The United Filipino Organization installed eight new officers and 15 new board members Sunday evening at the Fiesta Resort & Spa’s Hibiscus Hall.
The organization is now officially led by president Gerry De Guzman, vice president Marcelo Masilungan, secretary Birhen Martinez, assistant secretary Fernando Enano, treasurer Ladyvir Canape, assistant treasurer Florenda Miranda, auditor Yolanda Villavicencio, and public relations officer Carlito Marquez.
The new board members are former president Marlon Regaton as chairman, Flor Miranda, Geoffrey Melchor, Nelida Atalig, Bong Malasarte, Maria Annamae Adaza, Hermie Coronejo, Ladyvir Canape, Birhen Martinez, Raul Abordonado, Angelita Mamaril, Joselito Espino, Zaldy Quebral, Alex Nario, and Tyrone Garon.
“We will work hard and find ways to better serve the Filipino community in the CNMI,” De Guzman said in a speech.
According to De Guzman, despite some disagreements among the officers at times, the common goal remains the same—to better serve the community.
“We argue over views and ideas…but in the end, [we work] together [toward] one goal. Let us always keep in our minds that we are [sacrificing] for the community,” he added.
In attendance during the ceremony were Philippine honorary consul to the CNMI Glicerio Arago, Diocese of Chalan Kanoa Bishop Ryan P. Jimenez, and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios.
According to Palacios, he recognizes Filipinos as not just one of the many nationalities on Saipan but part of the Commonwealth community.
“The Filipino community is a part of the Commonwealth community,” he said. “Sure, we have this ethnic organization for fellowship purposes, but we are very proud—I am very proud of our Filipino organizations in this community,” he added.
“The UFO and its 12 supporting organizations have been at the forefront of volunteerism, dedicating time and effort to clean our islands, supporting community events, and working with us in the government on policies to better our lives,” said Palacios.
“You all played a critical role in our recovery efforts after Super Typhoon Yutu hit our islands, helping many of our residents feel whole again. And for that, you all deserve a round of applause,” he added.