cesar.chito

The late Cesar “Chito” Javier.


By MARILIZ GUERRERO POLICARPIO, MD


Our Filipino community sadly lost a pillar on the morning of Dec. 23, 2017 when Cesar “Chito” Javier passed away in the Philippines.

He was 79.

Although he spent the latter part of his life in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, he is still remembered as a vibrant personality who contributed to the lives of many here in New York.

As a community and cultural leader, Javier was a force to be reckoned with.

He was the founder of the Ilocano Cultural Association, which later transitioned into the Ilocano American Association, Inc. (IAAI).

He led an energized campaign to be one of the first, if not the first, Philippine organizations in New York to purchase its own building which would house a Philippine Community Center.

This building still stands and flourishes today in Jamaica, N.Y. and is used for Filipino meetings and activities — a place where people gather to perpetuate the history, customs and culture of the Philippines.

Javier actively pursued unity and cooperation among numerous Filipino organizations in order to bolster our influence as an ethnic group in America.

He was the President of the Philippine-American Union of New York Organizations (PUNO) on a regional level, and the Vice-President (External Affairs) of the Washington, D.C.-based Filipino-American Friendship Society on the national level.

His ideals were centered on youth development, thereby starting the Miss Little Ilocana project, as well as the Junior Ilocano group.

Under his term as IAAI President, Filipino delegates to the Special Olympics, an international sporting event, were welcomed.

As a staunch supporter of the Solid North, Javier was the General Overall Coordinator of the Eastern Seaboard during the Presidential Visit of the late former Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos.

He was indeed an icon, and for his contributions to the community, he was awarded the prestigious Ethnic New Yorker Award in 1984 by the former Mayor of the City of New York Ed Koch.

Javier is survived by his wife Tita Javier and daughter Joan Javier of California.

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