By Marivir R. Montebon
New York City — Before Consul General Mario Lopez de Leon Jr. swore into office the new officers of the Filipino-American Press Club of New York, the conversation between him, Vice Consul Krystina Corpuz and the members of the press was convivial and warm. Outside, the Big Apple was beginning to feel the brutality of the polar vortex.
Newly-elected president Ricky Rillera shared a bit of the plans of the press club to be more visible in community events, in order to be able to cover these activities and stir ground dynamism. Members of the press look forward to being up on their toes with the upcoming presidential elections in the Philippines and the US in May and November, respectively.
The conversation shifted to major events in the community this year, the last of Amb. de Leon’s stewardship in the East coast being an election year in the Philippines. To look forward in this vibrant and growing community are the 2nd General Assembly of the Fil-Am communities, the Independence Day parade, and a host of social events.
Then the oath taking. New members Lumen Castaneda, columnist for One Philippines magazine and photojournalist Lambert Parong of the Balitang Kutsero.com were first to be sworn in and then the new Board of the FAPCNY.
President Rillera is with the online news site philippinedailymirror.com that serves as the New York edition of a leading Philippine publication of the same masthead. He had been a columnist of The Filipino Express weekly community publication.
Vice President Cristina DC Pastor owns and manages the online site The FilAm.net. She also co-founded and co-hosts Makilala, a television talk show aired regularly over the Manhattan Neighborhood Network.
Asian Journal editor in chief Momar Visjaya is the elected treasurer and Tambi Wycoco is the hold-over secretary.
Members of the board of directors are Noel Pangilinan (Immigranation), Marivir Montebon (Osm! www.justcliqit.com), Grace Labaguis (Synergy Productions), Don Tagala (ABS-CBN), and former president Monette Rivera (ABS-CBN).
After the oath-taking ceremony, the pack headed to a restaurant on 5th Avenue for a sumptuous dinner over a truly substantive and upbeat conversation, ranging from outrageous politics in the US and the Philippines to the sweet empanaditas which Lumen Castaneda has generously shared. (Photos by Monette Rivera and Lumen Castaneda)