Historical Glimpse
The beginning of the USAA | Presidents of the USAA

The birth of an organization

It was on June 3, 1979 when the first organizational meeting was held at the residence of Phil and Cleo Elimanco in Edison, New Jersey. This was presided by the late Dr. Rene Maquiling who acted as chairman of the meeting with Lucita Jongoy Krahn acting as secretary to record the proceedings of this historic gathering.

A second meeting was held on September 9, 1979 at Cunningham Park, NY. In this meeting the late Ex-Mayor Diego Millan put in motion, duly seconded and unanimously carried, that the interim officers named on June 3 be voted as the officers of the association.

The purposes and objectives of the association are, primarily, "to close ranks and forge unity among Surigueños in America; foster a stronger and more active fellowship and brotherhood among its members; uphold the dignity and honor of the Filipinos in foreign lands; and assist in every possible way in the establishment of a progressive and prosperous Filipino community." Secondarily, the association aims, among others, "to raise funds, accept donations, acquire or own properties, of whatever kind and nature, dispose of the same for the benefits of the members and their families in times of need and stress; and to get involved in social, cultural, religious and civic activities and in laudable projects and undertakings for the improvements of the Filipino community."

The first induction and ball was held at the Holiday Inn, NY on August 16, 1980, with the late Hon. Governor Jose Sering as inducting officer and guest speaker. The officers inducted were: Clarito Sering - President, Lilia U. Tiujongco - Vice President, Loida M. Layno - Treasurer, Lucita J. Krahn - Secretary, Mars del Carmen - Auditor, Eleno Monares - Business Manager and Ven Makiling - Press Relations Officer.

Inducted as advisers were Ex-Mayor Diego Millan, Phil Elimanco, Gloria C. Toralballa Ph.D., and the late Dr. Rene Maquiling along with Rev. Fr. Cesar Gatela - Spiritual Adviser and the late Charlo Almeda - Legal Adviser.

The Presidents of the USAA

Clarito Sering, 1980 - 1985 (founding president)
Felipe Elimanco, 1985 - 1987
Alfonso Iriberri, 1987 - 1989
Regina Basalatan, 1989 - 1993
Felino Catelo, 1993 - 1995
Ariel Silvosa, 1995 - 1997
Mars del Carmen, 1997 - 1999
Lilia Rodriguez, 1999 - 2001
Teresita Vales, 2001 - 2005
Doroteo Digao, (incumbent president)