FVR to Fil-Ams: “Forget not our motherland Pilipinas”

“Forget not your motherland and always endeavor to inculcate the Filipino values of sacrifice, valor, patriotism, love of God, country, people and the environment especially to the new generation of Filipino-Americans as you observe the 115th Philippine Independence Day here in the United States.”
This was the core message of former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos to Fil-Ams as he and his entourage  comprising of former Local Government Secretary Rafael M. Alunan III, retired 3-star Police General Reynaldo Velasco and book author and Rotarian Melandrew T. Velasco barnstorm key US cities from June 5 to 16 in  Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington D.C., Atlanta, New Jersey and New York to a joint roadshow labelled “Pilipinas: The Spirit Behind the Glory.”  The Pilipinas roadshow features a video documentary titled  “Tagaligtas” which is a one-hour length video on the Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force (PNP-SAF), produced by Mr. Alunan, which was premiered last year at the AFP Theater with President Benigno Aquino III in attendance. It documents the crucial roles that SAF, a special unit founded by then PC Chief Maj. Gen. Fidel V. Ramos, has played in securing the people from coups, insurgency, terrorism and crime.
The book “Silver Linings” presents the untold stories of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution told from the unique perspective of the military and police personnel who played key roles during the historic event and in quelling coup attempts to preserve Philippine freedom and democracy. The book is written  by Melandrew Velasco and co-authored by first SAF Commander Rey Velasco and Alunan, an honorary SAF member.
According to Ramos, the Pilipinas Roadshow is aimed at heightening the awareness of Americans, Fil-Ams, and resident Filipinos about what is good in the Philippines today and the benefits of Philippine-American friendship, partnership and alliance.
“We are here not to market goods and services but to market Filipino values, most especially the virtues of patriotism, determination, audacity and sacrifice exemplified in three momentous periods in our struggle for nationhood: the Revolutionary Movement of 1896-1898; the defense of freedom in Bataan and Corregidor and in the nationwide guerrilla resistance in 1942-1945; and our peaceful People Power Revolution at EDSA in 1986 which ejected a 14-year dictatorship,” Ramos said.
He emphasized that the younger generations of Fil-Ams who may not know much about their original motherland and very little about our talented Filipino people are the special targets of the 11-day Pilipinas roadshow in the US straddling the week just before and just after the observance of the Philippine Independence Day, which is celebrated with much fanfare with our Consulates, veterans’ groups, schoolchildren, PTAs and the National Federation of Filipino-American Association (NaFFAA) in the forefront.
The “Silver Linings-Tagaligtas” roadshow in the West Coast had its successful maiden run at Marriott Courtyard Cypress in Los Angeles hosted by the Pangasinan Brotherhood Association-USA led by Eddie Ferrer last June 6; at Villa Marina in San Diego and extra film showings at the Mabuhay Fil-Am Festival in National City last June 7 and 8 respectively.
While in San Diego, FVR graced the Philippine Independence Day celebration of the Mabuhay Festival in National City and the San Diego County Filipino-Americans Employees Associations that included a meeting San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, a long-time champion/advocate of Filipino World War II veterans and who always prides himself as the first “Fil-Am” mayor in his city.
The East Coast tour will start on June 10 at the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. to be hosted by Ambassador Joey Cuisia with a roadshow in Maryland hosted by Dave Valderrama; the Philippine Independence Day commemoration in Atlanta on June 12; and roadshows in New Jersey on June 13 and at the Philippine Center on June 14.
Each presentation is capped by an interactive dialogue in each destination between FVR, Alunan with Rey Velasco and the audience.

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