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Greater Washington Alpha Phi Omega

The Greater Washington Alpha Phi Omega (GWAPO) was established on May 11, 2003 to re-confirm its commitment to the principles of Leadership, Friendship and Service (LFS), to ensure that it accepts only bona-fide members of APO within its ranks, and to implement programs pursuant to APO’s principles. GWAPO submitted an application for a charter with APO Philippines in October 31, 2006, was subsequently granted Charter No. 175 on April 17, 2007 that was formally awarded during the National Biennial Convention in Tagaytay City Philippines.


GWAPO’s activities encompass community service, cultural and educational activities, and community leadership. It engages in Adopt-A-Park service projects, medical/dental missions, homeless feeding programs, fundraisers to benefit Philippine indigents and other projects. 

GWAPO members have volunteered for over 15 years in the annual Pagdiriwang festival at the Seattle Center as the festival’s operations group, helping build a stronger community in partnership with other Filipino organizations. 

GWAPO sponsored, by itself or in partnership with other organizations, performances by Philippine groups such as the De La Salle University Chorale (2004, 2010), the Nightingales (2016), the Integrated Performing Arts Guild (IPAG) of the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (2006), the UST Singers (2004) and the Saranay of Edmonton, Canada (2001).  These activities highlight GWAPO’s role as a supporter of arts and culture in the greater Seattle area. 

In service to the fraternity, GWAPO supported the ETA Chapter (UP Diliman) Alumni Association of North America Foundation, Inc. (ETAANA) on July 2-5, 2009 at Cornet Bay, Washington, raised funds for purposes such as the support for scholarships for indigent elementary school students in cooperation with the APO International Sorority Sisters in Service (ISIS), and contributed to medical assistance to APO members in the Philippines.

As part of its service and friendship to the Filipino community at large, GWAPO engaged in several adopt-a-park projects and joint camping fellowship with Olympia-based Filipino groups at Cornet Bay, WA July 1-5, 2011. In September 2011, GWAPO gave the social hall and the patio of the Ronald United Methodist Church (RUMC) a much-needed cleaning and power washing. 

In service to the nation, GWAPO raises funds and collects relief goods for victims of natural disasters in the Philippines. It co-sponsored with APO MANDIN and the Office of the Vice President of the Philippines two medical and dental missions: (a) May 2, 2011 in Boac, Marinduque, and (b) April 9, 2012 in Barangays Canat, Boi and Bayute, all in Marinduque. Its last project for 2017 was the collection of goods for flood-ravaged Caba and other areas in La Union.

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Listed as charter members with their respective chapters and batch years were:

  • Gaylord B. Arata, Iota Zeta 1990-C

  • Melanie Q. Corcoro-Paredes (Vice-President), Alpha 1979

  • Gerardo P. Duque (Adviser), Pi 1962-1963

  • Jose C. Gonzales, Epsilon Omicron 1985-A

  • Rufino S. Ignacio (Adviser), Eta 1960-A

  • Rodolfo P. Mendoza (Treasurer), Beta 1986-B

  • Ernesto T. Paragas, Jr., (Adviser), Epsilon Tau 1976

  • Juan Pablo A. Paredes, Eta 1973-A

  • Dante P. Pielago, Beta 1981-B

  • Chito A. Refuerzo (Secretary), Alpha Omicron 1969-B

  • Manuel A. Reyes, Alpha Zeta 1966

  • Reuben R. Roque (Auditor), Gamma Iota 1985

  • Noel V. Santos (President), Beta Pi 1977-B


Past Presidents of GWAPO are: Founding President Chito Refuerzo (2003 and2004), Rufino S. Ignacio (2004-2006), Noel V. Santos (2006 and 2007), Ernesto T. Paragas, Jr. (2007-2009), Caesar S. Mitre (2010 and 2011), Reuben Roque (2012 and 2013), Leslie Arthur de la Cruz (2014 and 2015).  Bro. Guidz N. Pacada is the current President (2016 and 2017). Incoming President for 2018 is Bro. Earl Jeremy “EJ” Hangsitang, Beta Sigma chapter 2002.

GWAPO participated in the first Regional Conference of the Administrative Region of North America (ARNA), San Diego, CA, December 4, 2010.  It sent a delegation to the 2012 Alumni Council of North America meeting in Sta. Clarita. In all these activities, fellowship is the common thread that binds the members, making otherwise challenging activities fun and fulfilling. GWAPO has at least 38 active and 20 on-leave members.

GWAPO was instrumental in the establishment of the Administrative Region of North America (ARNA), a foreign region of APO Philippines. The current ARNA Regional Director Bro. Dan Razon and Deputy Regional Director Damian Barrameda are GWAPO members.

GWAPO is a proud sponsor and supporter of Pagdiriwang for the past 20 years and is a loyal partner of the Filipino Cultural Heritage Society of Washington in organizing Pagdiriwang events.

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