Andro S. Camiling, CPA
Recipient of the PHS Centennial Outstanding Alumnus Award in the Field of Accountancy 2008
Recipient of the City of San Fernando, Pampanga's Outstanding Fernandino Award
in the Field of Culture 2011
Alejandro S. Camiling, a modern-day passionate advocate of the propagation of the Kapampangan language and culture and a conscientious researcher and writer of Kapampangan history was born in San Fernando, Pampanga to the spouses Agaton Mangio Camiling and the former Paciencia de Jesus Simon. His father was a descendant of the early settlers who cleared and cultivated the fertile lands of the historic town of Bacolor, Pampanga. The town was a former provincial capital of Pampanga and former seat of the national government of the Philippines when the British occupied the city of Manila in 1762-1763. His mother traced her maternal roots from the de Jesus and Gonzalez families of Apalit whose main livelihood was farming and fishing and her paternal roots from the Torres and Simon families who derived their primary source of income from the blacksmith industry brought by the legendary Panday Pira to the early settlements along the routes of the Pampanga River.
Alejandro attended San Juan Elementary School in San Juan, San Fernando, Pampanga and graduated as valedictorian in 1950. He completed his secondary education in 1954 at the Pampanga High School in his hometown of San Fernando which became a component city on February 4, 2001. He wrote for the school organ as a sportswriter covering the sports tournaments in Pampanga and Central Luzon. In his senior year, he edited the Sports Section of “The Pampangan”. Due to financial difficulty, Alejandro was not able to pursue his college education not until after four years he graduated from high school. He landed a seasonal job at his father's employer, the Pampanga Sugar Development Company. While saving some of his earnings, he took up vocational courses in typing, stenography and bookkeeping at the Toledano Vocational School (now East Central Colleges) in San Fernando. In 1958, he was able to matriculate as a working student at the College of Commerce of Guagua National Colleges in Guagua, Pampanga and graduated with an Associate degree in Commercial Science at the top of his class as Cum Laude in 1960.
Determined to overcome poverty, Alejandro enrolled in the evening accounting classes at Far Eastern University in Manila while working during the day at the Accounting Department of Pampanga Sugar Development Company in San Fernando. As a commuter student, he took the 4:00 PM bus of La Mallorca in San Fernando to catch up with his first class of the day at 5:30 PM and boarded the last trip of the night at 9:30 PM in Manila bound for either Bataan or Tarlac. He finally graduated with a bachelor's degree in Commerce in 1962 and took the 1963 CPA Review Classes. While reviewing for the CPA board examination, he took an unpaid leave of absence from his employment at PASUDECO and accepted an accounting position at Negros Stevedoring Corporation in Manila under the management of Atty. Roberto S. Benedicto who became in later years a cabinet member and presidential adviser during the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos. In his first try, Alejandro passed the national licensure for Certified Public Accountants in the Philippines in 1964.
In March 1963, Alejandro married his fiancée, the former Teresita Manalansan Zuniga of Lubao, Pampanga, an educator by profession. Together, they raised their four children in California where they migrated in March 1969. The four Zuniga-Camiling offsprings who all attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California and very successful in their respective professions are: Theresa, Field Office Director of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in Los Angeles, California who also served as Chairperson of the Federal Executive Board of Greater Los Angeles, California (Council of Heads of United States Federal Agencies); Ador, a doctor of dental surgery (DDS) in Bellflower, California; Alain, a Contracting Officer at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California and Leanne Marie, a public school teacher in Hawthorne, California.
Returning to Pampanga Sugar Development Company in 1964 after his leave of absence, Alejandro was eventually promoted to Chief of the Internal Auditing Department in 1966 by the General Manager, Gerry Rodriguez. He also established his accounting practice as a CPA and started teaching accounting and auditing courses in the evening at East Central Colleges in San Fernando City and at Guagua National Colleges. He also fulfilled his religious obligations by joining the Knights of Columbus and the Cursillos in Christianity.
Obsessed by the quest for graduate studies and better economic opportunities, Alejandro migrated to California with his family in March 1969 and started working for the University of Southern California in Los Angeles as a staff accountant and took up classes in legal environment, tax laws and professional ethics at the School of Business Administration in the same institution to meet the requirements for taking the Certified Public Accountants examination for licensure in the state of California. He also received a diploma for Advanced Executive Management at USC and attended grants and contracts administration courses at the University of Oklahoma and University of South Florida. As he gained more experience, he became a Senior Budget Analyst, a Senior Staff Officer, an Associate Director and moved up to the Accounting/Financial Director position. He also practiced his CPA profession on a part time basis specializing in taxation and management consulting.
Always conscious of his Philippine heritage particularly Kapampangan, Alejandro initiated the formation of the association of Filipino-Americans in the cities of Pasadena and Altadena in the state of California USA in order to inculcate in the minds of young Filipino-Americans their ethnic Philippine heritage, the history, language and culture of their ancestors at the same time encouraging them to exert extra effort in their studies. As president of the Filipino-American Community in the suburbs of Los Angeles, he raised funds for scholarships and prizes for academic achievements. Over the years, he was invited to join and became a director and executive vice president of the Philippine-American Society of CPAs for educational growth, networking and assistance to aspiring CPAs in California. He was also admitted to membership in the California Society of CPAs, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Society of Cost Estimating and Analysis in America.
Not forgetting his Kapampangan roots, Alejandro helped in the establishment of Apalitenos of Southern California and through his expertise in the administration of nonprofit organizations he was able to obtain for the association an approval from the United States Internal Revenue Service and the Secretary of State of California as a tax exempt not for Profit Corporation. He did the same tasks for the Lubenians of California, the Mexico, Pampanga Association USA and the United Pampanga Leaders Council. Through Alejandro's initiative, all of these California-based organizations promoted Kapampangan language and culture and raised funds for charitable and cultural projects in California and in Pampanga. His effort in helping fellow Kapampangans and Filipinos in general was rewarded by his selection as an outstanding member during the Inaugural and Anniversary Balls of these aforementioned socio-civic organizations.
As a true-blue Kapampangan, Alejandro was inspired to start in 1996 his research on Kapampangan, history, language and culture by visiting museums and libraries as well as interviewing Kapampangan people who knew local history and culture. He read shelves and shelves of Philippine history books. He documented his research findings and commenced writing about the Kapampangan people - their unique language, their culture and their history. Together with many fellow Kapampangans residing in the continental USA and in Pampanga led by Marc Nepomuceno of Maryland and his younger brother, David Nepomuceno of New York, Fr. Ed Abano of New Jersey, United States Navy Lt. Commander Vic Sibal of Virginia and many others who also strongly advocated the propagation of Kapampangan language and culture, they met for two days in Jersey City and New York City in September 1997. In the same meetings attended by Alejandro and his wife of California, the attendees put together their ideas and made plans and strategies to stop the decreasing number of Kapampangan-speaking people all over the world. The meetings paved the way for the creation of the Kapampangan Discussion Group in the Internet, the Batiauan Foundation and the Kapampangan Studies Center. Such initiatives awakened fellow Kapampangans that if they would not do anything on their own, they may lose in future years their unique language and culture they inherited from their ancestors.
Alejandro created his Kapampangan website (http://www-rcf.usc.edu/~camiling/) to put on the international map of the Internet his native province of Pampanga, its towns and cities as well as the great people of Pampanga. His website contains most of his research findings and publications such as the History of Pampanga, town history of Apalit, Lubao, Masantol, Mexico, Minalin, Santo Tomas, San Simon, San Luis and San Fernando City, Biographies of Famous Kapampangans such as Governor Macario Arnedo, Lt. Gen. Gregorio Camiling, Dr. Vicente Catacutan, Justice Jose Gutierrez David, Brig. Gen. Romeo S. David, Senator Rogelio de la Rosa, International Award-winning Artist Vicente Alvarez Dizon, UP President and Bureau of Education Director Jose Escaler, Secretary of Education Bro. Andrew Gonzalez, President Diosdado Macapagal, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Vice Adm. Armando Q. Madamba, Architect Nestor S. Mangio, Poet Laureate Delfin T. Quiboloy, Justice Jose Abad Santos, Brig. General Marcos G. Soliman, Governor Honorio Ventura, and Poet Laureate and Congressman Amado Yuzon. He also wrote a Primer on Kapampangan-Tagalog-English Common Expressions, Malay Relation with Kapampangan Language and Culture and Spanish Relation with Kapampangan Language and Culture which are uploaded in Andro's Kapampangan Page and linked to other Philippine websites. His articles on Pampanga towns’ history were also published in the souvenir programs of town fiestas and in the souvenir programs of Pampanga town associations in the USA, Canada and other countries where Kapampangans congregate.
In recognition of Andro Camiling's valuable contribution in promoting Kapampangan language and culture and as a world-renowned authority on Kapampangan history and culture as well as a researcher and biographer, he was nominated for the 2006, 2007 and 2010 Most Outstanding Kapampangan Award for Arts and Culture by the Pampanga High School Class of 1954 Alumni Association. He was endorsed by the Center of Kapampangan Studies headed by Mr. Robby Tantingco, Vice President of Student Affairs at Holy Angel University; Mrs. Josie D. Henson, (page 2) 2004 MOKA Awardee and president of Akademyang Kapampangan and Defenders of Indigenous Languages Association in the Philippines; Nestor Mangio, Chairman of Diosdado Macapagal International Airport; and by His Excellency, Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, D. D. of the Archdiocese of San Fernando (Pampanga, Philippines).
In conjunction with the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Cityhood of San Fernando, the TOFA Executive Committee had chosen Alejandro S. Camiling as recipient of The Outstanding Fernandino Award 2011 in the Field of Culture. This award is the most prestigious of all awards conferred by the City of San Fernando on her sons and daughters who have excelled in their respective field of endeavors or professions, amply demonstrated competence of the highest degree and conducted themselves with integrity.
Andro's family in 2007
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