The much-awaited year-long planned annual celebration of PIDCI’s (Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc.) Grand Marshal Night successfully came to light last Saturday, March 25, 2017 at the posh Marriott Hotel Newark Liberty International Airport sans neither hitch nor glitch.
The full-to-the-rafters fashionable event deliberately honored one of the most revered couples in the Filipino-American community: a low-key seasoned man in the person of Dr. Rodrigo Castillo and his avidly trendy wife and unmistakably a woman of distinction, Dr. Elma De Villa-Castillo.
Through the indefatigable rummaging around and persistent persuasion of PIDCI’s Board Member and Grand Marshal Search Chair Ollie C. David, the husband and wife tandem of pediatricians were finally encouraged and overtly accepted the most coveted roles as 2017 PIDCI Grand Marshals.
Let’s get to know the 2017 PIDCI Grand Marshals:
Dr. Rodrigo Castillo, a Doctor of Medicine alumnus of Far Eastern University in Manila, (Class of 1977) migrated to the United States in 1980 and finished his Pediatric Residency at Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, New York (1982-85)…and later worked in the Emergency Room at Humana Hospital in Richland, Virginia for a year.
He then moved back to New York and became an ER Pediatric Attending in Long Island College Hospital while establishing his Pediatric Practice in New York City. In 1990, Dr. Castillo moved to New Jersey and established his own Pediatric Practice in West New York, NJ and Secaucus, NJ with his wife, Dr. Elma Castillo, also a Pediatrician.
He has admitting privileges at Palisade Medical Center in North Bergen, NJ and Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in Secaucus, NJ. A Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics and Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Castillo is also a member of the Philippine Pediatric Society of America- NJ Chapter and a dynamic member of the FEU Alumni Medical Foundation- NJ Chapter.
On the other hand, Dr. Elma Castillo was also a graduate from Far Eastern University in Manila in 1978, and did her Pediatric Residency Training at Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, NY from 1983 to 1985. Believing in the efficacy of power fusion, the enterprising but compassionate couple jointly established a medical corporation, Castillo and Castillo MD PA, located in West New York and Secaucus, NJ. She has admitting privileges at Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, NJ and Meadowlands Hospital in Secaucus, NJ.
Dr. Elma is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics and Fellow of the American Board of Pediatrics while simultaneously a member of various medical associations: the Philippine Medical Society of New Jersey, the Philippine Medical Association in America, the Philippine Pediatric Society in America, and the National and New Jersey Chapters of the Far Eastern University Alumni Medical Foundation.
After being introduced by a common friend and became gradually closer after constantly seeing each other along the school corridors and campus quadrangle it took Doc Rod a mere year before he got her nod but took five years before they finally tied the knot.
Initially married civilly on May 7, 1981 in Houston, Texas where his family was residing, they had their church wedding on June 4, 1983 at the St, John’s Catholic Church in Orange, New Jersey while simultaneously taking his residency at Long Island College Hospital from 1982-1986.
Not only united in matrimony with a common dedication but as well as in extending help to the needy and generously sharing what they have been abundantly blessed with. Drs. Rod and Elma Castillo have been both very active with community works by giving medications and monetary fund to medical missions in the Philippines. They have also been supporting students pursuing their college education in their home country. A nurse who graduated in 2009 has Dr. Castillo and his wife to thank for while two former theology students who are now secular priests in Iloilo are equally full of gratitude to the medical couple with munificent hearts.
Dr. Elma Castillo is currently affiliated with Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen and Meadowlands Medical Center in Secaucus, NJ while simultaneously conducting joint practice with husband Doc Rod in their West New York and Secaucus medical offices.
Drs. Rod and Elma, justifiably recipients of Parents of the Year titles from PACCAL, Mayor Gonelli of Secaucus, New Jersey, and National Parents of the Year Organization in New York City are blessed with three equally successful children: Marianne, a medical doctor who is currently in Pediatric Residency training at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in NYC, Melissa, a Master of Biomedical Sciences, and Rodrigo, Jr., a graduate of Biomedical Engineering at NJIT in Newark, NJ.
“I couldn’t be more pleased dealing with Drs. Rod and Elma… they were the best couple I worked with!” exclaimed the amiable Ollie C. David exhibiting her high admiration and esteem to the Grand Marshal couple. “This year’s Grand Marshal episode would indubitably go down in the annals of PIDCI history!”
For a more vivid scenario of the recently celebrated PIDCI Grand Marshal Ball, feast on a bevy of photos as captured by skilled shutterbugs Yetbo LoveRita, Rolan Gutierrez, Nonoy Rafael and Troi Santos.
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