There are no less than 3,000 Kagay-anons scattered all over the world. We are almost everywhere but the greater majority are in the United States followed by Canada. In the United States, just like the rest of the Filipino demographics, 52% reside in California and most of them are in Southern California perhaps because of its friendlier climate.
Many Kagay-anons in the United States are now retirees. Victor Gabor, Girlie Velez, Maning Gabar, Alice Limena Lacson, Efleda Buhay Espiritu, Angelina Lansang have chosen to live in Cagayan de Oro in their retirement years. Jun & Berna Raagas, Amadeo Neri, Jr. and Agnes Moran in their retirement shuttle between Cagayan de Oro and California. Tony and Gingging Sabal, Gerry & Grace Sabal of Arizona spend some months in Cagayan de Oro and some months in Arizona but do a lot of traveling around the world like Bella Canaman Cristobal with her hubby, Cris. Sonny & Nena Willkom also do a lot of traveling and spend some time in Cagayan de Oro.
But many more retirees just stay put in the United States like Sonny and Joann Bacay, Lani Eparwa Singer, Daylinda Javier Abaigar, Tommy Aguirre, Nancy Willkom Berces, Tex & Dulce Luminarias, Ben & Pat Anay, Ben Varquez, Tex Bomotano, Ted Mahinay, Bobby Gaane, Shirley Buhay Neal, Margie Conlu Pascua, Richard Tompkins, Inday Lagamon Chaves, Laga Villaver Gairanod, Pansy Reyes, and many others.
During their working life, the Kagayanons have not only contributed to charities, they had also been involved and continue to lead in various fields of community leadership and in their respective churches like Grace Gaston Sabal in Arizona, Rony Ferraris in New Jersey, Carmen Dunn Quitoriano in Florida, Eddie & Chona Liloc in Washington, and many in California like Nena Willkom, Kathy Ghan Sahagun, Maria Pelola, Jeanette Santos Cuthbert, Cheet Omila Garrido, and Bella Canaman Cristobal.
The Kagayanon community leaders are Alvin Veloso in Quebec, Minda Neri in Ontario, Estela Guimoy Puyo also in Ontario, Casino Jacobssen in Washington State, Litong Roa in Washington DC, and in Northern California we have Wendy Ramos Garcia, Romeo Alvidera, and Billy Casino. In Southern California community leaders are Merle Villa Luminarias, Ging Larabaster Vinson, Gerlou Gaane, Keith Venadas, Richard Tompkins. Jun Paraguya founded and heads the People Helping People Foundation in Louisiana. Leaders in Arizona are Clyde Sabal and Inday Lagamon Chaves. In Illinois multi-awardee in the performing arts is Olive Rocha Aliga. Nic Jardin has produced Filipino cultural shows throughout Alaska. Other community leaders include Boy Vamenta, Roy Baldomero and Chita Roa Marquez in New Jersey, There are other outstanding Kagay-anns in various fields. In publishing we have magazine publisher Ophelia Gealon Hodgson in Hawaii, newspaper publisher Manny Quisumbing in New Jersey and book writer Nancy Gaane Balingasa in Texas. Then there are Kagayanons who excel in sports like Tommy Aguirre, Dicky Jacutin, Joe Garrido, and Blas Velez.
Outstanding business Kagay-anons in the U.S. are Norma Navarro, Bernie Rodriguez Sanchez, Manny & Irma Macmang, Tita Lam Bierd, Nena Lam Hayes, Ging Larrabaster Vinson, and Maria Orth.
Except for their physical appearance, the Kagayanon children are as American as apple pie. Many have stood out from their American peers like Joy Dumandan a TV anchor in Indianapolis. She anchors WISH-TV’s Daybreak, an Emmy-winning program. Winston Emano, a nephew of Cagayan de Oro’s mayor, is an Executive Director of Film and Music in Los Angeles. Aileen Jan Valdehueza Yap won the title of Miss U.S. International. She graduated as the Most Outstanding Student at the Sacred Heart School in Conroe, Texas and went on to graduate Summa cum Laude at Willis High School. Jarrel Montes is a rising stand-up comedian in Ontario, Canada. Bryan Pacana is an award-winning artist and innovator who discovered Blockwash painting.
I’m sure I missed some names of outstanding Kagay-anons and their equally outstanding children. There are just too many Kagayanons who have made names for themselves. As far as I know, these are the outstanding Kagay-anons or I must say as far as I can remember.