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Written by : Troi Santos

Like a torchbearer of history, PAFCOMNJ.ORG Grand Marshal Dr. Dely Po Go takes the lead in the Philippine-American Friendship Day parade, marching with purpose and conviction through the streets of Jersey City. Her steadfast determination reflects the unwavering commitment to mutual respect and collaboration that has marked the illustrious journey of Philippine-American relations.

Like guardian spirits, the Philippine and American flags unfurl with grace and dignity, honoring the profound historical ties that bind the two nations. Alongside the Knights of Rizal, whose unwavering commitment to honor and integrity mirrors the great heroes of the past, they forge ahead on this Philippine-American Friendship Day, carrying the torch of solidarity and cooperation. PAFCOMNJ.ORGKnights of RIZALKnights of Rizal New Jersey Chapter.

As the Manila Choppers take the helm, their majestic bikes thundering with mighty roars, the Philippine flag dances with ethereal grace, its fabric quivering in harmony with the vibrations of the motor engines. Together, they lead the procession, infusing the parade streets of Jersey City with an electrifying energy that commemorates the storied legacy and unwavering friendship of Philippine-American Friendship Day.

As the esteemed Grand Marshal of PAFCOMNJ.ORG , Dr. Dely Po Go graces the parade route with regal presence. In a spectacle of humanism, her handshakes transcend mere gestures, transforming into a virtuosic display that delicately etches a narrative of shared resilience, fortitude, and love. With each touch, a symphony of emotions reverberates, resonating with the eloquence of history and crafting a vivid celebration that pays homage to the triumphant spirit of Philippine independence. These handshakes become more than mere physical connections; they encapsulate the profound essence of the Filipino spirit, radiating an aura of dignity and grace. Dr. Dely Po Go's every handshake weaves together the threads of past sacrifices and present aspirations, honoring the heroes who forged the proud legacy of Philippine independence. Through her touch, the parade route becomes a tapestry of unity and inspiration, painting a portrait of unwavering resolve and deep-rooted love for the nation.

It is an honor to be here with you tonight at the 2023 Grand Marshal and Coronation Ball. I am beyond proud to celebrate with you 33 years of a community that is PAFCOM and this organization's commitment to growing stronger as a community, serving the community better, and soaring higher as a community dedicated to promoting the best interests of Filipino Americans.

Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, and members of the esteemed Philippine American Friendship Community or PAFCOM, good evening! Magandang Gabi sa inyong lahat. Maayo gid nga gab-i sa inyo tanan.

Community is the cornerstone of our organization. It is the essence of what it means to stand together to achieve bigger things. Together, we are stronger We are a collective force that has the power to enact positive change, to uplift the lives of those around us, and to make a lasting impact on the world.

“The beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people”. Each one of us here, brings a unique perspective, a distinct culture, and a rich heritage. As Filipino Americans, we are fortunate to embody diversity, with roots that stretch across the globe. Our shared experiences and cultural tapestry give us strength, resilience, and a profound appreciation for the values that bind us together.

Growing stronger as a community means recognizing and celebrating diversity. It means acknowledging the contributions of each one of us, regardless of our background or circumstances. By embracing our differences, we unlock the potential for creativity, innovation, and progress. When we create an environment where each voice your voice and my voice is heard and where all ideas are valued, inclusivity and respect thrive.

However, growing stronger as a community also demands sacrifice. Our ancestors and community members have laid the foundation for us, for our present opportunities through their sacrifice, resilience, and unwavering dedication. We must honor their legacy by following in their footsteps, by being willing to make sacrifices for the greater good, and by fostering an environment that rewards hard work, perseverance, and determination.

Serving better is at the core of PAFCOM's mission. We recognize the importance of empowering individuals to realize their dreams and aspirations. One impactful way we achieve this is by providing scholarships. We believe, Education is a transformative force that has the power to open doors, unlock potential, and create opportunities. By offering scholarships, we extend a helping hand to deserving students, provide them with the chance to pursue their dreams.

As parents, let us instill the same values of compassion, empathy, and service in our youth, and create a legacy that will endure for generations to come.

Soaring higher requires unwavering resiliency and a positive mindset. As Filipino Americans, we have a remarkable history of resilience, overcoming adversity with grace and determination. It is this resiliency that has allowed us to thrive in the face of challenges, to adapt to new environments, and to contribute to the diverse tapestry of American society. Remember when you first arrive here. Nakakaawa tayo di ba? Mga Lawyers, businessmen , engineers, teachers and nurses tayo, but pagdating dito nagging gasoline boy, painters, delivery man, naglilinis ng bahay, nanny, nakakaawa, but look at ourselves, look at yourself now. We must hold on to this resilience, for it is the key to our continued growth and success.

It is essential to stay positive. Positivity enables us to maintain hope, to find solutions amidst difficulties, and to inspire others. As we face obstacles on our journey, we must remember the words : "Don't let anyone take your good vibe away". Negativity can be contagious, and it hampers our ability to achieve greatness. By staying positive, we not only uplift ourselves but also create a supportive and encouraging environment for others.

In conclusion, let us embrace these visions of the Philippine American Friendship Community. Let us grow stronger by celebrating our diversity, recognizing the sacrifices that came before us, and also our sacrifices, creating an inclusive environment. Let us serve better by continuing to provide opportunities for others to realize their dreams and by nurturing the spirit of service in the younger generation. Let us soar higher by staying resilient, positive, and united, knowing that together, we can achieve greatness. By staying true to basic essence of a community, we can continue to build a brighter future, leave a lasting impact, and move on further to help shape the world as Filipino Americans. Can we do it? Can we do it?

Maraming salamat , Thank you, let enjoy the evening!

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