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Marlon Regaton, the newly installed president of the United Filipino Organization, had no plans of becoming the leader of the umbrella organization of Filipino community groups on Saipan.
The 41-year-old sales manager of Bestseller Bookstore Saipan said his ascension to the UFO presidency was entirely unplanned.
“I was nominated and can’t decline. As they say let the voting/election roll. I got the support of the majority and that’s it. I appreciate the trust and confidence of the nine organizations present during the election,” he said in a social media message to Saipan Tribune from the Philippines, where he’s on vacation.
Regaton said he is ready to lead the organization once he returns to Saipan this Wednesday, Jan. 11.
“Initially, I would like to come up with a member organizations meeting and sit down for a UFO reorientation, hopefully to level off and come up with a one-year plan. Plans will depend on the result of the initial planning. But other UFO activities will still be there, in collaboration with the different member organizations,” he said.
Some of the signature UFO events are the Pusong Pinoy in February, Pistang Pinoy in June, and Paskong Pinoy in December. UFO also hosts pageants and the very popular UFO basketball league throughout the year.
Aside from Regaton, who represented Akap Pinoy in the UFO, others elected during the UFO general election late last year were Northern Marianas Bartenders Association’s Lito Espino as vice president; Bayani Association’s Bok Enano and Evelyn Deaza as secretary and treasurer, respectively; Marianas Institute of Filipino CPAs and Accountants’ Gerry De Guzman as auditor; and Lito Marquez of Marianas Association of Filipino Engineers and Architects as PRO.
Regaton and company was sworn into office during an induction ceremony held last Dec. 8. The Philippines’ honorary consul to Saipan, Glicerio “Eli” Arago, was the guest of honor at the induction ceremony.
Regaton takes over from former UFO president Bong Malasarte, who has held the post since 2014.
“As we have come to the end of my two-year term as the president of United Filipino Organization of the Northern Marianas Islands, I want to thank all of you for the honor and privilege given me to lead this organization. I also want to thank the executive officers, committee leaders, volunteers, all supportive sponsors, and especially my wife for working with me over the past two years in making this organization worthy of its name. I am proud of the Filipino and Saipan community for the support that made UFO strong. I hope that all officers and members continue to demonstrate a sense of responsibility without waiting to be reminded,” Malasarte said.
Release of passports
Arago’s office also made public the dates of the release of renewed Philippine passports.
Volunteer Annamae Adaza said those who renewed their passports in October and November 2016 can pick up their new passports at the second floor of JP Center, Beach Road, Garapan (Saipan Tribune office) on the following dates:
-Jan. 11, 2017 (Wednesday), 5pm-8pm
-Jan. 12, 2017 (Thursday), 5pm-8pm
-Jan. 13, 2017 (Friday), 5pm-8pm
-Jan. 14, 2017 (Saturday), 1pm-6pm
Bring your old passport and receipts. For more details, call Mel Santos at 233-6293 or Adaza at 483-5237.