Special THANK YOUs & Summit Highlights

The Friday reception at the NaFFAA Presidential suite was indeed a heart warming show of camaraderie and enthusiasm. This calls for another carabao award for Romy and Nadia Jurani and Region 11, for their unselfish dedication to NaFFAA. Saludos to the R11!!!

Afterwards the young professionals of Region 10 , headed by Juanito Amor and Leezel Ramos had a brief “bull session” on NaFFAA and the wave of the future. Great ideas from the youth and young professionals to work on.

Gloria was smiling ear to ear when i handed her the $2000 cash from Bart Tubalinal as the national’s share of the expenses. Without Gloria to the rescue, the summit would have been handicapped, one reason why we picked the summit dates is that Gloria made sure that we avail of the discounts by piggy-backing with APALA’s annual convention .

Special THANK YOUs to the steering team:

Giselle Rushford and Jing Espiritu turned out to be brilliant strategists, smooth operators, affectionately of course. I was not wrong in insisting that the one-pager process be used. Gloria Caoile, our designated Mother Superior, has always been there for us through thick and thin… Ryan Tejero, the phantom newsletter editor, did a wonderful job in keeping the team on our toes, and i would like to think that he is shadowing me ! And our own JT Mallonga, as always, proved to be a leader to be reckoned with with his final task force presentation on Sunday morning.

Afterwards, Bing Branigin and I were at the 25c slots, alternating on pushing the stingy button… no such luck !

Saturday 8:30 am

We awaited the arrival of Senator Hirono, Gloria introduced her and thanked her for helping our veterans.Lots of pictures were taken. Reminds me of the time we met Hillary Clinton in 2001 in NYC, Senator Hirono spoke the right words, with out missing a beat, not a single strand of hair was out of place – world class figure like Hillary indeed. Let’s thank Gloria for inviting her!

And then, I made my State of NaFFAA speech, and opened it with a Name that Tune… “Once I was afraid I was petrified, Kept thinking I could never live …. And I grew strong”….  Myrna Farinas Reyes immediately shouted “I will survive!”  No. our theme song will always be “The Impossible Dream” Alex will get mad…. The gist of my speech was about our past accomplishments, where we are now and the challenges for the future of NaFFAA in order to move forward.

Fortunately I was the first presenter of the Newsletter & Website one-pager (prepared by Ryan Tejero & Armin Sayson) The delegates were impressed since the two projects are tangibles and I mentioned that the two projects will be good fundraising and sponsorship vehicles to raise funds. for us. There were a show of hands and $2500 were raised for the two projects afterwards.

Twelve (12) one-pagers were presented, sent by the BODs, all relevant for NaFFAA’s moving forward as one voice, one vision for our federation. I will leave the details to Giselle when she makes her final report.

Boxed lunches were served with at least 6 dishes inside, served at the suite. Gloria did it again, is there anything else that this lady cannot do? Sumptuous lunch indeed.

Notables among the delegates, if I miss anyone, my apologies, there were 64 attendees after all.

  • Region 1 – Merit Salud he was wearing his malong, a gift from Emraida, the Tinanas, the Celosas from Boston, Rose Rosales, Rommel Rivera and Brendan Flores, both from Pennsylvania, Lidy Chan
  • Region 2 – Bing Branigin, Dick Aquino, and Jon Melegrito who brought with him NaFFAA pins for distribution.
  • Region 3 – P. Emraida Kiram, Vilma Helms
  • Region 4 – The indefatigable Marilyn Doromal, she is bidding for the 12th EC in Atlanta in 2016
  • Region 5 – Giselle Rushford, Rep. Dennis Apuan
  • Region 6 – Brilliant and quick to the draw Gus Mercado
  • Region 7 – Beautiful and demure Mariela Fletcher, with Jeanette Campbell from Fairbanks, Alaska, Jeanette has indicated that she would like to bid for the 2016 15th EC and brought materials and DVD’s of Alaska
  • Region 8 – Lorna Dietz, Rudy Asercion, Jinni Bartolome, Greg Macabenta… don’t know where Lorna gets her boundless energy…do you?
  • Region 9 – None
  • Region 10 – Auring Cudal, Myrna Farinas Reyes, Juanito Amor, Leezel Ramos, and the young professionals
  • Region 11 – Romy & Nadia Jurani, Gloria Caoile, Rozita Lee, Amie & Leo Belmonte, Jing Espiritu, The Banarias, Beth Ilagan, Arizona’s Marie Cunning and her delegates, Utah’s Eunice Jones and her delegates.
  • Region 12 – None


The task of recapping and putting a NaFFAA one-pager fell on JT Mallonga, he prepared a chart that created several Task Force groups, the execution will be daunting considering the work on hand to be accomplished, for example, the Finance Task force headed by Jing Espiritu is multi faceted,with lots of work to be done.

P. Emraida Kiram was re-appointed by JT & me, after her sojourn to parts unknown (no not with Anthony Bourdain); Rozita Lee was voted to replace Joy Bruce in the Board of Governors; Greg Macabenta proposed another Alex Esclamado Award geared towards non-NaFFAA organizations and will be presented during the National Empowerment Conference starting next year. He will chair the awards and will look for sponsors as well.

It was a superb summit, my gratitude to the organizers and to all who spent time and money to attend this memorable event. Let’s continue to move forward, let us be compact and walk hand-in-hand in moving NaFFAA forward. With God’s blessings, we will persevere.

Mabuhay ang NaFFAA ! Long Live NaFFAA!

Eduardo “Ed” Navarra
NaFFAA National Chair

PS… I missed mentioning the beautiful couple, Martin & Jean Celemin among the noted delegates, mea culp.

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