By: Ryan Tejero
Growing in number, and one of the most active organizations in the Filipino American community here in the Midwest, is the Surigaonon in Chicago. For 24 long years, Fil-Ams who hailed from the province of Surigao in the Philippines have worked hard to organize and gather all of their kababayans here in Chicago. Although they have less visibility in the community, this year, Surigaonon in Chicago is back with a renewed commitment and a much stronger vision to continue their goal of giving back to their hometown. This is the legacy that was planted by the late Rev. Adelaida Marqueda Gonzales, a Methodist Pastor, and the late Engr Jun Arriba, who was also a fellow believer.
This year, a team of Surigaonons is scheduled to go home in the Philippines to fulfill its commitment to give back to its hometown – Surigao. The beneficiaries include the Rotary Club Chapters of Surigao and Davao. These two chapters were instrumental in the establishment of Surigaonon in Chicago. This year’s homecoming with take place in October, 2019. The highlights of the visit also include a trip to the Anomar orphanage in Surigao City, the House of Hope for delinquent youths and rehabilitation facility. The plan of this trip consists of feeding and distribution of gently-used clothes, shoes, and educational books to the residents. In 2020, Surigaonon in Chicago will be launching its follow-up homecoming. This time, it will be packed with medical, dental, vision mission that will also include feeding and distribution of clothing materials and supplies to the elderly in Casa sa Gugma in Cebu City, Anomar, Surigao City and in the impoverished area in Liloan, Southern Leyte. These relief and mission efforts will be organized in partnership with Rotary Club of Surigao and Davao Chapters.
These huge projects of the Surigaonons in the next two years demand more participation and increased support from the community. In line with this, Surigaonon in Chicago, in cooperation with Press On Ministry, Inc., celebrates its 24th year anniversary Charity Event on September 29, 2019 at the Salt Creek Golf Club located at 1051 N Prospect Avenue, Wood Dale, IL 60191. This dinner and show fundraising event will start at 12:00 noon. Featured in this event is the Mrs. Wisconsin Earth 2019, Mrs. Joey Allorque Warren. There will be performances from the Fil-Am community artists that include Chaz Patron, Kayla Tejero and Hill Ford.
Currently facilitating the activities for Surigaonon in Chicago is Daylinda Mendez. She said. “Our organization has been dormant for three years and am trying to revive it by gathering more supporters and launching more meaningful projects to benefit our people back home. Our focus is supporting children and youth and Wellness as Homeostatis, which is finding the balance between mind, body and spirit. We are also incorporating an advocacy on Environment Protection that will focus on tree planting and garbage disposal awareness.”
Those who are interested in helping the various projects of Surigaonon in Chicago may contact directly Daylinda Mendez at daylindamendez2006@ sbcglobal.net.
Mendez Family: Sergio and Daylinda Mendez with their son, Nathan.
A special appearance of Joey Alforque Warren, Mrs. Wisconsin Earth.
Daylinda enjoying a summer afternoon at her favorite Salt Creek Golf Club.
Daylinda Bayron Mendez, husband Sergio and son Nathan) enjoying a nice afternoon of music & camaraderie in the companyof Joe Mauricio and Veronica Leighton at the Salt Creek Golf Club in Wood Dale, IL. Great outdoors ambiance with a fireplace in the summer.