Feature: Tapok 2009 makes history as most successful reunion
by Sandra B. Tadeo
Cagayan de Oro City (9 October) -- Tapok 2009 held October 1-4 this year in New Jersey, USA made history as it was tagged as the most successful reunion of Cagayanons and Misamisnons who are now based in the US and elsewhere in the world.
City Mayor Constantino G. Jaraula made this assessment as he noted that this year's reunion of Cagayanons in the US is the first to be attended by the most number of high-ranking officials from Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental since the biennial event was first launched 30 years ago.
Mayor Jaraula said that it is the first time that a Tapok in the US was attended by the city mayor, congressman and key officials of the city government of Cagayan de Oro, as well as the provincial governor of Misamis Oriental.
Close to 400 Cagayanons and guests representing the different chapters of Kagayanon International in the US and Canada participated in the four-day Tapok 2009 held in the New York and New Jersey areas that culminated with the celebration of a Holy Mass and a farewell breakfast at the Sheraton Newark Airport Hotel in New Jersey.
The delegation from the Philippines was led by Mayor Jaraula together with Congressman Rufus B. Rodriguez of the city's second district, Governor Oscar S. Moreno of Misamis Oriental and Regional Director Catalino E. Chan III of the Department of Tourism, in region 10.
Consul General Cecilia B. Rebong of the Consulate General of the Philippines based in New York also graced the event.
Mayor Jaraula said that the presence of government officials from Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental and the Philippine government in the Tapok 2009 has inspired a bigger participation from US-based Cagayanons and Misamisnons in the biennial event.
"They are greatly inspired by the active show of support by the government because for the first time, the city brought here its key officials like our city administrator Griscelda Joson, city planning and development coordinator Estrella Sagaral, city treasurer Lino Daral and Ingrid Chavez-Agudo of the city tourism board," Mayor Jaraula enthused.
Mayor Jaraula is also pleased with the positive response of the Cagayanons in the US to the two business presentations made by Robert Pizarro of the A. Brown Company, Inc. and Rudy Meņes of the Pueblo de Oro Development Corporation during the business and trade exhibit of the Tapok 2009.
The city mayor is hopeful that more US-based Cagayanons will invest in real estates in Cagayan de Oro as this would readily translate to an increase in local revenue generation from real property tax that will be used to implement more development projects in the city.
This, even as Mayor Jaraula emphasized in his message to the participants of Tapok 2009 that Cagayan de Oro is credited by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) to have the fastest economic growth throughout the country, remaining as the friendliest and most peaceful.
"We are now re-imaging the city to be the week-end home, the vacation home, the second home and the retirement home," Mayor Jaraula disclosed.
Mayor Jaraula also recognized the valuable contribution of US-based Cagayanons and Misamisnons to the overall economic progress of the Philippines.
"They have left the country fully realizing that they will come back home to contribute to the economic development of their hometown," he said.
Meanwhile, Mayor Jaraula commended the laudable effort of the men and women behind the very successful turnout of the Tapok 2009.
With the unprecedented success of the Tapok 2009, Mayor Jaraula is optimistic that more US-based Cagayanons will join the Duaw Cagayan that will be held next year.
The Tapok 2009 is hosted by the Kagayanon International-East Coast Chapter (KI-ECC) headed by its president, Chit Roa-Marquez.
The overall committee of the biennial event is composed of Chit Roa-Marquez as chair and Dr. Roy Baldomero, Sylvia Labial and Belen Angeles as co-chairs. (CdeO-CIO) [top]