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Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. was invited to give the Inspirational Message during the 19th Anniversary and 119th Philippine Independence Day celebrations of Damayan Community at Bayanihan Community Center on Saturday, 24 June 2017.

Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. address veterans and seniors of Damayan Community, headed by Ms. Rita Bambilla (in blue) during an inspirational talk he gave at the 19th Anniversary of Damayan Community.

Damayan Community was founded by Reylita Bambilla on June 25, 1998 to support Filipino World War II veterans and their families, and seniors from the South of Market (SoMa).  The group meets every fourth Saturday of the month, with the mission to support families and individuals, especially from the underserved communities, to “overcome social, economic and cultural barriers to self-sufficiency and exceptional achievement by providing them leadership and resources for independent living.”  Damayan also attempts to integrate Spiritual, Political, Economic and Social aspects of life that are essential in training of human, spiritual and apostolic development.

The Consul General thanked Ms. Bambilla for reaching out to the Consulate and giving the Philippine Consulate the opportunity to connect with Filipino veterans and seniors, in line with the its desire to Spark*Connect*Empower* the Filipino-American Community.  He addressed about 50 members of the Community, saying that they were welcome to visit the Consulate, which they should consider their second home in the Bay Area.  

Consul General Bensurto thanked the seniors for paving the way for the Community, allowing the succeeding generations the success and prosperity they are now enjoying because of the former’s pioneering ways, courage and perseverance.  He congratulated Ms. Bambilla for providing the Community’s seniors with moral and spiritual support, especially in the twilight of the years, making them feel appreciated and productive members of the Filipino-American Community.

The youth visited the seniors during the event and serenaded them with Filipino songs.

The program included intergenerational song numbers from the youth through the SoMa Pilipinas youth program, dance numbers from the seniors, and highlighted by Undersigned’s inspirational message.  Undersigned observed that Damayan was fully conscious of the need to integrate the next generation for the program’s continuity, and have made them part of the planning and management of Damayan.  The youth were also present to entertain the seniors.  END

The program consisted of indigenous cultural performances.