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Filipino group retains ties to home

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A local group of Filipino-Canadians from the province of Pangasinan, Philippines, still strives hard to connect with compatriots, both here and back home.

Since its formation in 1986, the Pangasinan Group of Manitoba has evolved into an active regional organization.

On their vacation in the Philippines last December, past-president of PGM Ben Ahoro and his wife Letty brought Christmas hampers for the Philippines with them, along with the money collected for a school feeding program.  

Because of the successful co-ordination and co-operation between  Ahoro and local government and school officials in Anonas, Urdaneta City in Pangasinan, Philippines, some 43 indigent families benefitted from the Christmas hampers while the cash for the school feeding program for malnourished students will cover up to one month’s food.

Aside from these programs, the group has been involved in offering scholarships deserving students in the Philippines; donating medical and dental supplies and used-but still-good, working condition equipment to local and district hospitals through Hope International Canada which provides the material, while PGM pays for the shipping.

The group also runs  a number of basketball tournaments.

The officers of the group composed are:  Peter Estrada, president; Lydia Baquiran, vice-president; Cynthia Reyes, recording secretary; Mines Pagtakhan, co-ordinating secretary; Jean Buduhan, treasurer; Orlando Buduhan, financial secretary; Carlo Peregrino, auditor; Mike Pagtakhan, sports coordinator; Jun Alvis, sports coordinator; Jun Oquendo, sports chairperson; Freddie Sion; Ben Ahoro, past-president; Mike Balolong; Cesar Fronda, ; Andrea Lafiguera, and Reynaldo Cruz. Rowena Oquendo is an advisor.

The group is now preparing for a fundraiser activity this coming April 21 and the summer family picnic will be held on July 13, 2013.

"We will continue to send humanitarian relief goods to our fellow Panasinenses way back home," PGM president Estrada said.

Reyn Cruz is a community correspondent for the Maples.

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