Archive for the ‘community’ Category

UP Ibalon congratulates Drs. Chris & Vicvic Bernido

March 13, 2009

UP Ibalon-Bicol congratulates Dr. Christopher and Dr. Maria Victoria (Vicvic) Carpio-Bernido for winning the 3rd Gawad Haydee Yorac* Award, an outstanding distinction which gives tribute to Filipinos who have demonstrated exemplary public service. On its third year, the prestigious award is given annually by the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) in collaboration with UP and the Yorac family.

We have no doubt Chris and Vicvic who are both accomplished physicists are more than worthy to win the sterling award. They left the headship of the UP Diliman’s National Institute of Physics in the 1990’s to start the Research Center for Theoretical Physics in Jagna, a secluded seaside town in the Visayan province of Bohol, two hours by car from the capital city of Tagbilaran. In a rural community setting, the couple boldly introduced the novel teaching of physics, math, science, and other hard subjects to high school students with outstanding results.

The prestigious award honors what the husband and wife team patiently worked for since they opened the private school 10 years ago:

“The Bernidos addressed a grassroots issue, and had the courage to blaze new science trails in their home province of Bohol, in isolated and marginalized communities, demonstrating that there are no constraints or limits to achieving the lofty vision of building a nation when courage, commitment and intellectual experience are applied to the task.”— Philippine Daily Inquirer (03/08/2009, Yap, DJ) (Photo Credits:

Vicvic is the sister of our fellow Ibalonians—Alfonso “Popon” Carpio and Constancia “Connie” Carpio. Graduating on top of her class at Colegio de Sta Isabel (CSI) in Naga City, Vicvic is one among the many talented children of former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) chief Atty. Antonio Carpio.

* Haydee Yorac was an outstanding UP alumna. She was the legal counsel of Meralco. Before she died on September 13, 2005, she served as the director general of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, headed the Presidential Commission on Good Government and the Commission on Elections.


Erlinda Requejo-Arellano: outstanding Bicolana community leader of New Jersey

January 18, 2009

As the Bicol National Association of America (BNAA) gears for its July national convention in New York City this year, I can’t help but pay tribute to Erlinda Requejo-Arellano (Linda,) president of the Bicolandia Association Inc. of the Eastern Seaboard USA. She is at the helm of the preparations for the grand event which will draw Bicolanos and friends in the tri-state area.

I believe Linda is most capable in doing the job. She is a well-known community leader with outstanding accomplishments to her credit. Having been the founding president of the Filipino American Political Action Coalition of New Jersey, Inc. (FAPAC-NJ), she serves as the organizer and founding President of the Filipino American Political Action Group of Essex County and Vice President (Eastern Region) of the Bikol National Association of America.

She is the auditor of the Philippine American Communities Executive Council and the vice president of the Filipino Association of Northern New Jersey, Inc. (FANNJI). An adviser and three-time past overall chairperson of the Philippine Day Organizing Council (PDOC,) she is a mover in the Women’s Initiatives of Nutley headed by the mayor Joan Cocchiola.

Linda assumed headship and remains to be an engaging adviser of the Our Lady of Penafrancia Devotees Association, Inc. (OLPDA,) a religious organization which promotes the devotion to the patroness of the Bicol Region. A strong-willed daughter of a war veteran-hero, she took the position of founding president of the Sons, Daughters and Orphans of Philippine American Veterans, Inc.

Among Linda’s other numerous community involvements was her longtime presidency in the Filipino American Voters’ League, Inc. She admirably served as a mentor in the Juvenile Urban Mentoring Program of Passaic Youth, treasurer of 2002 Multicultural Committee of Passaic, member of the 1999 Facilities Advisory Board and Chairman of the 1998 Quality of Life Program, both of the Passaic Board of Education.

From 1995 through 1998, Linda prominently sat on the board of the United Passaic Organization (a CAP agency) as an able treasurer, chairman of the finance committee, and member of the education and fundraising Committees. Professionally, Linda is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Born with twin sister Mila, Linda hails from Canaman, Camarines Sur, Bicol Region, Philippines where the Requejo family has humbly served the community for over 100 years, majority of the years were under the mayoralty of her grandfather and father Damaso who served the most. Her brother Emmanuel is currently the mayor.

A consistent honor student at the Colegio (now Universidad) de Sta. Isabel, Naga City, spanning her elementary and high school years, Linda was one of the Three Most Outstanding High School Students. She was bestowed leadership and academic excellence recognition from among over 5,000students in the city.

After high school, she won an American Field Service scholarship and spent a year in Kenmore (Buffalo) New York. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila with a Bachelors of Science degree in Commerce major in Accounting. Soon after passing the Philippine accountancy exams, she joined Sycip, Gorres and Velayo, CPA’s and LM Power Engineering until she immigrated to the United States.

She worked for Franwall Optical Co. while taking graduate credits at the State University of NY in Buffalo. She moved for a better career offer with an accounting firm in Clifton, NJ where she earned her New Jersey license as a certified public accountant (CPA.) She was senior accountant and office manager of the firm for 17 years. Presently, Linda is the comptroller of the Passaic Board of Education, a job of trust which oversees a budget of over $200 million.

Linda was recently feted with a leadership award for political advocacy by the Pan American Concerned Citizens Action League, Inc. (PACCAL). Her leadership in political empowerment has also earned her the Go an Extra Mile (GEM) recognition given by the Filipino Asian Bulletin community and the St. Vincent de Paul Public Service Award, for being among the first awardees of the Universidad de Sta. Isabel as an outstanding alumna.

Other sterling distinctions she has had the pleasure of receiving are the United States Special Congressional Recognition for Leadership and Community Service, the New Jersey Assembly Award for outstanding community leadership, the Philippine Day Organizing Council Recognition Award for outstanding leadership, the Philippine Day Organizing Council Bayanihan (Communal Spirit) Award, the Passaic Board of Education Recognition Award as chairperson of the Quality of Life Program, and awards from the Philippine American Friendship Committee, the Philippine Independence Celebration Committee, the Performing Arts of the Philippines, Inc., the Philippine American Communities Council, Inc., the Philippine American Veterans Organization, Inc. and the Bicolandia Association, Inc.

Above all these, what Linda brags to be an “award” that’s unparalleled, unsurpassed and only hers to claim is being mother of her two most wonderful children, Gerard, 29and Marie, 28. =0=


9 simple resolutions for the new year

January 3, 2009

It’s quite hard to make resolutions and end up successful along the course of the year. Yet, experts say there are some simple things which we can do that can impact our lives positively without much commitment. Many of the them do not cost a fortune or need a lot of time. Here are some things we can consider at the start of 2009:

1. Exercise and Food: Long life, emotional stability, and health are closely tied with doing exercise and eating proper food. Studies show that simple brisk walking (less than 30 minutes a day,) can improve heart function and help prolong life. Avoidance of fatty and salty food is key in preventing early-onset heart problems and stroke. Regular visits to our doctor can save us from preventable diseases and spare us from costly treatments in the hospital.

2. Save Cash: The news of a global meltdown spook all of us. We don’t know of anyone who hasn’t been affected by the economic crisis that sweeps across all social classes. Cutting down on unnecessary trips, avoiding eat-outs in restaurants, using public transport can save us a lot of money. Home cooked food brought at work can spare some cash to pay for essential house utilities like the electric or water bill.

3. Support the Environment: Proper disposal of waste, recycling, and avoiding the use of environmental pollutants are important in preserving the planet’s resources. With our dwindling natural resources and the rapid increase in population, more are required on us to bequeath a better world for the next generation.

4. Try Gardening: Unused open spaces at home can be a made into vegetable plots or community gardens. Planted camote gives us nutritious leaves; sweet roots we can harvest in 4 to 5 months. Ginger, scallion and onions on a pot produce a year-long supply of condiments for the home kitchen.

5. Read a Book: Everybody knows knowledge is power. One of the easiest ways to advance our education is to read regularly. A book opens an exciting door to a world that enriches our lives and benefits society. A newspaper keeps us abreast with the events that affect us.

6. Reach Out: There are dividends to be gained when one sets out to reach friends, neighbors, and business associates. A habit of saying hello and expressing thanks bring closeness and cheer to the people we live with.

7. Volunteer: Extra time and space need not be wasted. Volunteering in a church, day-care, hospital, prison or school for a day or two in a year can appreciably help improve our sense of belonging. A volunteer job can be arranged in honor of a friend, to remember a dead relative or to celebrate an anniversary or birthday.

8. Clean Up and Remove Clutter: Our homes have the tendency to accumulate dust and things we don’t need. To make things easy and light, we need to rid our place of things we don’t use. Old clothes, we can give to the poor neighbor or to charity. Regular house cleaning brings a happy spark in our homes and a healthy look of our surroundings.

9. Be a Concerned Citizen: As our civic duty we need to know what goes on in our village. One way to help is to join groups who work for the community. Writing the mayor, councilor or government official on a specific concern is a way to address a problem in our communities. Sitting with them on an issue can help thresh out ways to improve our society. (Photo Credit: