Philippine-New York Jaycees To Celebrate Its 50th Anniversary And Grand Reunion On Sept. 28

by Kobakila News

NEW YORK — Junior Chamber International (JCI) Philippine-New York (Jaycees) will hold its 50th Anniversary and Grand Reunion on September 28, 2013, 7pm, at Elite Palace in Woodside, New York. To commemorate this special occasion, the New York City Office of the Mayor has informed the chapter that Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be proclaiming September 28 as “JCI Philippine-New York Day.”

JCI Philippine-New York is an affiliate of the Junior Chamber International whose mission is to provide development opportunities that empower young people aged 18-40 to create positive change. It has the distinct honor of being the longest-standing ethnic-based chapter of the JCI United States which continues to undertake pioneering projects beneficial to its members and the community. To date, the chapter is the only organization for young people in the New York Filipino-American community devoted to leadership training of its members and the community via balanced programs in the areas of business, individual development, community development, membership services and international affairs.

This year’s gala is a celebration singularly dedicated to more than 5,000 members who have joined the chapter through the years. These members contributed to the chapter’s rich history and continued on to become community leaders, successful businessmen, government officials, accountants, teachers, engineers, lawyers, nurses, architects, doctors and many other professions.

The event is spearheaded by overall chairman of the event, Richard Rillera, the 27th Chapter President as well as Bel Molina, the 50th and current Chapter President. Honorary Chairs include the Honorable Consul General Mario Lopez de Leon, Jr. of the Philippine Consulate General in New York and the global community leader Ms. Loida Nicolas-Lewis.

On July 20, 1963, the Philippine-New York Jaycees held its Charter Presentation and Induction at the International House Auditorium in Columbia University. At this presentation, young Filipino men officially accepted the challenge of “Leadership Training Through Community Service” – the basic principle of the Jaycee movement and its raison d’etre – with Ernesto Pilares as founding president. These young men sought to serve the civic and social needs of the then-fledgeling Filipino-American community in New York. They founded the first Filipino Jaycee chapter outside a foreign land and eventually opened the door to the formation of other chapters outside the Philippines. Since then, the chapter has had many accomplishments benefiting its members, the community and the world.

The chapter continues to support city and state programs (park clean-up, tree planting, NYC Marathon); raise funds and conduct awareness programs for local, national and international entities (Philippine General Hospital, Gawad Kalinga, Nothing but Nets); collaborate with other organizations (Philippine Independence Day Council Inc., Team Takbo, Filipino American Human Services Inc.); and, organize events celebrating Filipino tradition (Simbang Gabi/Panunuluyan, parol-making workshop, Tagalog lessons).

This year, from January to August 2013 alone, the chapter is proud to have implemented a total of 43 exciting projects to further the mission of JCI in creating positive change. Some of these projects include a health and fitness forum, New Year, New You. In cooperation with the Philippine Consulate General of New York and the running group Team Takbo, the chapter brought accomplished sports and fitness speakers from various fields (running, swimming, biking, yoga, personal training) together in one location to share ideas and to give practical advice to participants.

In commemoration of Earth Day, the chapter participated at the One Thing That’s Green community tree planting in Highland Park, located at the border of Queens and Brooklyn.  Planting trees parallels the chapter’s support of one of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of ensuring environmental sustainability.   The chapter also conducted Be Your Own Boss! A Seminar on Investing in a Franchise Business in the Philippines in cooperation with the Philippine Consulate General of New York and the Philippine Franchise Association(PFA).  Shortly after, it implemented a month-long letter campaign and fundraiser, Letters to Oklahoma- Raising Sentiments. This project was held in response to the deadly tornado that tore through Moore, Oklahoma in the afternoon of May 20, 2013.

To learn more about the 50th Anniversary and Grand Reunion, please visit



1 The Philippine-New York Jaycees Charter Presentation and Induction on July 20, 1963 at the International House Auditorium, Columbia University.
2 The charter members of Philippine-New York Jaycees, with founding president Ernesto Pilares (10th from left, back row).
3 Jaycees in Central Park. (Photo credit: Edwin Ochoa)
4 2013 Jaycees officers and alumni in Traditional Filipino Garb. (Photo credit: Edwin Ochoa)


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