Community Honors Amb. Gaa


On May 22, 2011, Sunday, the Filipino American community in Metro Washington, DC will be headed to the Marriott Key Bridge Hotel in Virginia. The hotel overlooks Washington, DC and Georgetown on the top floor, the Capitol View Ballroom. What at an appropriate venue for the occasion and since the gathering will be at around noontime, we shall see the glorious scenery as we honor a person who became special to the community as he performed his duty as the Ambassador of the Philippines to the United States of America, representing the Filipino Americans  all over the nation.  We consider ourselves lucky because we are right here in the Nation’s Capital, where the Philippine Embassy and the Ambassador’s residence are located. Surely, it gave us the wonderful opportunity to see and be with the Ambassador more often than our kababayan in other parts of the U.S.

The Biggest Optimist

On this bright spring day, Ambassador Willy C. Gaa and Mrs. Linda C. Gaa will be honored by the community to bid them farewell. Organizations, friends, family and other guests will gather together to celebrate and be with the amiable couple before they return back to the Philippines. The event has originally been planned end of February this year, when his term of office ended, but it was changed to a later date for a good reason. It is now a common knowledge in the Washington DC community circle that the Ambassador has been undergoing chemotherapy treatments for lung cancer and since it is going to be completed early May, thus the date was moved to May 22. Thereafter, the radiation treatments will start. With a great optimistic attitude, the Ambassador takes things with positive disposition.

The Community Farewell Party

Though the farewell party was organized by the Philippine American Foundation for Charities, Inc., it is considered as a cooperative and partnership event with other organizations and private individuals. It is therefore, called a COMMUNITY FAREWELL PARTY for the Ambassador. This is a wonderful opportunity to be together and celebrate a memorable occasion as one group. In his future memory lane, the Ambassador will long remember this community as a united group which he had hoped it to be during his term of office. Importantly, this partnership should not end here. Surely, our individual organizations hold own events through-out the year, but with the spirit of bayanihan, strong initiative, cooperation, willingness and camaraderie of all concerned, this goal shall prevail. Past community events worth mentioning are the Community Meeting, the Asian Festival, and Thanksgiving/Pasasalamat sa Community hosted by PAFC.  These enjoyable events gave us the opportunity to work together as a team, have open communications in an informal setting, or just to gather around over a breakfast of “Tapsilog”. We did have the chance to know each other better, meet the newcomers, share ideas for community improvements and common concerns and the chance to ask support from each other.  In these events, PAFC has exercised efforts to reach out to the community and the results were rewarding.  Counterpart organizations have also done the same arduous efforts for the community. These partners were as admirable as can be.

What could be a more remarkable and wondrous community event that we could hold than this celebration? With unified efforts, the Filipino American community shall honor a dynamic and well-loved Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. and his wife, in a celebration held in the Nation’s Capital,  the Washington, D.C.


We, mothers, thank our children for the love and thoughtfulness they have expressed to us in celebration of our day. Our children may be young children, teens, young adults or adults, but their expressions of appreciation, in various ways, are priceless to us.

I am so proud of my own children for the attention, thoughtfulness and love that they have given me on Mother’s Day. I thank them for honoring me, literally, in thoughts, words and deeds. They’ve thought about things that I like most in form of gifts, they’ve verbally expressed their love for me and they did things to celebrate my day. The four of them gave me gifts of things to wear, scents, other items and money gifts for my shopping spree; brought complete prepared dinner food so that I did not have to cook;  and most important to me, Mother’s day cards. Once again, I was on “top of the world,” as my husband described my day. He said I was a spoiled mother.

My oldest, Roderick, in Texas and youngest, Rochela, in Florida, called to greet me sending their love. I’ve received their well-chosen cards with personal messages and money gifts in the mail. The two girls, Rowena (with husband, Austin) and Rissa, who live in the area, brought the food complete with dessert. My chef daughter, Rissa, baked the cake, “Tres Leches.” They also gave me gifts and cards. How I enjoyed the opening of gifts time, I modeled for them the outfits they gave me.

I kept on reading my cards: 1) “What a joy to call you Mom. You have an amazing way of listening and loving, sharing and always believing in me.”; 2) “Home is where the good stuff happens, where love and happiness never run out, and you’re the heart of it all.”; 3)”For everything that you do to love and support, thank you Mom!”; 4)”As mother and daughter, we’ve always been able to talk and share our feelings. From you, I’ve learned so many things about life, love and caring. I see you not only as a mother but also as a unique and loving woman. I will always cherish the massage time whenever I’m in Virginia, time when you tell me stories when you were growing up or when I was still a child. I love you Mom dearest!


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