It was a casual
conversation in Vancouver, Canada between two former childhood
friends sometime in December 1995 that started the idea of forming a
federation or council of San Pablo associations in North America.
Dr. Elizer V. Aquino, former
president of the City of Seven Lakes Midwest
Chapter in Chicago, was in Vancouver to attend his aunt's funeral
and had an opportunity to have a brief exchange of views with North
Vancouver resident Leonardo B.
Cunanan. Ely and Ding knew each other as kids in Schetelig Avenue
but had lost touch with each
other for many years. Ely Aquino
became a successful medical practitioner in Chicago and was active
in his local community. Through his leadership, his "kababayans"
in Chicago supported projects in San Pablo City, notably the
Paaralan ng Pag-ibig at Pag-asa (School of Love and Hope) for
disadvantaged children and the city's Puericulture Center.
After his presidency of
the City of Seven Lakes Association in Chicago in 1990, Dr. Aquino
became involved with an informal civic group known as the
"Friends of San Marcos."
This group still supports project in
Barangay San Marcos to this day. It has funded the establishment of
a library and medical clinic in the local school, donated computers
and provided cash awards to outstanding students and teachers during
Ding Cunanan was executive director
of the San Pablo YMCA. He was national program director of the YMCA
of the Philippines before he immigrated to Canada in 1971. In
Canada, Cunanan remained active in YMCA work. In 1973, he organized
the YMCA Philippine Service Club composed of Filipino-Canadian
volunteers in Vancouver that raised funds for development projects
in the Philippines. The group's first project was in Barrio Dolores,
San Pablo City which provided financial assistance to lake
fishermen. During his 12 years presidency, over a million Canadian
dollars was raised to support 40 development projects.