Thursday, June 21, 2007

Dinner at The Consular Residence, 2270 Lake St. San Francisco

I went to the 109th Year Kalayaan 2007 (Philippine Independence Day) celebration at the War Memorial Bldg. (across San Francisco City Hall) last June and that's when I first met Cesar Torres. Everyone calls him Prof. Torres. He's one of the UP Los Banos Alumni who loves to voice out his patriotism to our homeland, Philippines. I initially heard about him through FASEA. The event was great! I met a lot of Filipino politicians and Chamber of Commerce representatives. I wasn't able to find the group that I'm suppose to sit with. Fortunately, I was able to join Fremont mayor Jose "Joe" Esteves and his wife Susan Esteves. They're really wonderful people. I'm thrilled to meet Daly City Mayor Michael Guingona, too! He's much cuter in person than on TV. I often tune in on his show "Citizen Pinoy" at ABS-CBN Filipino Channel. They give a lot of useful information on immigration issues that most immigrants and petitioners really needs. He's a lawyer, politician, and a public servant... and he's very friendly, too. Makes you want to aspire to really make a difference in other people's lives. That was the first time I've met and hear Consul General Rowena "Weng" Sanchez speak about issues close to everyone's heart ~ Veterans' rights and benefits, OFW's (Overseas Filipino Workers) contributions to Philippine's growth and economy, continues fight against poverty and justice, as well as raising concerns for giving back to the community.
Prof. Tores invited me to a farewell dinner for ConGen Sanchez, the day after the GranVia night. I have very little sleep that night but, I really want to be there. I was glad I made it, despite the traffic in the Bay Bridge. I was a little nervous, going by myself. I'm not sure what to expect. But, I was so thankful and a little surprised by the warm hospitality and enthusiasm from everyone showed. Most of the guests were UP Alumni and are also politicians. It was a great dinner. Watching the sunset by the bay while listening to them reminisce about their UP days. Must be nice to graduate from college in the Philippines and have this kind of bond with your collegues. They talk about current news and events in the Philippines. But, I wish there's more that we can do other than just to talk about those issues. Maybe one day I will finally find the opportunity I'm looking for ~ It really helps to hear them tackle those things though. It's a constant reminder that there are people out there who can really use your help, no matter how small you can give.

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