—recipient of ‘Exemplary Community Service Award’ from the Asian American Coalition Annual Lunar New Year Celebration 2018!
By Elsie Sy-Niebar, Photo Credit: Rosie Reed
YEAR 2018 in the Chinese Lunar New Year is the Year of the Dog, a zodiac animal known for loyalty and as an Achiever! Characteristics which best describe this Lady Awardee — Lourdes Corbo Livas: very giving, loyal, honest, and an Achiever through hard and honest labor.
Lourdes was one of the several Asian American Awardees (representing the Philippines), who was honored last February 24, 2018, by the ASIAN AMERICAN COALITION (AACC), an organization composed of sixteen-plus Asian communities, which celebrates the Chinese Lunar New Year every year. The AAC was founded thirty-five years ago by all the Asian American leaders from various communities in the Greater Chicagoland. The annual hosting is distributed to community’s non-profit Asian organizations, where all the proceeds are donated to. This year, the AACC is hosted by the Korean American Association of Chicago (KAAC), chaired by Itak Seo, with Jinhun Lee, as Event Director. Paul D. Park, a long-time Korean American leader who, few years ago, was a candidate in mainstream election, is AACC Board President. This year’s celebration was a huge success as shown by the number of guests, many of whom were candidates for this coming Primary election on March 20. I heard the headcount of guests exceeded 1,000!
Speaking about her Humanitarian and Giving Heart Awards are nothing new to Lourdes Livas. She can cover the wall of her office with plaques. She’s one person who simply could not say “no” when she sees the need for help, especially for religious institutions, like the Columbian Fathers’ Mission and the churches. To mention a few – Lourdes had sponsored the scholarship of a seminarian who is now an ordained priest; donated funds to medical missions and scholarships back home in Cebu City, her hometown in the Philippines; currently, she serves as officer in various social and humanitarian organizations like the Joy Dance Club, Lions Club International, and a recipient of the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellow Award; “Woman of the Year Award” from the prestigious CHICAGO FILIPINO ASIAN AMERICAN HALL of FAME, co-sponsored by VIA TIMES NEWSMAGAZINE and CPRTV; and “Spirit of Excellence Award” also from the FAAHOF; more awards from the NAFFAA, PACF, FACC, ANCOP-USA, Philippine Chamber of Commerce; Humanitarian Award, from the Asian Chronicle USA; Lifetime Volunteer Certificate from President Barack Obama; Cambridge “Who’s Who in America”; Prism Award from Philippine Time USA, and many more.
The latest Leadership Challenge she hurdled was — as Executive Chair of the PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE WEEK COMMITTEE 2017. Her leadership earned the reputation as having “the most transparent report in terms of expenses and proceeds.” She gave credits to the detailed accounting report of her PIWC treasurer Edwin Pineda, incoming PIWC 2019 executive chair. According to Lourdes, she inherited her “giving spirit” from her late generous parents — her father, Mr. Lope Corbo, a school principal, and her mother, Ana Ramas Corbo, a school teacher in Cebu City. Lourdes takes pride of her big family, she wants to honor them by mentioning her siblings (except the deceased) in this article. They are: Melchor Corbo, an attorney; Milo Corbo, a CPA, Fe C. Bacoco, school principal, Precy C. Sy, teacher, Vina Bihag, teacher, and Irene C. Felipe, business entrepreneur. Spiced up with a sense of humor, Lourdes admitted that, as the youngest, she is the “most social” in the family, the image she carries to this day: as a fashion model and great dancer.
Lourdes, happily and proudly holding her award and bouquet after the award
Lourdes’ special friends in attendance at her AAC Lunar New Year 2018 Awards Night at the HYATT REGENCY O’HARE HOTEL, last Feb. 24, 2018. Standing from left are: Jerry Clarito, Lito Pineda, Edwin & Neriza Pineda, Romy & Cora Gumila, unidentified guest, THE AWARDEE, LOURDES CORBO LIVAS, Divine Pineda, Dely Villalon, Yoly Zoleta, Yoly & Bart Tubalinal, Elsie Sy-Niebar, Gemma Cruz, Ben Zoleta, unidentified guest.
“Dancing is my best therapy, after a long-day’s work in my office,” Lourdes explained. True. As owner of Lourdes Livas Properties, Inc., managing several rental properties in Chicago, Palatine, Mt. Prospect, and Schiller Park, is no joke she needs a break. “It’s not easy, looking after the needs of the renters,” Lourdes explained. She updates herself with property management by attending seminars like those offered by Trump Real Estate School. Indeed, Lourdes is making good in her chosen degree in Business Administration from Cebu Southwestern University. After working for ten years at the American Bank in Chicago, for her advancement she opened her Realty office. She also manages the clinic of her husband, Bernardo C. Livas, MD (Psychiatry). Dr. Livas is connected with St. Bernard Hospital and St. Anthony Hospital. They have two adult children: Gavino Livas, who finished a Business degree, and Kimberly Livas, Art degree.
Asked how she felt as an awardee from the Asian American Coalition Lunar New Year, she said with her trademark smile: “I feel proud and humbled being one among those awardees, especially with some government officials. It was fun meeting and posing with those candidates, like the good-looking Mr. Biss and former IL Governor Pat Quinn, who are both running for IL State Attorney General. Both of them are sincerely friendly. I can tell the way they shook my hands,” Lourdes added, grinning.
More importantly, Lourdes is very grateful to Art Dilay, one of the pillars of the Filipino American Community, and to Lourdes Mon, Board member of the AACC and current overall Chair of the Philippine Independence Week Committee (PIWC) 2018. She said: “from the bottom of my heart, I am very grateful to Art and Lourdes for nominating me as one of the Awardees in this prestigious event, as a representative of our Fil-Am community.”
You very well-deserved this award, Lourdes. Congratulations and best wishes, from all of us in VIA TIMES!
Excerpt from the message of Overall Chair Iak Seo, says: “Congratulations to all recipients of AACC Awards!Your various contributions to our community make our Asian American community even more influential to Illinois. You, all — have been the positive role models for everyone to look up to with highest regards.”
Excerpt from the message of Paul H.D. Park, AACC Board President: ”For over three-and-a-half decades, we have forged an empowerment of the Asian American community, a true sense of pride, effective partnership, and true sense of unity among our diverse Asian American communities. As Chairman of the Board, I am proud to say that our Board never experienced divisiveness, conflict of interest or selfish pursuit although some of us are Democrats and others are Republicans. Family values, hard work ethics, parental education, honesty and mutual respect are the bright image of the Asian Americans and the road to achievement of the American Dream. This year, the AACC Board is expanding its horizon to reach out to mainstream America in order to help make America greater in the midst of complex problems.”
Lourdes Livas, accepts her plaque from Itak Seo, Chairperson of the 35th Annual Lunar New Year.
Lourdes Livas, with Asian American CCAA officers and dignitaries’ 3rd from left, former Gov. Pat Quinn, now running for IL Attorney General; 6th from left Secretary of State Jesse White, unopposed; the Awardee, Gemma and Gemma Cruz.
Awardee Lourdes with her “Gang” Elsie Sy-Niebar, Gemma Cruz, and seated — Jerry Clarito and Veronica Leighton, Via Times publisher.
Elsie and Lourdes, having fun giving a “Thumbs Up” for Daniel Biss, candidate for IL governor.
Lourdes with unidentified candidates for the March 20 Primary who were given time to “introduce themselves” at the Lunar New Year event.
Lovely pose of Lourdes with Dely Villalon, former president, PIWC Board of Trustee.
Lourdes and Friends on stage: Veronica Leighton, Dely Villalon, Lourdes Mon, Faye Mendiola, unidentified and Yoly Zoleta.
With her Fil-Am “PIWC Gang” from left: Romy Gumila, Edwin and Nerriza Pineda, Dely Villalon, Yoly and Bart Tubalinal. Seated from left:Cora Gumila, the Honoree Lourdes Corvo Livas, and Gemma Cruz.