the second time. I think the second time will be better and more enjoyable than before”, says Dr. Sevandal in his acceptance speech. On the other hand, Ms Avila expressed great optimism for Dr. Sevandal. “Now that our president is a doctor himself, it would be a great boost to our future medical missions and I’m certain, he can achieve more”, she added. “And being your president was indeed a very challenging experience, it was my great honor and privilege serving our “kababayans and the association and to all of you, I say thank you for your support and trust that you had entrusted upon me, reveals the proud outgoing president.
Last Saturday, Phil-Am of Surigao in Illinois conducted its grand reunion and fiesta celebration, same time, oath taking ceremony for its new set of officers, at Alta Villa banquets along Addison Road in Addison, Illinois.
Consul General Leo M. Herrera-Lim led the guests and oath taking ceremony and in turn reiterated the government’s commitment to rally behind Filipino communities abroad-finding ways to better participate in evolving progress for the Filipino people.
Early this year, the province of Surigao del Norte was a recipient of the medical and surgical missions jointly undertaken by the Philippines Medical Association of Chicago (PMAC), Phil-Am of Surigao in IL and UP-PGH Complex. “Not only did they bring healing to many, they showed that one of their own has made it big”, says Consul General Herrera-Lim.
About 200 guests and members have gathered together in a dinner to celebrate the occassion. ZAMNAI President Nap C. Sienes Jr., Arcelita Eguia -President of Manukan Devotees of our Mother of Perpetual Help in Chicago, Ambibo President & CEO Rodolfo C. Bonjoc Jr., PreMARI President Venric T. Rojas and ZAMNAI Information Officer James Philip T. Sojor, were among the guests.
Dr. Sevandal outlined his policy as gearing towards its objectives: medical missions, scholarship and economic alleviation of people in the two provinces of Surigao. “We will partner still with the local leadership as before”, he said.
His next plan is to conduct a medical mission for the famous surfing island of Siargao, “probably in the coming year during the summer season when the weather will be good for sailing”, he quipped.
During the night, past President Daylinda Bayron-Mendez announced the launching of Surigaonon Kaw website. A presentation on the website says it is created as a promotion not only for Surigao as a unique province but also to help reach out the Surigaonons who are helpless and need more attention.
The main attraction of the celebration is the crowning and presentation of Ms Teen Phil-Am of Surigao in IL- Glenn Agape Montero, Mrs Surigao USA- Wea Parba Stedronsky and Mrs Phil-Am of Surigao in IL- Arcelie Lloyd Robeniol Koons.
Ms Montero is a 15 year old sophomore at Plainfield North High School. Versatile and pretty-young woman, she’s a recipient of various awards and commendations. Among them are the L. Armstrong Jazz award of 2011-2012 and Champion Piano Senior Award in 2013 Illinois Piano tourney. She’s a member of the prestigious National Junior Honor Society, Plainfield North High School Band and High School Wind Ensemble, using instruments such as flute and euphonium. Her other activities include, Church choir pianist and choreographer for FCCC Kasayahan Cultural Dance.
Mrs Stedronsky was raised in Surigao and attained a degree in Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She had worked in sales but recently she finds interest in health care as she is currently working as Phlebotomist and EKG specialist. She loves dancing- Salsa Bachata, singing, cooking and hanging out with her family. She’s happily married to Robert Frank Jr of Barrington, Illinois, with one daughter Kimberly.
Mrs Koons loves to go outing and dining with her family and friends. But her great interest is in scenery and landscape, geology and the art. She went to Andres Soriano College in Mangagoy, Surigao del Sur, away from her hometown of Malaybalay, Bukidnon in the Philippines. Married to Lloyd Brian, they live in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.
The holding of a joint pageant is part of their efforts to raise funds for their medical missions.
Inducted into office for 2013-2015 are; Dr. Simeon A. Sevandal- President, Angela L. Macasero – Vice President, Meriam Avila – Treasurer, Marie B. Panico – Secretary, Simeon Beberino & Peter Palancia- PROs and Bridgette Holliday & Trifilo Almajano – Sgts-at-Arms.
Phil-Am of Surigao in Illinois (formerly Surigao Association of Illinois) was founded in 1995 by the late Engr. Leonides Arriba and Rev. Adelaida Gonzalez. Since then, the vision that both founders had inculcated, has remained steadfast and stringent, been touching the hearts of all Surigaonons, not only in this part of the globe, but all throughout.
Click to see more photos.
By Venric Rojas
VP on Media Affairs