Attitude of gratitude Grateful for life, family, and community amidst firestorm, mass shooting

City officials honor former Walnut Senior Commissioner Zenaida ‘Tita’ Quintos on her 77th birthday. Photo by Robert Gamo

PNews wishes our readers abundant blessings not only on Thanksgiving Day, especially in times of great loss of life, and offers this prayer. “Thank you, God, for the gift of life, the gift of family, the gift of friends, the gift of faith, the gift of health, the gift of joy, the gift of peace, the gift of love, and the gift of You.”

“My family is fun!” says Jethro.
Photo by lvsolis

Grateful for life

CHINO HILLS, CA – Zeny ‘Tita’ Quintos, born on Oct. 16, 1941, celebrated her 77th birthday on Oct. 14, at the Chino Hills Community Center. The former Walnut Senior Commissioner received birthday wishes in the form of an over-sized certificate from LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis (1st Dist.) and a certificate from Congresswoman Judy Chu (27th Dist.). Among family and guests who paid tribute to Tita were Manuel Baca, President of the Mt. Sac Board of Trustees, Walnut Mayor Nancy Tragarz, and Mary Rooney, Walnut Asst. City Manager, Community Services/Public Works (see photo); former Walnut Mayor Tony Cartagena, Dr. Allen Wu, President of the Walnut Valley Water District, and Dr. Tony Thorng, President of the Walnut Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees; nephews Mikee and Joey Trompeta; brother Jun Trompeta, daughter Malou Quintos and Tita’s sisters. Even Elvis Presley (Steve Murphy) was in the house. Tita’s daughter Malou and her friends entertained with dance number ‘Kiss Me, Kiss Me’ by Sarah Geronimo. Co-hosting the birthday party was DJ Alvin Sunga.

Alice Santamaria turns 93, and celebrates with family and friends.
Photo by Mary Ann.

COSTA MESA, CA – Alice Maravilla Santamaria didn’t just have one intimate birthday celebration at her residence on Nov. 1, her actual birth date, with close friends Exal, Myrna, Baby, Diane, Elvie, Endeng and Clarita. The birthday girl also had a much bigger party on Nov.4, with children, grandchildren and beloved friends at Berth 55 in Long Beach, an almost whole day affair of binging on seafood galore, thanks to hosts Marita and family. “Tita Alice,” said PWU alumna Exal Igidbashian, “looks good for age 93! She doesn’t even have wrinkles.” A former faculty member at the Philippine Women’s University, Manila, ‘Tita Alice’ is a retired professor, who taught Science subjects at CalState Long Beach and CalState Fullerton.

Grateful for family

Covina, Calif. – Second grader Jethro Lota, 7-years-old, had a speech assignment from Barranca Elementary School (Covina) teacher Mrs. Carla Villa. The topic: “What are you grateful for? Give three reasons why.” There wasn’t much hassle making him write down what he’s grateful for and why, according to his mom Saranya from Thailand.  “But making him practice his speech took a few Minecraft video bribes,” quipped FilAm dad Deeter, who mentioned that they have yet to hear how their son did.

This was Jethro’s speech:  “I’m grateful for my family. I’m grateful for my mom because she cooks yummy meals for us. I’m grateful for my dad because he works and makes money building carts. And I’m grateful for my sister Jada and brother Jeremy. Jada’s only four and we play catch, and Jeremy and I like to build legos. I’m grateful for my family. I love my family. The end.”

Associations thrive because of effective leadership like that of the Filipino American Tarlac Association. Photo by DJ Rudy Vidal

Grateful for friends

BALDWIN PARK, CA – Consul General Adelio Angelito S. Cruz thanked the officers, board directors and members of the Filipino American Tarlac Association on Oct. 6, at the Courtyard Marriot, for reaching out to the Philippine Consulate.

“With over 500 Filipino-American organizations in Southern California, I am very glad,” he stated at the association’s gala celebration, “that FATA is one of the organizations that consistently reaches out to the Consulate General. I commend the Association for sharing your blessings with our less fortunate kababayans back in the Philippines, particularly your home province of Tarlac.”

Introduced by FATA adviser emeritus Lucy Diaz, Congen Cruz talked about the significance of Filipino American History Month, just as he did earlier in Carson City.

“It is here in California,” he stated “that through the initiative of the National Historical Society, the Filipino-American History Month was born in 1988. This paved the way for the official recognition of the month of October, also pioneered by the State of California, by the passage of the State Resolution 48 in Sept. 2009.”

Congen Cruz, in closing, expressed: “Let us all continue to nurture the Filipino American community and be a source of inspiration for Filipinos all over the world.” He offered his congratulations to organizers “for a successful gala celebration.”  He also congratulated the night’s honorees.

AWARDEES: FATA Humanitarian Contributors, Rosen family including Michael, Linda, Adam & Kyra. Board Director Tessie Stender accepted the family’s award; FATA Volunteer Awardee, Tessie Stender; and FATA Humanitarian Awardees, Lee Maglanoc and Jinky Mirasol, owners of Mold Neutralizer. FATA Board Director Anna Torres, writer and community organizer Clarissa Kemp, and Pangasinan Brotherhood President Dan Nino assisted during the awards ceremony.

Also honored that night were crowned queens Adela Manlutac and Valentina ‘Vivian’ Vega. Tessie Lightholder and Norma Nino assisted during the coronation of FATA Queens for 2018-2019: Marie Shahani and Connie Yumul Robles-Smith.

“FATA President Teodorica ‘Cheody’ Fortunato,” said Vice President Tessie Lightholder, “is an inspiration for FATA members in striving for personal growth and better relationships.”