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HISTORY OF

BICOL CANADA COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION (BCCA) Originally known as BICOL CANADA INC. (BCI)

Founded by Mrs. Cynthia Mirasol in 2000

Formal launching in November 2001 with a fund raising dinner dance at a community centre on Hornell Street in Etobicoke.

Elected members of the board for 2002 and 2003 were Jess Cabrias (President), Joseph Redoblado (Vice-President), Thelma Antazo and Nanette Virtucio (Secretaries), Jose Gutierrez (Treasurer), Ed Muyot and Bobby Achacon (Press Relation Officers), Josefa Cortez, Tess Cortez, Floro Dabu Jr., Noel Frias, Luth Penaflor, Tony Sanchez and Rommel Yanto. Advisers were Leon Aureus Jr., Eddie Lee, Cynthia Mirasol, Monina Serrano-Lim and Dr. Ferry Trenholme.

Elected members of the board for 2004 and 2005 were Bobby Achacon (President), Joseph Redoblado (1st VicePresident), Floro Dabu Jr. (2nd Vice-President), Thelma Antazo (3rd Vice-President), Tony Ragos (Secretary), Jose Gutierrez (Treasurer), May Amparado, Paterno Macandog, Julio Buiza, Josefa Cortez, Rafael Nebres, Jess Cabrias, Ed Muyot and Tony Sanchez. Advisers were Leon Aureus Jr., Cynthia Mirasol, Eddie Lee, Monina Serrano-Lim and Dr. Ferry Trenholme.

Induction of officers was held on April 3, 2004 at the St. Thomas the Apostle hall with Consul General Alejandro Mosquera as the guest speaker and inducting officer.

Highlights for 2004-2005:

Induction of officers was held on September 7, 2002 at the Humberwood Community Centre in Etobicoke with Mrs. Angelita Pena, President of the Bicolandia Association Inc. of the Eastern Seaboard, New Jersey as guest speaker and Vice Consul Edgar Badajos as inducting officer. An amazing painting by a young Bicolano artist Ricardo Mirasol III was the cover of the souvenir program and mainstay at the centre stage. Highlights for 2002-2003:  In September 2003 the first fluvial celebration of the Lady of Penafrancia, a realization of a project initiated by Jess Cabrias, was held on board the ship Mariposa which sailed along the shores of Lake Ontario. Mass was celebrated followed by a buffet lunch. The affair was jointly co-ordinated by Jess Cabrias and Bobby Achacon.  Participation in activities of the Philippine Independence Day Council, Philippine Chamber

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of Commerce Toronto, Knights of Rizal and the Kalayaan group.

 Enshrinement of the Lady of Penafrancia image donated by the Chicago Confraternity of our Lady of Penafrancia at the Annunciation Parish Church on Victoria Park and Ellesmere on June 6, 2004.  BCI president Bobby Achacon was inducting officer of the Nabua Association of Ontario in May 2004 which led to the recognition of and association of BCI with other Bicol associations, i.e. Iriguenos Sa’di Canada and the Catanduanes Association of Ontario.  Initiated the monthly novena for the Lady of Penafrancia.  Fluvial celebration on the feast day of the Lady


of Penafrancia at the Centre Island grounds in 2004 and the Bluffers Park in 2005.  Installation of the mural depicting the Naga fluvial parade at the shrine of the Lady of Penafrancia in the Annunciation Church. The mural was painted by Joel Raquion with funds donated by Dr. Victoria Santiago.  Donated to the disaster fund of Catanduanes.  Participation at the Filipino Centre of Toronto Presidents Ball in February 2005 at the Royal York Hotel chaired by Dr. Victoria Santiago.

Bael (Treasurers), Myrna Abraham, Bobby Achacon, Lorna Achacon, Leon Aureus Jr., Eleanor Balmaceda, Jess Cabrias, Juliet Casaya, Tess Cortez, Floro Dabu Jr., Monina Serrano-Lim, Marietta Oliveros, Cecilia Ragos and Joseph Redoblado. •

Induction of officers was held at the Sts. Peter and Paul Banquet Hall with Consul General Alejandro Mosquera as guest speaker and inducting officer.

Highlights for 2008-2009:  With a goal to bring together all Bicolanos and Bicol associations, initiated the Bicol Cup in 2008 with a picnic at Earl Bales Park.  Christmas party held at the Crown Plaza Hotel.

Elected members of the board for 2006 and 2007 were Joseph Redoblado (President), Floro Dabu (1st VicePresident), Ed Muyot (2nd Vice-President), Leon Aureus Jr. (3rd Vice-President), Lorna Achacon (Secretary), Jose Gutierrez (Treasurer), May Amparado, Julio Buiza, Bobby Achacon, Jess Cabrias, Thelma Antazo, Jojo Taduran, Vicky Macandog, Josefa Cortez, Nanette Virtucio, Rafael Nebres and Antonio Ragos. Honorary board members were Raul Tarin (President, Catanduanes Association of Ontario), Pablo Filio III (President, Iriguenos Sa’di Canada) and Marietta Oliveros (President, Nabua Association of Ontario.

Induction of officers was held at the Humberwood Community Centre in Etobicoke with Consul General Alejandro Mosquera as guest speaker and inducting officer.

Highlights for 2006-2007:

 Donations to disaster areas in the Bicol Region and other affected areas in the Philippines.  Monthly novena and mass for the Lady of Penafrancia at the Assumption Church  Co-ordinated both the annual fluvial celebration at the Bluffers Park and the evening mass on the feast day of the Lady of Penafrancia.

Elected members of the board for 2010 and 2011 were Rafael Nebres (re-elected President), Ignacio Manlangit (1st Vice-President), Manolito Aquino (2nd Vice-President), Leon Aureus Jr. (3rd Vice-President), Lorna Achacon and Arlene Martirez (Secretaries), Jose Gutierrez and Eusebio Ortega (Treasurers), Floro Dabu (Auditor), Jess Cabrias and Willie Nabus (Special project directors), Bobby Achacon, Edisson Bantayan, Juliet Casaya, Aantonio Cecilio Jr., Cecilia Ragos, Edgar Recon, Felix Reyes, Monina Serrano-Lim, Ely Torrenueva and Alex Guerina.

Induction of officers was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel with Ambassador Jose Brillantes as guest speaker and inducting officer.

Highlights for 2010-2011:

 Donation of several boxes of goods and funds to the typhoon devastated areas of the Bicol region.  Revival of the traditional santacruzan at the Annunciation Church grounds.  Monthly novena and mass for the Lady of Penafrancia at the Annunciation Church.  Creation and maintenance of a BCI website by Mary Ann Gutierrez, daughter of BCI treasurer Jose Gutierrez.  Fluvial celebration on the feast day of the Lady of Penafrancia at the Bluffers Park in 2006 and 2007.

Elected members of the board for 2008 and 2009 were Rafael Nebres (President), Ely Torrenueva (1st VicePresident), Manolito Aquino (2nd Vice-President), Florentino Badong (3rd Vice-President), Leticia Toral and Arlene Martirez (Secretaries), Jose Gutierrez and Francis

 Involved in fund raising projects for disaster areas in the Bicol region and other affected areas in the Philippines.  Monthly novena and mass for the Lady of Penafrancia at the Assumption Church.  Co-ordinated both the annual fluvial celebration at the Bluffers Park and the evening mass on the feast day of the Lady of Penafrancia.  Annual family picnic for all Bicolanos at the Earl Bales Park.

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Bicol Canada Gala Night 2012