How did we fare in 2015?

How did we fare in 2015? The Annual Report prepared for by shows that we are being read in 71 countries! Isn’t that awesome for a hobby?

Thank you all for being part of our journey! Read on for more details…

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,200 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

‘The Most Influential Teacher of the Year 2015 Awards’ conferred by the UNIFFIED and LC Legacy Foundation was held at the New York University Palladium, New York City on October 17, 2015.


L-R: LC Legacy Foundation Chair & UNIFFIED Founder Lumen Castaneda, US Pinoys for Good Governance Chair Atty. Loida Nicolas Lewis, OWWA Officer Pet Bergado, UNIFFIED Pres. Ronie Mataquel.

‘Most Influential Teacher Awards’ at the NYU Palladium

Acceptance Speech by Marietta Geraldino on behalf of the Women Achievers and the Influential Women of the Tri State awardees, 2015 Pan American Concerned Citizens Action League Inc. (PACCAL) Women’s History Month Celebration, Ramada Plaza Hotel, NJ: 28 March 2015.

Honored guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen:

To be recognized for doing what we love to do and for doing what we do best is both a blessing and a privilege.

It is with deep appreciation that I accept this award on behalf of the Women Achiever and Influential Women honorees. To paraphrase the great Oprah Winfrey, successful women are aware that it isn’t who they are or where they came from that matters. These are women who know that the ability to triumph began within their souls and that they have worked hard for that triumph.

Thank you, Pan American Concerned Citizens Action League (PACCAL) for this unique distinction and for honoring the contributions women make in society.

On a more personal note, this award holds a deeper meaning to a girl from a village in Mindanao. The girl grew up listening to her parents’ angst due to unfulfilled dreams and lack of economic opportunities. More importantly, though, the said little girl grew up feeling loved and special. Both her Nanay and Tatay made her believe that every dream is possible, that everything is within reach, and that the possibilities are endless, if one has a good college education.

Such belief inspired the girl to take charge of her destiny, to write her own story, and to manage her own path in order to survive, thrive and soar.

Blessed with a supportive family, well-intentioned network of friends, and a strong faith in God, that little girl has now come full circle.

Tonight, she is being honored as recipient of PACCAL’s 2015 Woman Achiever Award for Excellence in the Teaching Profession.

May I, therefore, take this moment to advocate for all little girls’ access to quality education regardless of color, regardless of race, and regardless of status in society. It is a must. For as the saying goes, “Educate a woman and you educate a race.”

To my Tatay, Nanay, siblings, gorgeous husband, and four lovely children, thank you for everything. I dedicate this award to all of you.

I will try to live up to the prestige of this award and pledge that some of my best achievements are still yet to come.

Thank you all so much! To God be the glory and God bless us all.


Access to Quality Education is Every Girl’s Right

It has come to my attention that on July 1, 2013 the Honorable Winston T. Castelo introduced to the 16th Congress of the House of Representatives Resolution No. 00010  “Congratulating and commending Dr. Marietta Geraldino, a Filipina, for being among the 11 recipients of the first ever city-wide Big Apple Awards.”

Through House Resolution No. 00010, Congressman Castelo argued that “Geraldino exemplifies the classic Filipino success story that serves as a beacon and inspiration for the youth in pursuing their dreams.”

I was the only Filipino recipient of the first-ever Big Apple Awards, which recognized the top teachers in public schools across New York City.

“A Congressional commendation? Is it for real?”

That was all I could say when my friend told me the news.  Upon seeing my delighted reaction, my friend then gave me an impish smile and said, “It is still pending, though, with the Committee on Basic Education and Culture.”

She winked and continued, “So, this is really like my belated April Fool’s joke on you.”

As soon as our FaceTime ended, I decided to do some research. My friend comes from a family of Congressmen and is someone whom I considered a reliable source for any news related to Philippine politics. And truth be told, she got me curious.

This is what I found when I did a quick search within the portal of the House of Representatives under the ‘House Bills and Resolutions’ category and keyword ‘00010.’


Thank you, Cong. Castelo for the congratulations and commendation and for valuing the Big Apple Awards for Teaching Excellence as an opportunity to inspire the young to reach for their dreams.

I would be remiss not to acknowledge the fact that my success here in New York City as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) is hugely due in part to my excellent educational foundation and the academic scholarships and study-abroad fellowships afforded to me by both the private schools and government agencies in the Philippines.

Indeed, the young must put a prime value on education. Students must know that there are scholarships; they only need to educate themselves on how to avail of such opportunities. More importantly, they must pursue their educational goal with passion, resilience, and a laser focus. They must  never give up their dreams, no matter what.

It’s been almost two years since Cong. Castelo introduced House Resolution No. 00010. But who’s counting? As the saying goes, “It is the intention that counts.”

After all, not everyone has a pending commendation in Congress, right?

2013 Big Apple Awards Recipients

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How does one get a commendation from Congress?

On April 19th, the United Federation of Fil-Am Educators (UNIFFIED) Inc. celebrated its first founding anniversary by recognizing the exemplary service of teachers in an awarding ceremony held at the NYU Palladium in Manhattan.

More than 150 educators received awards in four different categories: Special Awards, Gawad Lampara, Gawad Lingkod, and Gawad Sinagtala. This year’s recipient of the Gawad Lampara Awards is PACCAL Founder Linda Mayo.

Special awards recipients were Marietta Geraldino, Aristides Uy, Pancho Bernaldez, Ronie Mataquel, and Marvin Cadornigara.

Present during the awarding ceremony were Ambassador Mario de Leon Jr., Madame Eleonor de Leon, and the three Makilala TV hosts – Cristina DC Pastor, Jen Furer, and Rachelle Ocampo.

The Inflection Point congratulates the officers and members of the UNIFFIED, led by its indefatigable Founding Chair, Lumen Castaneda, President Ronnie Mataquel, and NY Chapter Chair Jonathan Demol.



The awardees with Ambassador Mario de Leon Jr., Consul General of the Philippine Consulate General, New York. Also in the picture are Madame Eleonor de Leonor, UNIFFIED Founding Chair Lumen Castaneda, PACCAL Founder Linda Mayo, AFTEA Founder Pancho Bernaldez, and teacher awardees – Aristides Uy, Marvin Cardonigara, Ildefonso Silva, and Essy Malibiran.


Photo Op with Madame Eleonor de Leon, Lumen Castaneda, Linda Mayo and Consul General Mario de Leon, Jr.


ConGen Mario de Leon, Jr. with the special awardees – Pancho Bernaldez, Ronie Mataquel, Marvin Cadornigara, Aristides Uy, and UNIFFIED NY Pres Jonathan Demol


Pose with Gawad Lingkod awardees – Danny and Norma Cullo, Jojo Demol, and Anthony Samonte.


Gawad Sinagtala Awardee, Pilar Calubiran with the host Ria Serrano.


Gawad Lingkod Awardees – Rowena Garana, Miguel Braganza, Natalie Strider with friends Lou and Glo.

UNIFFIED turns one; teachers honored