FACO kicked off the Holiday season with its 2nd Annual HIYAS
Awards and 33rd Holiday Ball.
celebration was held at the Del Mar Grand Ballroom of the
Pacific Views Center at Camp Pendleton on Saturday, December
event also marked the Induction of the FACOs 2015-2016
Among the attendees were the Hon. Jim Wood, Mayor of the
City of Oceanside, some of last years esteemed HIYAS
honorees and local dignitaries from North County.
was provided by the very talented Alessja Morales and the
amazing Debbie Nicastro.
FACOs biggest event of the year honored four (4) HIYAS
Awardees in various fields of expertise.
honorees were selected, not only for their excellence in
their fields, but also for their invaluable contributions
to the FACO and the community of North County.
years honorees include Dr. Ida Alfonso for Science
and Medicine, Mr. Robert Bartolo for Business and Industry,
Katherine Harris-Rodriguez for Arts & Humanities and
Ms. Susan de los Santos for Public Service. This years
Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award was bestowed upon
Mr. Peter F. Cruz. The fund-raising event was considered
the most successful Holiday Ball to date, raising over $9000
net profit to help the FACO continue its mission as a non-profit
organization. Our special thanks go out to YOU and
to all those who helped make this event a success!
2015 HIYAS AWARDS HONOREES`
The 2015 HIYAS Honorees(seated) with the Hon. Jim Wood (
Top Center) and the outgoing FACO President Mely Sivage
(Top Right) and the Chair of the 2015 HIYAS Awards and Holiday
Ball Belle Limoge (Top left).
Honorees (seated from left to right): Robert Bartolo (Business
& Industry), Katherine Harris-Rodriguez (Arts &
Humanities), Dr. Ida Alfonso, DDS (Science & Medicine),
Susan delos Santos (Public Service), Peter Cruz (FACO 2015
Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award recipient).
Dr. Ida Alfonso, DDS
2015 HIYAS Award Honoree for Science & Medicine
Ida Alfonso was born in Manila , Phil . Her parents are
Esteban and Leocadia Alfonso.
She is the youngest and the only girl and she has three
brothers, whom she calls " my three musketeers".
She graduated in 1989 Doctor of Dental Medicine at Centro
Escolar University, and has a post graduate degree in Cosmetic
Dentistry from UCLA. She is practicing in Carlsbad CA and
is married to the love of her life Edward Dayrit.
She credits her success to her whole family with their endless
support and unconditional love.
Dr Alfonso was working full time as a dental assistant while
challenging the national and the state boards.
She learned that perseverance and lot of discipline are
the key factors to any goal .
Dr Alfonso wants to share her words to live by... Surround
yourself with the Dreamers and the Doers; the Believers
and the Thinkers ;but most of all , surround yourself with
Those Who See The Greatness Within You, even when you don't
see it yourself. - Edmund Lee- Ladies and Gentlemen,
may I present to you tonight's 2015 HIYAS Honoree for Science
and Medicine, Dr. Ida Alfonso.
2015 HIYAS Award Honoree for Arts & Humanities
Katherine Harris-Rodriguez is a 32- year old wife, mother
and educator. She has been married for six and a half years
to Joshua Rodriguez. They have two sons, Josiah John and
She is a ten-year veteran elementary school teacher. Her
life is busy being a mommy and a wife, while also teaching
young minds the fundamentals of learning. She started teaching
when she was twenty- three years old for the San Bernardino
City Unified School District. She is presently teaching
Kindergarteners to read, write sentences and know their
numbers. She gets gratification after every school year
knowing that she taught another twenty or so children to
read and write.
Last year Katherine created world awareness at her school
in her district by having a "Penny Drive" to raise
funds for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. She involved two
other schools just by reaching out and saying this was a
great way to give and share during the Thanksgiving season
of 2013. Katherine and the students raised over $1,800.00
and donated it to the Fil-Am Organization.
She loves and treasures her roots and heritage from her
Filipina mother and American father. She is eager for her
boys to learn Tagalog and embraces the fact that her children
love Filipino food and the culture as well.
She considers life as being extraordinary with her husband,
family and career and she looks forward to what God has
in store for them next.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the 2015 HIYAS Honoree for Arts and
2015 HIYAS Honoree for Business & Industry
First honoree this evening is for Business and Industry.
Robert Bartolo immigrated to the US lured by the land of
With a strong entrepreneurial spirit and great background
with automotive repairs he started the Tricity Tire and
Automotive in Vista, CA. He is the successful owner of the
shop with a strong Filipino and American clientele.
Robert is married to his lovely wife Vilma and has been
blessed with 3 kids.
He's a strong supporter of FACO and other community organizations
He is a former president of the San Carlos City of Pangasinan
Association of San Diego.
He is also a recipient of Certificates of Appreciation from
various organizations who recognized his contribution to
Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure to present
to you, the 2015 HIYAS Honoree for Business and Industry
Susan de los Santos
2015 HIYAS Honoree for Public Service
Susan De Los Santos is a dynamic supporter of the fil-am
community. For several years she's been responsible for
the marketing, promotion and community outreach of the Filipino
Press newspaper within and outside of the Filipino community.
Aside from the day to day operation of the paper, she also
the executive producer of some of the longest running community
events in San Diego like the Filipino Family Day at Aquatica,
and the Seafood City Fiesta Filipiniana-Mexicana Karaoke
Competition. Her affiliation and awards include but are
not limited to: BNI Partners in Excellence, National City
Chamber of Commerce Event Chair for Taste of National City,
Former president of UP Alumni and Fil-Am Chamber of Commerce,
Asian Business Association Entrepreneur of the Year Nominee,
2014 Diversity Awardee for Connected Women of Influence
event, 2014 Community Hero awardee by Operation Samahan
and NC Chamber of Commerce, and recipient of 2014 Women
of the Year Award from Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales.
With the untimely demise of her business partner,Susan also
had to oversee the editorial department of the paper. It
is through business partner's training that Susan was able
to uphold the paper's journalistic standards so it will
continue to be the widest read and sought after Filipino
community paper in San Diego.
She is a firm believer in continuous learning , diversity,
providing opportunities and keeping a good sense of humor
at all times.
Ladies and Gentlemen, our 2015 HIYAS Honoree for Public
Service, Ms. Susan delos Reyes.
Peter F. Cruz
Recipient of the 2015 FACO Presidential Lifetime Achievement
2015 Honorees with last year's Honorees.
TOP from left to right: Belle Limoge, Blessie Sanchez-Trott,
Mayor Jim Wood, Mely Sivage, Menchu Bolanos and Shirley
de Leon. SEATED from left to right: Robert Bartolo, Katherine
Harris-Rodriguez, Dr. Ida Alfonso, Susan delos Santos and
EVENT & PRE-PARTY ARRIVALS
(All photos courtesy of Marc Matsumoto)
venue: Grand Del Mar Ballroom of the Pacific Views Center
at Camp Pendleton
Ball guests start arriving and pose for photos
The Holiday Ball Committee hard at work at the Registration
Miss Fil-Am candidates with mentor Sheila Butler greet guests
at the door
Miss Fil-Am candidates and 2015 Miss Fil-Am Committee members
arrive and rehearse their routine.
photo op with guests
performer Alessja Morales with Belle Limoge
evening's Program was hosted by Alexis Plaisted & Debbie
Star Spangled Banner was sung by the talented Debbie Nicastro
Philippine National Anthem was performed by the amazing
Hon. Jim Wood, Mayor of the City of Oceanside opens the
program with his speech
Chair of the 2015 HIYAS Awards and Holiday Ball, Ms. Belle
our distinguished guests and honorees
2014 Honoree Menchu Bolanos presents the 2015 HIYAS Award
for Business & Industry
2015 HIYAS Award Honoree for Business and Industry, Robert
2014 Honoree Shirley de Leon presents the 2015 HIYAS Award
for Arts & Humanities
2015 HIYAS Honoree for Arts & Humanities, Katherine
2014 HIYAS Honoree Dr. Belen Martinez, MD, presents the
2015 HIYAS Award for
Science & Medicine
2015 HIYAS Award Honoree for Science & Medicine, Dr.
Ida Alfonso, DDS
2014 HIYAS Honoree, Blessie Sanchez-Trott presents the 2015
HIYAS Award for Public Service
2015 HIYAS Award Honoree for Public Service, Susan delos
Outgoing FACO President Ms. Amelia Sivage presents the 2015
Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award
2015 FACO Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award recipient,
Mr. Peter F. Cruz
Our distinguished 2015 HIYAS Honorees
Our 2015 HIYAS Honorees serenaded by the amazingly talented
Alessja Morales, singing Etta James's "At Last"
farewell and THANK YOU to the outgoing FACO 2013-2014 Board
of Directors and Officers
few of the candidates for the 2015 Miss Fil-Am Pageant!
The FACO's first big event for 2015
Fila-Am 2014 Criscelle Santiago was also the Hospitality
Ambassador for the
in a new Era: The FACO welcomes its new set of Executive
Officers for 2015-2016
The FACO 2015-2016 Executive Board being sworn in by the
Hon. Jim Wood, Mayor of Oceanside
to Right): Belle Limoge, President. Zucette Lumabas, Vie-President.
Vangie McNeal, Treasurer. Mely Sivage, Ex-Officio. Marilou
dela Rosa, Virgie Flemming, Wendy Thrower, Malou Hamto, &
Dori Harris, Board of Directors.
Amelia Sivage makes her final speech as President
President Amilia Sivage turns over the FACO gavel to the
President Belle Limoge
2015-2016 President Belle Limoge makes her Inaugural Speech
The talented Alessja Morales returns to serenade out new
beautiful Debbie Nicastro sings a Christmas carol to officially
Holiday Ball kicks off with a Raffle Drawing!
With raffle Emcees Rose Marie Paralta (left) and Esther
all our sponsors, benefactors and honorees, for all
your tireless support and belief in this organization
and its vision.
To the 2015 Hiyas Awards & Holiday Ball Committee:
Belle Limoge (Chairperson), Alexis Plaisted, Zucette
Lumabas, Jackie Lazaga, Esther Adversalo, Alice Velasco,
Shirley de Leon, Dulia Candelaria, Rosemarie Peralta
& Enri Fulmore for going above and beyond all
expectations and despite all challenges, have risen
to the occasion to make this event a success.
To the talented Debbie Nicastro, for sharing her gift
To the beautiful Alessja Morales , for honoring us
with her amazing talent. To DJ Rizaldy and his
fantastic mixes and rockin' the house! To Marc
Matsumoto for sharing all these wonderful pictures
To all our gracious organization and family members
who have volunteered their valuable time, your support
is truly beyond remarkable.
To all our raffle donors, without your generosity,
this event would not have been fun & memorable.
To all the sponsors of the Souvenir Program, our heartfelt
gratitude for believing in our humble cause.
To YOU and all members of our organization and the
Fil-Am Community. Your active participation and continued
support is a true demonstration of your commitment
and true inspiration to us all.