The first-of-its-kind BCBP USA Grand Gathering on October 10, 2009, saw the installation of BCBP Southern California (SoCal) Outreach as a Chapter, the first ever outside Philippine shores. As the 65th chapter of BCBP, BCBP SoCal Governance Team is composed of the following: Chapter Head, Dito de la Cerna; Mission Director, Rusty Carluen; Formation Director, Lib Madamba; Program and Services Director, Polet Tiano; Unit Heads, Boholano couple Hermes and Yonnie Quijada and Carlos Gorospe; Treasurer, Ed Obra; West Covina Mission Team Head, Edwin Dimaculangan.
The whole day event, held at Mary, Star of the Sea Parish Auditorium in San Pedro, California, kicked off with a Grand Breakfast, which was attended by more than two hundred guests and members. The guest couple sharers were Larry Veloso, BCBP National President and his wife Dedit.
A two-part retreat conducted by Father Herbert Schneider for BCBP Southern California and Northern California members followed thereafter. Then, a Holy Mass was held at 5PM prior to the installation rites proclaiming BCBP SoCal Outreach as a Chapter.
BCBP President Larry Veloso gave the opening message during the Chapter Installation. Bro Manny Jimenez, Area Managing Director – South Luzon announced the official appointments with Jun Obra, RCD – South Manila, handing over the appointment letters to each governance team member. Fr Schneider then prayed over the new Governance Team. The installation was witnessed by members and guests from the US and the Philippines headed by Bro Louie and Sis Lilli Morales, BCBP Alabang.
Hermes Quijada and wife, the former Leonarda ”Yonie” Bontog are graduates of the BCBP-Tagbilaran sponsored Christian Life Program (CLP) 3 in 1993 and are active members of the BCBP community since then. Bro. Hermes hails from Mariveles,Dauis Bohol and was Auditor of the Norkis Group of Companies. He used to hold office in the company owned building along CPG Avenue corner Ma.Clara Street. Whereas Yonie, who was born in Carmen,Bohol, is a Chemical Engineer by profession and was a Math and Science teacher of the former Central Visayas State College of Agriculture, Forestry and Technology(CVSCAFT), now Bohol Island State University in Tagbilaran City. She currently is teaching Chemistry at the Dominguez High School in Compton, California. They have two children, .Jannie Vince, 18, a college student and Dan, 16 ,a High School juniors. The Quijada family migrated to the United States in April,2004. Other Boholano members of the BCBP SoCal are : former Loay Vice-Mayor Nandie Maniwan and wife Gela, Lorrie Matig-a, and Sylvia Fortich .
Douglas B. Hontanosas