on the 1997 Empowerment Conference

"Achieving unity has long been a dream of the community. Now it is really made possible by the growing political consciousness of Filipino-Americans arising out of their need to address concerns that affect them in American society. I think all will agree that maintaining unity should be a continuing effort and concern."
          RAUL Ch RABE
          Ambassador of the Philippines to the U.S., Washington D.C.
"I was at the historic convention and I was impressed. There were at least three generations of Filipino Americans gathered there. I really believe that Korean Americans have a lot to learn from the Filipino American community."
          MARK L. KEAN
          Washington DC, Korean American Learder
"The three criteria for economic empowerment - in fact, the three criteria for success in any endeavor are: goals - setting goals - G; order - obedience to a moral order - O; determination - keep going no matter what - D. Put them together that spells GOD. As Filipino-Americans, faith in God is the single most important quality we bring to our adopted country."
          Chairman & CEO, Beatrice International, New York
"With a shared vision, unanimity in a strong organization in place by the year 2000, the thousands of Filipino American associations will be able to work together so Washington policy makers, private industry and other advocacy groups will recognize the existence of veritable Filipino clout, a phenomenon that was never present during the past decades."
          Los Angeles, California
"We all came into the conference divided and influenced by our own personal agendas. Most of us came out feeling good. I believe that two main factors contributed to the united atmosphere. First, the presence of a critical national issue to rally behind in the form of the veterans' equity bill; and second, our usually fragmented national leaders have evidently been humbled by the magnitude of the issues. I sensed that most of them made an effort to surrender their personal egos to the service of their fellow Filipinos."
          GUS MERCADO
          Fil-Am Community of North Texas in the report
          on his trip to the Council of Learders, North Texas
"Now that we have put in place the structure needed for success, we cannot fail. The delegates sounded the right note when the conference passed a resolution encouraging all the component Fil-Am associations to hold a centennial celebration of the century of US-Philippine Relations. Destiny has willed it that the Philippines and the US work together in war and in peace."
          LOPE LINDIO
          Chairman, Filipino-American Council of Southern Texas.
"The conference empowered us to struggle to meet the challenges of the 21st century."
          Co Chair, Michigan
"I am proud of the many delegates from Northern California...We accomplished what we went to Washington for...To you I say, the work is just beginning. We have to continue what we started. It will indeed be a worthwhile and profitable endeavor if we continue with the work, and keep our goals in sight."
          ALICE BULOS
          Federal Commissioner on Aging, San Mateo, California
"If anything else, we have realized that the Filipino Americans of the United States, diverse as they are, can be a united force to be reckoned with. There is a glimmer of hope, a sign that we can rise from the anathema of amor propio that breeds internecine bickering and petty jealousies. The roster of eminent people who participated in the conference is testimony to our having attained a foothold."
          Filipino Associations of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio
"To some, the conference was an exercise of our freedom to assemble. To others, it was a learning process. To the Filipino American youth, it was something new, and it was a wonderful experience. To me, it was the dawn of a new beginning in the history of the Filipino American's search for identity and unity in this country."
          Chair, Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach/Norfolk, Virginia
"The promise that many of us should make to ourselves is to remove our apathy, our indifference, and our complacency to the call for national empowerment."
          SPNP, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
"In the words of the late President John F. Kennedy, 'Political activity is the highest responsibility of a citizen" and I agree. We all have to stand tall, be counted and make a difference."
          Chairperson, Philippine Centennial Coordinating Council
          Northeast USA, Port Jefferson, New York
"The members of the Ohio delegation and I (who were among the most vocal among the delegates) are very proud to be counted among the first attendees and participants in this very historic event."
          CoChair, Midwest Region, Cleveland, Ohio
"In an atmosphere of camaraderie, esprit de corps, oneness and belonging, the officials, meeting sponsors, hosts, committee members, speakers, heads of delegates, and the entire delegation went through with the conference program projecting a picture of unity."
          Commissioner, Jersey City Human Rights Commission,
          Jersey City, New Jersey.
"Inspite of a few negative comments, the Conference came out to successfully articulate the desire of Filipino Americans to be united and to have an organization to reflect this new unity."
          TONY E LAPITAN, PhD.
          CoChair, Greater Dayton, Ohio
"We felt empowered as we listened to our elected officials, Hon. Jon Amores of West Virginia, Hon. David Pendleton and Ron Menor of the Hawaii legislative, Majority Whip David Valderrama of Maryland, Mayor Henry Manayan of Milpitas, California and Mayor Pete Fajardo of Carson City, California. Indeed, they are role models in the arena of political empowerment."
          AURORA S. CUDAL
          Chair, COPAO of San Diego, Inc. San Diego, California

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