Filipino Canadian Educators Organization Celebrates 10th Year Milestone
By Tony A. San Juan
June 6, 2016
Yes sirree and ma'am. T's a memorable milestone....a successful reunion & get-together event indeed! The Philippine Teachers Association of Canada - PTAC, proudly celebrated its 10th foundation anniversary on May 28, 2016 at Qssis Banquet Hall in Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario. Albeit young at age organizationally, PTAC has already notched a remarkable "decade of continued commitment and connection to education".
The joyful event, planned and organized by energetic & hardworking officers and members of the quintessential Filipino Canadian teachers association, was graciously attended by over 100 people including its members, guests, friends, colleagues and family members in delightful Filipiniana attires.
Ably and jointly emceed by Narisa Ramones, Director, Rowell Perez, Asst. Auditor, and Maricon Bernasor, VP for Special Projects, the evening's program, started on time just like the precise morning sound of a school bell. Jujelyn Lescano- Brown aptly led the singing of the Lupang Hinirang and O'Canadanationalanthems, accompanied by Ariel Drapeza in guitar.
Giving the opening remarks, PTAC President Rose A. Apilado happily welcomed and thanked all the guests & officers, laced with a bit of historical background and recollection of the early years of PTAC. With reflective prayers led by Grace De la Reyna, it was followed by sharing of the evening's main course of steamed fish and beef steak. While having the sumptuous meal, the guests were superbly entertained with a remarkable repertoire of love songs by PTAC's chanteuse, Jujelyn Brown and new member May Aliswag.
With splendid introduction by Veep Cielito Drapeza, a special keynote address via video was delivered by Dr. Michael Salvatori, Chief Executive Officer & Registrar of the Ontario College of Teachers, the provincial regulatory authority for teachers. Dr. Salvatori recounted his speaking experience and the "royalty treatment" he always received from PTAC members for the past 10 years. He stressed the significance and standards of teacher certification as well.
Special guest Michele Serrano, a FilCan community leader and nominee to the Canadian Senate read the official message and greetings of Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a former teacher. PTAC also received congratulatory messages from: Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Toronto Mayor John Tory, and Philippine Ambassador Petronila Garcia.
Excellently produced by Maricon Bernasor, Marissa Ciacico, and Cielito Drapeza, a slideshow of "nostalgic history ", recalling and commemorating a decade of PTAC'S existence, operation, professional development projects and fellowship activities from its inception in May, 2006 to the present, interfaced by a recorded interview with Past President Tony A. San Juan. The much- applauded folk dance performed by PTAC's dance troupe, headed by Etta Madamba, includes France Ampioco, Donna Scutariu and Erlyn Simanero.
One of the main highlights was the formal induction of PTAC 2015-2017 Executive Board composed of: Rose Apilado-president, Marissa Ciacico, Cielito Drapeza & Maricon Bernasor - vice presidents, Perly Laganas - secretary, Alicia Bautista - asst. secretary, Mila Curutan - treasurer, Trinidad Andres -asst. treasurer, Gigi Reyes - bus. mgr., Redentor Andres -asst. bus. mgr., Grace Dela Reyna- auditor, Rowell Perez- asst. auditor, Bernadette Gapuz- asst. PRO, and directors Marites Abubo, France Ampioco, Arthur Apilado, Jujelyn Brown, Gary Camu, Boni Curutan, Joel Pine, Narisa Ramones, Donna Scutariu, & Tony San Juan. Founder Leonie Manzanares, with a brief speech, administered the Officers' oaths of office.
The 8 new members, composed of: Madelene Agas, May Aliswag, Cristina Asuncion, Sheryll Regaspi-Camu, Maria Jessica Consular, Aurora Estopacia, Mary Ann Santos and Jocelyn Deplata-Shah, were presented and sworn in by Co-founder Rose A. Cruz, with pinning exercise done by regular PTAC members. Before the night's end, a special announcement of the formal engagement of Erlyn Simanero with fiancee Shawn Sukrajh was made to the delight of the crowd.
A general acknowledgement was delivered by VPs Maricon Bernasor and Marissa Ciacico. The registration front desk was diligently manned by Marites Abubo, France Ampioco, Trina Andres, Mila Curutan, Gigi Reyes & Erlyn Simanero in alternating fashion. Souvenir Programs, developed under the chairmanship of Bernadette Gapuz and other committee members were circulated at cost. A Bahay Kubo prop, prepared by Ariel Drapeza was used as photo backdrop during the "kodakan". Mila Curutan and Maricon Bernasor were observed busily coordinating the event's floor direction. Director Emeritus Tony A. San Juan officially closed the ceremonies signalling the ballroom and line dancing to the playlist provided by DJ Kevin Gapuz.
Purposefully delivered and decidedly forward- looking , the 6-hour celebration acceptably was surely an affair to remember ....... a splendid showcase of PTAC's meaningful fellowship, dedication, cooperation and collaboration at its best. (T. San Juan).
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