This is a small world... I was watching the opening of the annual Santa Cruzan Parade in Jersey City last month when I started a conversation with another Pilipina who seemed to be waiting for someone to join the festivities. She told me that she was waiting for McGreevey who was running in the Democratic governor's primary. Despite being a die hard Republican, I was little bit impressed that she was so involved in politics. So I asked her if she knew Phoebe Cabataje Andes, former Assist Professor in Passaic Community College in Paterson, NJ and member of the NJ State Board of Nursing. (Overseas Outstanding Vizcayano candidate) She must have been working hard; her candidate pulled a major upset and won the NJ Primary couple of days later.
It turned out that she was the same person. She is the current President of the Solano Nueva Vizcaya Association and told me that she spent some of her childhood in my town of Dupax, Nueva Vizcaya. She was the guest of the Reteracion Family in Jersey City that day.
Jersey City is a small town but there are more people from Nueva Vizcaya than one can expect. Few of my schoolmates settled in this town just across New York City. We have the former Edita Ordonez, Balut family, Andrada's and Alcantra's. More recently, the families of Tiongsons and Castros have moved in. During the last Solano Picnic in Jersey City I met the mother of the Dr Viernes my cousin Dra L. Aliassas going to marry. Mrs Viernes from Bonfal, Nueva Vizcaya a former schoolteacher.
We moved here in the late 1970's and, like many of the Filipinos, sent our kids to the best schools in the city. I am talking about the private catholic school system. I was surprised later that my oldest daughter was a classmate of another daughter of a Vizcayano. They also become best of friends, Nheeda and Therese.
Wherever you are and no matter how high the odds are, you might find a common denominator and it is your base, your root's Nueva Vizcaya. My first day in Hawaii began when I found a place to eat catering to Pinakbet. Inside the restaurant I found Jose Cachola-my classmate in grade school who sat next to me who I hadn't seen since then.
Dr Alfredo Aliassas Visiting the US for the second time....
The former Board Member of Nueva Vizcaya and his wife is currently in the Chicago area to attend a big wedding of the Ong clan. They will continue another tour of New York and California (Canada is also on the schedule) at the end of the month. He is bringing us some sight and news from our province when he comes. They are coming so watch it!