The Kayumanggi Society of Philadelphia was organized in 1974 by its founders Dr. E'Austin Johnson II, Melba Jabier and Ray Tapales. It was conceived as a social, non-profit entity to foster brotherhood and involvement in the Filipino community in our area.

The Society started having meetings in 1978 in their clubhouse at 433 West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia. The clubhouse became the vantage point where the society would meet and discuss matters that are of prime importance to the furtherance of the Society's goals and intentions.

The real big step was taken by the Society when it acquired a 3-story house located on South 5th Street and transformed it as their clubhouse. Years later, this property was sold because of a lack of property maintenance person.

Maria Umali Velez
Past President and pillar of the Filipino community in Philadelphia. Famous for her kindness and generosity her entire life.

Call it luck or providential, the Society was steered by leaders with dedication and zeal. Among them were Dr. E'Austin Johnson, Raul Gesmundo, Teddy Medrana, Lambert Santos, Cora Reyes, Ronnie Bautro, Marina Bodiasi, Maria Velez, who served as Presidents during their terms and Jimmy Soriano who took the Society into the new millennium.

The centerpiece of the Society's effort is the annual recognition given to "Outstanding Parents of the Year" which is awarded to a couple in our area which have proven themselves successful by focusing their energies on the educational attainment of their children. Among the recipients of this prestigious award are: Saturnino and Belillia Torregosa(1992); Apolinario Sr. and Filisa Miranda(1993); Godofredo and Pilar(1994); David and Catalina Fontanilla(1995); Mr. & Mrs. Esmilla(1996); Simon and Leonida Mercado(1997); Jesus and Flory Laurencio(1998); and Mar and Vicky Arocena(1999) who during their term carried the KSOP scepter to the new millennium.

The Society have led the way in community support, spearheading various campaigns to support our needy
kababayans, even visiting seafarers who happened to be hospitalized in our area, and also by giving support to other Filipino-American associations.

Guided by the precepts as set forth in its mission, the Society have proven itself all this time to adhere to the keywords which set forth the tone of our actions: service to our members and the community, equality for all, and integrity in everything that we do.

The Society is both lucky and honored to have Mr. Lambert Santos and Mrs. Maria Velez on its board. They have continually proven themselves to be a constant source of inspiration and a fountainhead of wisdom in guiding the Society to where it is now.

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