APCO still reigns supreme

Amores graciously bows out; Salazar is new prexy

It has been a most splendiferous maiden two years for APCO!

What originally started off as a breakaway group in the face of that historically unforgettable 2010 falling out from Philippine Community Council has, only after two years, fully emerged as a united alliance of “very dedicated, active and committed community organizations” defiantly and adroitly shepherded and led by Dr. Cen Amores, proving to all and sundry, that it has delivered what it promised.

APCO officers and directors, 2012 - 2014. //Photo: Josie Musa
APCO officers and directors, 2012 - 2014. //Photo: Josie Musa

In the introduction to her President’s Report covering the period of inception in November 2011 throughout her term of two year paving the way towards the blossoming of the association through to her official turn-over to the new board elected last Saturday, March 17, outgoing prexy Cen Amores declared: “It is most important for all our affiliates to trust that APCO is there to serve and support them. I harbored no personal rancor nor any differences but simply projected the view to make every life change as an opportunity to make life more fulfilling.”

Read determinedly loud and clear to an assembly of 70 or more affiliate individual members and representatives of group members, she enumerated a long list of her very own leadership citations as founding APCO President, the main projects and activities of the group relative to capacity building, and the Humanitarian Emergency and Livelihood (HEAL) Program, APCO’s sterling contributions, direct participation as well as endorsements to various arts and cultural promotions and endeavors from the national triumph of the Rizal Sesquicentennial Radio Festival (RSRFS) to the various MEDG stellar performances, and numerous support given to affiliates, even to other non-member organizations, government bodies and individuals.

Likewise, she minced no words in pinpointing the challenges the initial Board had to wrestle with as part of its birth pangs as well as baptism of fire, and ended her talk with future plans and expectations firing everyone, especially the upcoming Board, with the same zeal and passion to service delivery and concretization of avowed goals.

Outgoing APCO president Cen Amores
Outgoing APCO president Cen Amores

Dr. Amores has been magnanimous in her victory, cuddling APCO in its infancy with all the love, devotion and sincerity, the strength of her ideas and courage of convictions, plus the positive thrust of her solid vision and mission.

“APCO became a better alternative state umbrella organization that adheres to democratic principles, operates with greater transparency, promotes social inclusion and leads by example”, she declared.

“We are proud to say that through APCO, we have made inroads into improving the image of the Filipino community as an inclusive and welcoming community through our active engagements, involvement and partnership with CALD and mainstream Australian communities.”

The 70 something strong who attended the AGM at the Kapitbahayan Cooperative Compound in 96 Canleyvale Rd., Canley Vale on Saturday, March 17 consisted of founding affiliate members, avid supporters and guests gave the outgoing president a resounding applause.

She capped her much-applauded and well-received reportage by distributing laminated certificates of appreciation to all the group and individual founding members of APCO, including this writer representing Filipinas-PETALS (Philippine Educational Theater Artists League Sydney).

The certification states: “The Alliance of Philippine Community Organizations, Inc. was founded on 16 March 2010 by a group of socially-conscious organizations and individuals who value justice and adhere to democratic principles.

The feisty Dr. Cen Amores has just been singled out from the Filipino community and appointed “People of Australia Ambassador” by PM Julia Gillard for her outstanding work in building strong and cohesive local communities. She vowed to “stay behind APCO forever” even as she remains part of the Honorary Advisory Team together with husband Ruben Amores and Jimmy Lopez.

The new Board (2012-2014)

Newly elected APCO president Jhun Salazar
Newly elected APCO president Jhun Salazar

APCO set new and highest professional standards and upheld strictly democratic procedures in the holding of its election of new office bearers and position holders.

Everything turned out smooth, cordial, and efficient ~ with Ruben Amores, Jimmy Lopez, Daisy Cummings, Mick Miguel, and Vivianne Brewington making up the Electoral Committee.

A previous list of fifteen nominees was handed to everyone upon registration. Such list based on previously mailed in nominations whilst awaiting additional nominations from the body. There were three additions but there were also last minute backing out that left the voting body all but fifteen final nominations that resolved itself with no further ado.

The fifteen were automatically elected, proclaimed and given a chance to speak. What followed was the actual election of 9 specific posts comprising the Executive Committee plus 8 members of the Board of Directors. Everything was conducted viva voce. There was no need for balloting except only at one point to choose between two candidates nominated for the position of PRO.

The newly elected members of the board and office bearers are as follows: President – Jhun Salazar, Senior VP – Mariam McCauley, Junior VP – Gerry Musa, Secretary – Mars Cavestany, Treasurer – Josephine de los Reyes, Internal Auditor – Emylee Tuzon, and PRO – Amor Ramos. Directors – Marx Canoy, Emma Braceros, Violy Miguel, Rudy Reyes, Cora Perez, Linda Trinidad, Lee Meekan, and Glorina Papaioannou.

In his acceptance speech, the new President reinforced the outstanding and pioneering efforts of the founding President and vowed to carry on the tradition of excellence and service for all. He expressed that his natural ascent to presidency (he served as Senior Vice President in initial two years of operation) is not only “an honor but a responsibility” and possessed with a “heart for servitude” he also challenged his fellow officers to emphasize that APCO should be more inclusive rather than exclusive and thus would welcome all other Filipino organizations and individuals to join in and enjoy the benefits and privileges of the programs continued from the past and forging into the future.

“There is always something for everyone in APCO as programs, activities and services are designed to enhance community capacity-building, solid collaboration and advocacy for the socially vulnerable sectors of our community, not to mention a more professional enhancement of local artistic and cultural undertakings,” he said.

Other post/s by Mars Cavestany

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