FAPCNY Prez gets honor citation by Queens Borough Prez Katz
By Vanette Colmenares
New York – FAPCNY president Marivir Montebon was given a citation of honor by Melinda Katz, president of the Queens Borough Assembly in time for the celebration of the 121st Independence Day of the Philippines.
Put together by the office of Katz and Aida Bartolome, chair of the Foundation for Filipino Artists (FFAI), citations of honor were given to Montebon and four others, namely: young artist Julian Pigao, parish priest of the Corpus Christi Church Rev. Patrick West, Mary Seren Camino, and Annabelle Albano Lovendahl.
The celebration in honor of the Filipino community in Queens took place at the Helen Marshall Cultural Center in Forest Hills on June 11, 2019.
In her acceptance speech, Montebon said it was an honor to be accorded a citation, “as I continue to amplify the voices of Filipinos in Queens which is continually growing and responding to the challenges of our times.”
“As a writer I believe that I am in a serious position in society to chronicle Filipinos events as they unfold, write about issues that confront each of us. By writing the truth, hopefully we as a community and as individuals will be guided to make correct decisions,” she said.
Sharon Lee, deputy president of Queens Borough welcomed the guests in the jam packed auditorium. She was introduced by lawyer Maria Lara Gregory. Katz was unable to attend the celebration as she was on a public debate with District Attorney candidates for the Democratic primaries on June 25.
Lee acknowledged the contributions of Filipinos in Queens and encouraged them to actively participate in the 2020 Census in order to be counted. “The census is being weaponized to target undocumented immigrants. This is a concern. But we have to be counted, because the Census is a government instrument which serves as basis for budgets for social needs of our society,” she said.
Philippine Consul General Claro Cristobal shared his reflections on Philippine Independence Day, taking cognizance of the contributions of the immigrant Filipino in the US and the Philippines.
The diverse cultures of the Philippines took center stage during the celebration with child performers dancing the Tinikling, Pandango sa Ilaw, and a Muslim wedding dance, to name a few. A rondalla ensemble provided a festive mood music. The Kinding Sindaw, the United Staffing Registry, and the Knights of Rizal New York Chapter co-sponsored the event.
During the event, Filipinos artists Ann Beck, Marcelino Rodriguez, and Leonora Lim put up their works on exhibit. Artist Debra Simsek also displayed her work as a tribute to Filipinos in Queens.