Then & Now: A Brief History of TAPOK

Feb 7, 2019

by Wendy Ramos-Garcia

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The idea of gathering Kagay-anons living abroad was a seed planted by the late Roy C. Gaane, founder and president of Kagayanon International (KI). 

Tapok 2017 San Francisco officers


Roy was instrumental in drawing up a list of Kagay-anons who had migrated to the United States by keeping track of new arrivals, ultimately connecting everyone via his KI Newsletter.It was through said newsletter that homesick Kagay-anons heard fresh news about recent happenings back home and learned about recent arrivals. 

Remember that all this took place before the age of computers, emails and Facebook. Everything had to be done manually through a typewriter and painstakingly sent out by snail mail.

One thing led to another setting off the first big gathering of Kagay-anons in Chicago in 1982.  This reunion of sorts evolved through the years and is now popularly referred to as TAPOK. This biggest gathering of town mates from the old hometown is now on its 17th event, covering a span of 36 years from its initial inception.

TAPOK through the Years

1982    Chicago                       1996   San Francisco       2007    Las Vegas         2017   San Francisco

1984    Los Angeles                1998   Las Vegas             2009     New Jersey    

1986    Toronto                       2001    Houston               2011    Los Angeles       

1988    Seattle                         2003    San Diego            2013    Toronto

1992    New York                   2005    Honolulu              2015     Vancouver


The last TAPOK held on August 4 to 6, 2017 was hosted by the Kagay-anons of Northern California, headed by President Peter Garcia, 20 long years since it played host way back in 1996.


What is it about TAPOK that generates so much interest and excitement?


It is during TAPOK where you will encounter childhood friends and neighbors, classmates and cousins and make new friends. It is akin to being “home” because for 3 full days, you will be in the company of people who are like family since you all share a common town, common friends and similar childhood experiences and memories. That is TAPOK’s magnetic and enduring allure.


Every single TAPOK has been unique, successful and special in its own way. The forthcoming one to be hosted by the Cagayan de Oro – Misamis Oriental Association of New York on July 26 – 28, 2019 promises to be no different in that it will be just as much fun, memorable and exciting as all the previous ones.


Mayor Oscar Moreno and Mrs Moreno arrive at the Hilton San Francisco Aor[prt Bayfront Hotel for the 16th Tapok.

But, it will be slightly different because this time, there will be not just Cagayanons but also Misamisnons, that is people coming from the different towns comprising Misamis Oriental.


However, the hosts are reminded about the raison d’être for which TAPOK was set up. Roy’s original intent should be honored and maintained – this social gathering is meant for people from our City and Province, not for inhabitants coming from other islands. The goal is not numbers but to establish the same camaraderie present in all previous TAPOKs.



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