(Word of thanks of A. S. Agcaoili, on the occasion of the awarding of the Plaque of Gratitude to Dr. Ella Pada Taong, Mrs. Annie Corpuz, Mrs. Tina Daquip, Mrs. Reynie Butay, and San Nicolas Lechon, 2007 Ilokano Drama and Videofest, Art Auditorium, November 17, 2007)
I must say that Nakem Conferences is now not only a not-for-profit organization but is now a movement, in Hawai`i, in the Philippines, some parts of the mainland United States, and among many collaborating colleges, universities, and institutions in both the private and public sector.
But we did not achieve this by ourselves, by our merit, by our own action alone. We have come to the point where can now begin to see where we have come from, and in seeing where we have come from, we see etched in gold and silver the extraordinary efforts of people who had the courage to come and join us in the Nakem Conferences even at is infancy—even when we could not show anything to prove the wisdom in our daydreaming.
We would like to honor them today, believing that in doing so, we will be able to record justly our gratitude to them. I must say that Nakem Conferences, the Ilokano Language and Literature Program of the University of Hawai`i, and the students of the Program that we are serving, are all indebted to these people and the organizations they represent.
May we call out their names and ask them to come in front.
Dr. Estrella Pada Taong has always been our source of pride, strength and guidance. When we needed to put together the difficult finishing touches for the Nakem Conferences, she came to rescue.
And in her coming for a rescue, she brought along with her Mrs. Annie Corpuz and Mrs. Tina Daquip. Both Manang Annie and Manang Tina had to wake up in the early hours to prepare the food for our delegates. We had more than a hundred people eating at any one time and you could just imagine the kind of preparation that Manang Annie and Manang Tina did. I was—and I am--a witness to how they multiplied the loaves and the fish.
Next to come to our rescue was Mrs. Reynie Butay, who even if she did not know us from Eve, on the strength of the request of Dr. Ella Pada Taong, she came in to help, donating food that came from her kitchen and from her family's restaurant, San Nicolas Lechon and Longganisa.
I must say that when Nakem Conference was just beginning to take the first step, Dr. Ella Pada Taong, Mrs. Annie Corpuz, Mrs. Tina Daquip, Mrs. Reynie Butay, and San Nicolas Lechon and Longganisa were there for us, lending us a hand, giving us their heart, donating their time, effort, and person.
To all of you, we thank you so much.
To all of you, we are grateful.
Now, may I ask all the faculty of the Ilokano Language and Literature Program to come and hand in the Plaque of our eternal gratitude to our honorees?
UH Manoa, HON, HI