A cloud of gloom has descended over two Filipino-American organizations as ‘devastating’ and ‘shocking’ news reached them about the untimely passing of their members’ loved ones. Coincidentally, they died a few hours apart, on the same day, two days before Christmas.
“It is with great sadness,” emailed Philippine Disaster Relief Organization president Archerie Calunod, “that I inform you that the son of our PeDRO Director Maricar Cabasag passed away this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with them for comfort and support in their time of grief and sorrow.” Maricar’s son Louvic Cabrera died on December 23. No details have been received as of press time.
Newly-inducted Kalayaan Incorporated auditor Mario Barrameda suffered a cardiac arrest on Dec. 23, at approximately 2:55 p.m. at the Northridge Hospital Medical Center.
Mario was recently elected as the KI auditor for Fiscal Year 2017/2018. “It is very unfortunate,” stated KI secretary Violet Mislang, “that he did not get to serve much of his term and enjoy the pride of being an officer, but we certainly will cherish and remember his warm personality and friendliness while attending our many meetings and functions, which validated his dedication to Kalayaan, as well as his great love for our very own Ex-Officio Techie (Emperador).”
“I brought Mario at Northridge Hospital Medical Center last Monday,” Techie texted,” and he was confined for pneumonia and asthmatic bronchitis… he’s struggling to breathe normal.” According to past KI president Zeny Sabocor, who felt ‘devastated’ when she conveyed the ‘shocking’ news to KI members, Techie and Mario still shared lunch at his room. “They were told that his hemoglobin count was low,” Zeny added, “so he was supposed to be given transfusion. But before it could be done, he was hit with this fatal heart attack.”
Due to the holidays and sudden deaths of both Louvic and Mario, there are no specifics about services and funeral arrangement at press time.
An e-mail amplified sad news received – that newly-elected KI president Susan Dilkes has been hospitalized since Dec. 18, after undergoing substantial lung surgery. Her KI family wishes her, and all those suffering from illness, speedy recovery.
Mario was seen having fun during the Kalayaan Incorporated’s Christmas party on Dec. 3, in Anaheim, dancing away, feeling the music pulse from Frank, Willie, and Ralph, of the Midnight Motion Band. Mario was also excited as he waited, along with other officers, to be inducted by Deputy Consul General Ambrosio Brian F. Enciso III (“You can call me Ambo.”)
He graduated in 2001, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the Ateneo de Manila University. The following year, he worked as a staff officer with the Presidential Management Staff of the Office of the President of the Philippines.
DCG Ambo came to Los Angeles on Oct. 26, 2016. Prior to his L.A. assignment, he was the Director, Division for Southeast Asia 1, Office of Asian and Pacific Affairs. From 2008 to 2014, he was the Consul at the Philippine Consulate General in Xiamen, China, among other assignments. He completed Chinese Language Studies at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, People’s Republic of China.
Other KI board directors who’ll serve for two years are: Arnold Bejasa, Benel Se Liban, Rene Galano, and Carmelita Paule.
Kalayaan Incorporated, a 501 (c)(3) organization, is tasked to organize and implement the annual Philippine Independence Day celebration in Southern California while raising funds to finance such nationalistic celebrations and KI’s charitable projects. The Philippine Consulate General supports Kalayaan Incorporated. One of KI’s goals is to foster unity and camaraderie among Filipino American leaders and residents coming from various organizations in Southern California.
Save the date: 120th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence on June 9, 2018, at the Universal Hilton Hotel, 555 Universal Hollywood Dr., Universal City, CA 91608.