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06/02/2012: Embassy Hosts Forum to Document Lives of Fil-Ams

Ambassador Jose Cuisia (center) listens to the discussion among participants of the Filipino-American Professionals and Entrepreneurs Public Forum, which was held at the Romulo Hall of the Philippine Embassy last February 3.

06 February 2012, Washington DC. A multi-media documentary is currently in the works to document the lives, experiences and impact of Filipino immigrants in America.  Entitled “The Invisible Immigrants – Filipino Americans, A Force in Mainstream America,” the project is being undertaken by Marilyn Picardo Rivera, a retired public finance official and founder of the Philippine American Literary, Sports and Arts Foundation.  Six forums throughout the United States have already been organized to listen to specially chosen participants, whose personal stories would serve as inputs for the documentary.

In his remarks, Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. commended Ms. Rivera for spearheading the initiative, describing it as “an invaluable compilation of the contribution of Filipinos to American society.”  The Ambassador cited the countless successful Filipino-Americans he has met throughout his travels in the U.S. and expressed the hope that the documentary would serve “as an inspiration to future generations of Filipino-Americans.”

The forum was attended by David Valderrama (former Maryland delegate), Pablito Alarcon (co-founder of Feed the Hungry), Ador Carreon (chairman of the Philippine American Foundation for Charities), Belen de la Peña (founder of the Pilipino American Cultural Arts Society), Noel Izon (award-winning filmmaker), Reynaldo Lee-llacer (general surgeon), Roberto Llames (president/CEO of Enterprise Solutions), Jon Melegrito (library administrator of American University and George Washington University), Julian Oteyza (painter, sculptor and musician), Maurese Owens (National Federation of Filipino American Associations), Tess Cauterucci (owner and president of Care Givers), Eileen de Cesare (president/CEO of Professional Healthcare), Beth Reyes (registered nurse), Realista Rodriguez (retired principal), and Mitzi Pickard (president of the Philippine Arts, Letters & Media Council).  Serving as moderators were Alan Reyes, Senior Vice President of Operations at United Service Organizations, and Tamara Wilson, Program Analyst at the State Department.  END