Recap: 19th Annual Reunion, 2003
Again the hard work and dedication of the Golden Gate Bay Area Chapter members and spouses made the 19th Philippine Scouts Heritage Society annual meeting and reunion commemorating the 61st anniversaries of the fall of Bataan and Corregidor a memorable event. More than 200 of our members and friends gathered at the Radisson Villa Hotel in San Mateo to pay tribute to the brave resistance of the Scouts and enjoy the good fellowship of the event.
Prior to the formal start of the reunion, a group of PSHS members enjoyed a day-long excursion to the Napa Valley, the highlight of which was a VIP tour of the Robert Mondavi Winery arranged by Society President Larry Pangan.
The Saturday afternoon business portion of the reunion featured presentations by National President Pangan and Golden Gate Bay Area Chapter President Delfin Pahed. In the PSHS election, all national leaders up for reelection were returned to office.
The meeting agreed to fund a plaque honoring the Philippine Scouts to be placed on the Admiral Nimitz Museum’s Wall of Remembrance. The Museum, also known as the National Museum of the Pacific War, has a large and impressive collection of over 1,000 artifacts as well as a series of dioramas on World War II in the Pacific. The museum also conducts dramatic living history programs, academic symposia and other special events. Located in Fredericksburg, Texas, it is the only museum in the nation devoted solely to the Pacific Theater of World War II.
During the committee reports, Cion Rael discussed progress made towards establishing a Philippine Scouts library/archive in San Francisco. In addition, our partnership with the Library of Congress in support of the Veterans History project was discussed. Society members will be interviewing veterans concerning their World War II experiences. The possibility of organizing a retracing of the Bataan Death March is under consideration, as is a visit to the Fort Sam Houston Museum, the official USG repository for Philippine Scout memorabilia.
Overseas participation in the reunion included Waldette Cueto, Director/Curator of the American Historical Collection housed in the Rizal Library at Ateneo De Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Philippines.
A major feature during the weekend was the display of Bob Capistrano’s impressive Philippine Scout insignia collection.
At the end of the business meeting a candlelight memorial service was conducted by Jesus Okialda.
The reunion dinner dance that evening attracted the largest crowd ever, with more than 200 members, relatives and friends attending. The highlight of the evening was the keynote address of Lieutenant General Edward Soriano, Commanding General of the U.S. Army’s I Corps and of Fort Lewis, Washington. As a three-star general, Soriano is the highest ranking Filipino American in the U.S. military. He also is the son of the late Major Fred Soriano, a former Philippine Scout.
The evening’s other speakers included National President Larry Pangan; Col. (Ret) John Olson, National Historian; and Senator John Patterson, First Vice President. Ben Capuyan, Jr. was Master of Ceremonies and Col. (Ret) Melvin H. Rosen introduced the keynote speaker.
A plaque was presented to Cion Rael for her hard work in typesetting the souvenir program, thereby saving the PSHS $1,000 in printing costs. Appreciation awards also were presented to Cion Rael, Mildred Tango, Nilda Malvar, Evelyn Guiang and Remy Wilson for spearheading last November’s very successful fund raising event for the PSHS library project. The group is planning a Philippine Scouts Foundation dinner dance “Hawaiian style”, scheduled for October 11 and intended to raise additional funds for the library.
The evening also included a lively Filipino Folk dance performance by the eight-member Sampaguita Dance Group of San Francisco State University. After this formal dance presentation, the dinner dance continued until early the next morning.
Last modified: 04-Jun-2009