The Peninsula Manila, Makati City, August 17, 2006
Brother Police Director General Jess A. Verzosa, Eta ’72 and current CIDG Chief, led the long list of distinguished honorees during “The Night of Caring and Sharing APO Generals and Colonels” last Thursday, August 17, 2006 at the Conservatory of The Peninsula Manila in Makati City. Air Force Brig. General Bert Llanto, Alpha Mu and current Wing Commander of the 600th ABW in Clark, Police Chief Supt. Rene Bacolod, Alpha Mu and Executive Officer of the DPRM in Camp Crame and Retired Police Director General Ding Pace of Delta Delta completed the cast of the four APO generals present during the awarding ceremonies.
Red wines, brandies and food were flowing during the cocktail hour at the second floor lobby of the Peninsula. The expensively tasteful wines and liquors were courtesy of Ram’s House of Wine of Brother Romy Ripalda of Alpha Epsilon. Everyone was in their Sunday’s best with the honorees in their corresponding crisp uniforms complete with all their full decorations. The Philippine colors entered the Conservatory to signal the start of the formal ceremony. The MCs for the night, Brod RD-NCAR Mel Adriano and Sister Annie Laceda called on Sister Meg Alvero ofAlpha Omicron/Sigma, to lead the group in singing the National Anthem. NED Ernie Alcanzare recited the Scout Oath, Mission/Vision, Loyaty Pledge, Twelve Jewels with the group following in unison. Brod NEVP Egay LLarena warmly welcomed the body. Dinner was immediately served after his conveniently short talk.
The group was entertained while having dinner and later the night by an All-Female band arranged by Sister Luvie Lumang of Theta. Three beautiful singers rendered their lively numbers complete with their sensual choreography. The brothers are full of respect and behaved properly that night, for not one of them went up the stage to harass these pretty young things.
With everyone having their fill, Brother IPP Rod Mapoy introduced the Guest Speaker for the night. Deputy Director General Avelino “Sonny” I. Razon, PMA’74 and current Deputy Chief PNP for Administration started his talk by thanking his University of the Philippines HS classmate, Brod Mel and fellow Mason brothers, Brod Rod and Brod NP Jimmy de Castro for inviting him to be the speaker for the night. DDG Sonny Razon said that ” Though I am not an APO there is something that binds us together, it is I believe, our common love for leadership, friendship and public service.”
During his impassioned talk he further pointed out that “Indeed, the world is a better place because there are men and women who serve without hesitation, without condition. And the world is a better place because there are organizations like the Alpha Phi Omega that inspires people to make their lives better and give meaning to their existence.” In closing he said”Â…as we celebrate APO’s night of caring and sharing I take this opportunity to enjoin you, members of APO, to honor the memory of your brave brother Monette Garcia (Eta ’68 and PMA Class 75, who was KIA while serving in Mindanao), and to work with us even more closely as we seek ways to serve our countrymen better.”
Brother NP Jimmy De Castro and the rest of the National Officers then presented to DD General Avelino I.Razon a Certificate of Appreciation and APO Cares-APO Shares Medallion.
Brod Mel Adriano, Chairman of the APO Cares-APO Shares Awards Committee then proceeded to explain the reasons behind these recognition awards. It can be summed up with the statement in the individual award certificates ” …for his exemplary performance in his chosen field of uniformed service and for being a positive role model and source of pride of our fraternity…” Assisted by no other than Brod NP Jimmy de Castro and Sister Alvina Juanitz, Member of the Board for Sorority Affairs, Brod Mel Adriano proceeded to distribute Recognition Awards and Medallions to 57 brother honorees. You can see in every awardee’s face the pride and joy to be honored by his peers.
Police Director General Jess Verzosa was called upon to deliver an acceptance speech in behalf of all the awardees. He thanked the awards committee and more specially the fraternity for giving them an award that they will value and cherish. Almost 90% of the awardees are from the PNP where Brod Jess is a two-star general. He is the current President of the APO-Lawmen and these awards will serve as an inspiration for the other brothers in the uniformed services to excel in their vocations.
The traditional Toast Song was sung by the more than two hundred attendees for the night to close the formal part of the program. It was followed by a Fellowship complete with ballroom dancing and the almost endless taking of pictures of everyone. It was another APO wonderful night to remember.