By: Veronica Leighton
As you can glean from this special Independence issue, our community buzzed with so much excitement and activities for the celebration of the 121st anniversary of Philippine Independence. From its traditional kickoff Flag-Raising ceremony at the Daley Center Plaza followed by the Consular reception at the legendary Union League Club of Chicago, hosted by the Philippine Consulate General, the various activities of the 44-year-old PIWC (Philippine Independence Week Committee), from picnic, cultural presentation to gala ball/coronation event, with the Pinoy Piyesta in Bolingbrook to count in, congratulations and accolades to the leaders and organizers headed by PIWC 2019 Chairperson Edwin Pineda and Philippine American Cultural Foundation headed by Ruben Salazar. These activities and events are featured in this issue.
The excitement of the celebration touched and surprised me personally at the offi cial reception hosted by Maria Pappas, Cook County Treasurer, for the occasion of the Philippine Independence. Invited were Consul General Gina Jamoralin and her staff, and some community leaders.
Maria, in welcoming the representatives of the Filipino community, explained the roles that she and her offi ce do for the community and the support that they need from us. She explained the various services of her offi ce, such as the tax refunds, tax exemptions for seniors and military taxpayers and new and old homeowners, tax sale, paying tax online, etc. CC Treaurer Maria Pappas needs support from each community in Cook County that she serves to reach out, to inform and to educate the citizenry for the millions of dollars that are in the government treasury that may be due to some homeowners, old and new, who paid their property taxes and may have some refunds coming or might tax exemptions.
The big surprise of this all was when she announced that she was commissioning me as an “Honorary Deputy Cook County Treasurer, for meritorious service and tireless dedication that have made the Filipino American community stronger and our world better,” in the certifi cate of appreciation handed to me, together with a boxful of offi cial business cards with my name and new title. I was so stunned and bewildered, to say the least. I still will have to know and learn what my duties and responsibilities are in this new public service announcement, and will keep you updated about my new government appointment. Would love to give more service for the community.
Another excitement in this issue is about my recently-celebrated birthday, May 31, which I had the honor and privileged to write about in Veronica’s Vibes column on page 5. Isn’t life full of excitement? At this old age, mind you?
From our cover featuring a very young, distinguished, pretty and capable lawyer, Janice Dantes, to our remarkable and your favorite columnists who bring and share with you the latest and important topics about our Filipino American community for the month, we wish you an enjoyable reading while soaking in the sun in your summer activities. ##
Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, o cially announcing Veronica Leighton of VT/CPRTV, as Honorary Deputy Treasurer of Cook County. Consul General Gina Jamoralin in picture at left . (Photo by Manny Zambrano)