KOR - Arizona attend 3rd USA Regional Assembly

When 21 delegates from the Arizona Knights of Rizal (AZKOR) and their respective Auxiliary Ladies for Rizal attended the recently concluded 3rd USA Regional Assembly, held on Sept. 3-5, 2010 at the Orleans Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, they did not expect to receive something to remember by. All they had in mind was to enjoy the camaraderie of their brother Knights and respective Ladies for Rizal and to have a pleasant and educational experience in attending a  huge  assembly. Much to their surprise,  they received two awards given by the Awards Committee led by Sir Dante Ulanday, Chapter Commander for the host Las Vegas chapter.

One Certificate of Recognition for their special performance of the Carinosa folk dance which captivated the audience and produced a long applause during the gala night on Sept. 4, and another award for having the most number of couple delegates to the 3rd USA Regional Assembly and having the best elegant costume.

Lady  Norma Mendoza, wife of Sir Dr. Herman Mendoza, Deputy Chapter Commander for Arizona Knights of Rizal and Lady Citas Sanchez, wife of Sir Engr. Rudy Sanchez, the Deputy Pursuivant  taught the group to dance the “Carinosa.”

The Arizona delegation had a visual command of the activities in the assembly having Sir Dr. Conrado R. Ballecer, Jr., immediate past chapter commander of AZKOR, as the empowered and insightful emcee who began  the first day in high regard, took the right start in the proper direction, and also proudly introduced one of  the resource speakers on the second day, Sir Judge Tom D. Rodriguez, former Area Commander for Western USA, and just recently appointed as the USA Regional Deputy Commander, who spoke on “Rizal’s Vision on the Effect of Education: Economic Strata of Filipinos in the U.S. Compared to Other Ethnic Groups.” 

Sir Conrad is one of the Filipino-Americans in the State of Arizona, who exemplifies the new breed of “can do” leaders. In 1979, for instance, as President of the association of Philippine physicians of Arizona, he established a scholarship fund earmarked for the needy Filipino students in dire need of financial assistance in order to acquire proper education.

Then on the gala night, the witty Sir Emmanuel “Manny” Torres, the Chapter Commander of AZKOR, who at one time won the "Best Speaker" category by the Toastmasters Club of the Philippines, introduced one by one the participants of Carinosa folk dance with their respective professional titles, had gained the respect and attention of the delegates.  He introduced them as follows:

Sir Dr. Herman Mendoza and his wife, Lady Norma Mendoza; Sir Dr. Robert Sebastian and his wife, Lady Jhen Sebastian; Sir Dr. Conrado Ballecer, Jr. and his wife Amy; Sir Dr. Jack Marquez and his wife Teresita; Sir Engr. Rudy Sanchez and his wife, Citas Sanchez; Sir Businessman Rudy Lim and his partner, Lady Carlita Rodriguez, wife of Sir Dr. Bernabe Rodriguez, Sr.; Sir Microbiologist Ricardo Torno and his wife Lady Macbeth; Sir Judge Tom Rodriguez and his wife, Lady Fe and  Sir Manny Torres  “I am a judge…no I am not; I am a doctor…no I am not…I am a retired accountant and the present chapter commander of the Arizona Knights of Rizal and my wife Lady Carol.”

Lady Fe Rodriguez sang the U.S. National Anthem during the opening ceremonies and during the gala night, while Lady Ching Vianzon of the Jacksonville Auxiliary Ladies for Rizal and Vanessa of American Idol sang the Lupang Hinirang, respectively.

Sir Urso Penaloza, a retired Civil  Engineer with the Arizona Department of Transportation and his wife Neneng, served as the program coordinator for the 3-day activities in place of Sir Edwin Bael, former Consul General in L.A. and present adviser of AZKOR, who was not able to attend  the assembly.

The Order of the Knights of Rizal, is one of the prestigious organizations in the world as it was created by an Act of the Philippines Congress, Republic Act 646  to have an organization to propagate and disseminate the ideals and teachings of the Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.

There were less than 200 delegates who attended the 3rd USA Regional Assembly coming from Germany, Belgium, Czech Republic, Canada, Philippines and from all over the United States with the theme “PROPER EDUCATION: The Key to People’s Freedom From Poverty and Ignorance.”

Dr. John Conca, one of those knighted from the newly organized chapter in San Francisco Bay Area, but who lives also in L.A. commented, “ It is a great honor to be Knighted into the Order of the Knights of  Rizal. I looked forward to the opportunity to help the indigent community in the Philippines and the Filipinos in Los Angeles.”

Sir Doug Ord, the Deputy Archivist of the Canada Region Chapter said “We had a good time at the USA convention. It was well organized, the hotel and food was good and the weather warm.”  And Sir Francis Sison, the Chapter Commander for New Jersey said, that “it was well worth attending, and even if I were charged for $500.00 instead of the $250.00 for registration for the 3-day activities, I  would have willingly paid for it. It was a very enjoyable and successful assembly.”

Sir Raymund Liongson wrote, “The Hawaii delegation – seven of us – are appreciative very of your warm and cordial interaction with us. We felt your enthusiasm, humility and brotherly connection with us – characters and human dynamics that will be remembered long afer all the presentations are forgotten.  We enjoyed the fraternal connections. We also like the excellent presentations of Sir Lucien Spittael, Sir Pablo Trillana III,  and Sir Tom Rodriguez.

Sir Ralph Bunag, former Area Commander for Central Canada, the Greater Toronto Area and Eastern Canada, said that “This is the best assembly I have ever attended.”

Sir Judge Tom Rodriguez
USA Regional Deputy Commander

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