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HISTORY OF THE SEVEN LAKES INTERNATIONAL


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 graduation days.

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.

 

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