Sunday, May 3, 2009 – Governor Rolando Yebes of Zamboanga del Norte together with Vice-Governor Francis Olvis arrived in Chicago from Las Vegas for a short visit to all ZaNorte constituents here in Illinois upon the invitation of ZAMNAI officers and members. The two officials were in Las Vegas for the Pacquiao vs. Hatton big boxing event and side-tripped to Chicago to purposely meet and reach-out to the ZaNorteans here in Illinois who have long been away from the province and are pretty much excited to hear first hand updates from our province. Directly from the Chicago Midway airport, Governor Yebes attended the 7th Sunday Novena and Mass in honor of Dipolog’s Patron Saint Senior San Vicente Ferrer hosted by the family of Salvic Saavedra in Skokie, Illinois, where he had the chance to personally meet and greet to everyone who came over. Other than being overwhelmed with photo shots, the governor talked of his concerns for our beloved ZaNorte, in anticipation of a strong involvement for support and assistance coming from our fellow ZaNorteans around, he made mention of his administration’s visions, implemented programs and accomplishments that truly benefited the ZaNorteans especially the poor and the under privilege.

In the evening, our very own ZAMNAI under the leadership of Pres. Kesa Bajamunde with the support of its officers warmly hosted an informal dinner and assembly at the Intercontinental Hotel in Rosemont, IL. The Presidents from various ZaNorte associations based in Illinois attended the event

Hector Fernandez represented his brother in-law Dr. Claude Adriatico, who has the largest individual donation so far to the ZAMNAI Projects and wife, ZAMNAI Vice President Cyd Adriatico Fernandez.

Gov. Yebes drop by the residence of Salvic Ramirez-Saavedra to attend the 7th novena mass in preparation for the feast of St. Vincent Ferrer sposored by the Dipolog City Parishioner in Illinois. Shown in picture Gov. Yebes with Rev. Fr. Manning Recera, Bebs Romero, Irwin Patangan, Alex Jalosjos, Maryann Lim, Desiree Lee, Hayley Patangan, Virgie Pizon,  Felipe Ageas and Lerry Cruz.(7th St. Vincent Ferrer novena-mass pictorial)

After everyone had enthusiastically exchanged pleasantries. ZAMNAI IPP Rem Sienes welcomed and introduced the org. Presidents and ZAMNAI officers to the two dignitaries. Vice-Governor Olvis in his speech introduced himself, acknowledged, and gave thanks to the continuous support we gave to the province. Governor Yebes then followed his introduction and presented in detail the economic, social, and agricultural status of our province, and updates what they have been up to as executive leaders.  He gratefully recognized the numerous contributions made by ZAMNAI and all ZaNorteans who are now residing in Illinois, in varied ways and indirectly given, however have helped immensely to uplift the economy of our province.

Likewise, an open forum followed and was moderated by ZAMNAI Immediate Past President Rem Sienes. In the open forum, Gov. Yebes credibly answered several questions and inquiries, moreover considered some given suggestions and proposals that focuses more on the interest of ZaNorteans in Illinois. He specifically emphasized on different factors to boost local tourism and the importance of greatly developing agriculture. The following topics were also discussed:

     A more comprehensive ZaNorte Tourism campaign in Illinois that will show cases the
        province’s tourism destination and special events such Hudyaka. A clearer link to an
        event calendar of the province be made available in the website and/or in a tourism

     A confident message from the Provincial Government that travel to ZaNorte is not just
        fun and adventurous, but most importantly SAFE for all tourist and locals.

    An initiative that will provide a professional training and certification program for our
       newly and homegrown registered nurses and other medical professionals. The
      importance of post-graduation co-op program that will provide the much-needed
      clinical experience as pre-employment requirement set by U.S. hospitals and
      healthcare agencies and facilities.

    A program that will provide any assistance to the immediate family of a returning
        ZaNorteans who were terminally ill or died here in Illinois

    An improvement in the Dipolog airport terminal that will provide an adequate
        accommodation for well-wishers and welcoming friends and families of

    A real time updates of news and information about ZaNorte especially in website.

    Personal interaction between the Governor and ZaNorteans in Illinois via Internet
       blogs or web social networking such as Facebook, Twitter, and Friendster.
       Armando Frasco, founder of and Eddie Artajo founder of
       both offered their cyber expertise to make this project possible.

    A trade initiative to promote ZaNorte specialty products (e.g. bottled sardines) for a
        potential market in Chicago and the whole US.

    An action for a social response related to the call for ecology conservation, flood
        control and thereby sharing part in the resolution of global warming.

At the 7th Novena Mass, Gilfred Cruz, Eddie Artajo, Gov. Lando Yebes, Irwin Patangan and Rem Sienes

Gov. Lando Yebes and Vice Gov. Francis Olvis at the Intercontinental Hotel Forum

At the Intercontinental O-Hare shown: Hector Fernandez, Cyd Adriatico-Fernandez, Luz Watters, Rem Sienes, Leo Cagbabanua and Kesa Bajamunde. Cyd Adriatico Fernandez.

The visiting officials meanwhile, stressed that this visit is not at all of government expense rather out of their personal pockets. They added that apparently for some, this could possibly be regarded as political in nature however, it was pointed out that it is but so important for them to meet with our fellow kababayans, to bond with us like a father in touch with his offspring and to remind us how necessary it is to remain connected with where we came from, to let us be aware of the development and progress happening in our locality in the Philippines, as well as the issues and concerns in need of whatever help we could possibly extend. After all, it is still the very place, where we truly belong, our very own, and for which we certainly could call our home – for always.

Among the groups and associations represented during the assembly are the following:

      Cormano, Manukan – represented by Diane Patangan
Polanco Assoc. of Illinois (POLASIL) – represented by Pres. Ermie Nalzaro and
                     Adviser Antonio ‘Nonoy’ Carreon
Katipuneros of USA – represented by Pres. Agnes Arocha
Sindangan Association of Illinois (SINAI) – represented by Pres. Lake Icao and Peping Yebes
Pinanon Assoc. of IL – represented by Pres. Rick Palconayo
Dipolog Assoc. in U.S.A. (DAUSA) – represented by Pres. Alan Olarte
Dapitanon-USA INC, NSP – represented by IPP Elvira Rudas and
Leo Cagbabanua
Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP in Chicago) –
               represented by Irwin and Hayley Patangan
Couples for Christ – represented by Felipe Ageas
Dipolog Pilot Dem. School Alumni Assoc.- represented by Chairman Troy Bustalino
ZaNorte Priderepresented by Pres. Manuel 'jiji' Dinawanao
DYC-Chicago – represented by co-founder Rem Sienes – represented by Founder Armand Frasco – represented by Founder Eddie Artajo
ZAMNAI Benefactors – Lagrimas Sorronda and Asad Malik, Dr. and Mrs. Claude Adriatico
                 (represented by Hector Fernandez) 

The night culminated with the most if not all of those present, deeply inspired and motivated to continuously support the cause of the Governor, and with high hopes for a much better future of our very own ZaNorte province.  In conclusion to the successful assembly, ZAMNAI President Kesa Bajamunde expressed her in-depth appreciation to all ZaNorte organization Presidents who are in attendance and for their support to ZAMNAI’s public information drive through the “Meet, Greet, and Ask” the two top ranking officials of the province. 

Monday, May 4, 2009 – Governor Yebes and Vice-Gov. Olvis had a lunch meeting with the rest of our fellow ZaNorteans in Chicago at Chang Jiang Buffet, Des Plaines, IL. This time each of those in attendance had the opportunity to exchange “kumustahan” and discuss briefly with the Governor and Vice-Governor on matters of their personal concerns both here in US and back home.

A lunch for the governor: ZAMNAI hosted a lunch for Gov. Yebes and entourage a Chang Jiang Restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois

In the evening, DYC Pres. Paul Daarol led the members of the DYC-Chicago in honoring Gov. Yebes with a reception dinner at Texas de Brazil steak house in Schaumburg, IL. It was learned that Gov. Yebes is an active member of DYC-Dipolog chapter since 2002.

DYC Chicago hosted a dinner with Gov. Yebes in Texas de Brazil  Restaurant in Schaumburg, Illinois.  From left, Paul Daarol (current President), Troy Celemin, Rem Sienes, Gov. Rolando Yebes, Alvin Ang, Longlong Cruz and Luigi Camara

Snapshot @ Texas de Brazil Restaurant in Schaumburg, Illinois

DYC Chicago with Gov. Rolando Yebes along with prospective DYC members

DYC Chicago members and friends proposing a toast honoring the visiting Governor of Zamboanga del Norte

ZAMNAI IPP Rem Sienes who was the lead facilitator of the Governor and Vice-Governor’s visit to Chicago gave his special commendation to ZAMNAI President Kesa Bajamunde for the hotel reception and accommodation, Des Lee for the invitation, Cyd Adriatico-Fernandez for the air travel arrangements, and Alvin Ang for the transport services. IPP Rem also expressed his sincere thanks and appreciation to all ZaNorteans who tirelessly supported the Governor’s short but very informative and successful visit in Chicago.     (Hayley Patangan DIPOLOGNON.COM)


ZaNorteans in Illinois to Celebrate HUDYAKA 2008
By: Maria Cyd Adriatico

            Officers and members of the Zamboanga del Norte Association in Illinois (ZAMNAI) are spearheading the celebration of Hudyaka 2008 for ZaNorteans residing in Illinois on August 2, to be held at Proesel Park (by Lincoln and Kostner) in Lincolnwood.  The event will start with a Holy Mass at 11 AM and continue on to other activities which will culminate at 6 PM.  Highlighting the affair is the ZAMNAI election of officers for Term 2009-2010.  Only those who have registered (with their dues paid) can run for office and vote.  Also, Ruby Nalzaro, a ZaNortean and nurse with White Crane Wellness Center will be on hand to conduct the beneficial free blood tests and health screenings to the ZaNorteans.

            Though less grandiose compared to the annual Hudyaka festivity in the Province of Zamboanga del Norte, the concept of a day’s fun and camaraderie, the chance to reconnect with other ZaNorteans away from home or who have found Illinois as their second home, meeting new additions to the family and sharing ones favorite dish/food (pot luck) is the totality of this event.

            Interested parties may contact ZAMNAI President Rem Sienes, (847)-962-5174; Event Chairpersons Clemente “Jun” Navarro at (773)-895-4590 and Kesa Bajamunde at (312)-607-3553.  For membership, please contact Desiree Lee at (773)-875-8338.



(Chicago, IL 16 December 2007) Jacqueline Te, a 25 year old registered nurse representing the Dipolog City community in the Chicagoland area won the first ever Miss ZaNorte-Illinois pageant held on Saturday, December 15 at Crowne Plaza O'Hare in Rosemont, Illinois.

Jacqueline Te, Miss ZaNorte-Illinois 2007 with parents Evelyn and Jim Boulton

She also won the Miss Photogenic award, Miss Charity, Best in Evening
Gown and Ethnic Attire. First Runner-up was Ruphy Anne Pineda, who
represented Sindangan. Abigail Tiu of Manukan was Second Runner-up

Mari Kristine Adaza of Dapitan won Miss ZAMNAI - Internet while Polanco's Maria Theresa Simborio was chosen Miss Congeniality.

The Board of Judges was chaired by Vernie Morales, Tourism Director of the Philippine Consulate General in Chicago. Members were Harry Mueco, President,  ZAMNAC (California) and Alpha Nicolasin, host of Hataw Pinoy Chicago TV Show.

First Runner up Ruphy Anne Pineda with parents Florida Pacatang-Day and David Day.

Rem Sienes, president of the Zamboanga del Norte Association of Illinois (ZAMNAI) expressed deep appreciation to the parents and sponsoring organizations for their enormous help; including the Dipolog Association in the USA (DAUSA), Circulo de Dapitanon (CDD), Polanco Association in Illinois (POLASIL) and the Sindanganon Association of Illinois. Sienes also acknowledged the judges, emcee Edmund Nalzaro, glamour photographer Joem Bayawa, the dancers, sponsors, donors and volunteers who helped make the event a success.

Jacqueline Te pose with ZAMNAI president Rem Sienes and wife MaryAnn.

Proceeds of the event will fund the shipment of donated medical equipment to the province of Zamboanga del Norte. In a video message played at the event, Governor Rolando Yebes congratulated everyone for their outstanding effort. He also invited ZaNortians in the area to come home and join next year's "Hudyaka" celebrations.



     The medical equipment in the pictures (2 Ultrasound Machines, Mammogram, Weighing Scale, etc...) donated by the Naperville Medical Center through the auspices of the Renewed Life Philippine Mission, sits in the garage of ZaNorteans, Claude and Suzy Adriatico at their Oak Brook, Illinois residence awaiting shipment to its final recipient, the Zamboange del Norte Provincial Hospital. A couple with a big heart who are still actively contributing to the projects of ZAMNAI even if they now reside in Ohio, Claude and Suzy sacrificed parking their vehicles out of the garage to allow the organization to use the space, thus saving on the storage cost. Next task for ZAMNAI is to come up with the necessary fund to defray the shipment, costing no less than $4,000.00.

           Considering the lives saved through early detection of life threatening ailments, ZAMNAI is urging the help and generosity of ZaNorteans & Non ZaNorteans in the US and from those emphatic on the medical needs of the less fortunate to bring over the much needed medical equipment to the Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Hospital located in Dipolog City, Philippines. Also, the Philippine National Red Cross, Zamboanga del Norte Chapter is appealing for generosity to help complete the three- story building to house its Blood Bank and provide functional center for Red Cross volunteers.
           ZAMNAI President Remchile Sienes recently sent a substantial amount raised from the Poker Tournament to the Renewed Life Philippine Mission so that the hospital equipment previously donated can be shipped.
           The coming fund raising event, Miss ZaNorte Illinois 2007, is expected to generate the much needed financial assistance to support the on going ZAMNAI projects benefiting the people of Zamboanga del Norte. Final canvassing is on November 10. 2007 at the residence of Claude and Suzy  where the candidates are also having a promotional pictorial with the donated medical equipment  as the backdrop. The culminating event will be held on December 15, 2007 at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare.
           For update, please log on also to and or call remchile Sienes at 847-962-5174.