Saturday, July 29, 2006

Alimodiananon, We Still Are, We Still Will Be, No matter where we are..

Alimodiananon, We Still Are:
Twenty Summers ago, two dozen town mates, with families in tow and with two special guests, one a dear cousin of mine Father Antonio Anino and our Guest for his first trip out of the country ( he was not in a good term with the Marcos Regime) and the other Father Gil Alinsangan a visiting town mate from Rome, gathered at our town mates Dr. & Dra. Guangco Estate at Connecticut, USA for a welcome treat to our two Special Guests. For three days (some stayed longer) we reminisced about the good old Alimodian and how we all miss the town we all grew up, played hooky, experienced our first love; the first pain of so many after we enjoyed the town surrounded by natural mountains, which the strong winds and typhoons just passed over our heads blocked by hills and mountains on all sides. Yes that is our town..
One night after the usual Mass and Thanksgiving, we sat and drank and ate, the two priests suggested to us to Organize Ourselves so we can coordinate whatever project and gathering and can easily contact each other for news and updates regarding the town and our town mates.
We did, and for starter, we decided to call ourselves Alimodianon sa Amerika (ALSA). The acronym is apropos since it means "to lift." That was before the advent of PC and Internet and I remember Dr. Gemma car cell phone as big as a "knapsack" and it got to be plugged into to car battery. Thinking about it now, was funny. Click "about us" and you may even find out my full name. That’s ok, got nothing to hide except my "pocket rocket" or I may not be able to blog no more. Or do it in the "dog house".
A few years later as our number grew in Toronto Area and in Canada, we decided to open our separate chapter as our East Coast Association, our mother Organization. Same thing with Alimodianon in the West Coast. Ours we named it ALSACAN (Alimodiananon sa Canada) and our West Coast town mates named theirs AAA (Alimodiananon Association of America).
As we go along, we are as modern as any associations now. We have our own website, chat, even our own blog. , but we remain true to our original aim and purpose-to raise funds to help our town and our town mates, especially the children of Alimodian. If you take a peek at our homepage, you will see right away how one of our townmates, single handedly awaken the awareness of the state of Connecticut and its residence and they flooded our association with donation of books of all kinds. Our younger town mates now are very active in the internet. We even have "answer on demand", where students from home can post and ask for answers on their school works on a one to one basis with our volunteer"professionals" or reference to their specific works. At the moment we are also gathering books for school use and for reference at all fields of knowledge.
Aside from the intangibles, the education and the knowledge, we also raise funds for the ‘tangible projects," like the improvement of our parish church, schools and more.
But most of all, we look after our town mates who also need some help Right HERE. Most of them are the new arrivals, who may not know the way around in the new world; who may need some immediate needs inside the new place or for some, that may need some financial help to start (very rare, but it’s good to know). We also celebrate our "town fiesta" at the nearest weekend to the actual date. With the same menus on the table. We gather and celebrate together our Christmas. And once in while we celebrate milestone with our sisters’ associations(the mother) in the East Coast. In April 24, 2006, the whole Association celebrated our 20th Anniversary in New Jersey (I was in the Philippines for Emergency) and that was one big party, so I’d heard. Click the Gallery...
So, in closing, I and my hundreds of town mates, maybe half the world away from our dear Alimodian, may be some of us decided to make where we are now, our final home. Maybe some of us will split our time between our two homes during our retirement years (if health allows). And may be a few of us has completely forgotten the town (unlikely). For us who were born in the town, we will be forever an "alimodiananon" and for those, the next generation and the next one after, we are trying our very best, through this association and its activities to pass it upon their bloodline and to encourage them to perpetuate what we have started Twenty years ago for the sake of those who are still in our town and for those who chose to stay. Wherever we are, We are Alimodiananon, Always will Be True and Faithful..