Naomi Palma Armada: community Leader Par Excellence

Naomi P. Armada: June 29, 1929 - June 10, 2015

Naomi P. Armada: June 29, 1929 – June 10, 2015

By Ludy A. Ongkeko, Ph.D.

To understand Naomi Palma Armada, a formidable voice in the Filipino American Community, is to understand how the Philippine Heritage Institute International emerged to advance the cause of the Filipino in America.

When Naomi established the Philippine Heritage Institute (PHI), as a non-profit
organization in 1989, she had zeroed in on how the Filipino American youth could
move forward through development programs and the promotion of Philippine
culture. Her timing was right. The then President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary
came to Los Angeles in January 1998.

The Clintons had just organized the White House Millennium Council the previous year, August 1997.

In her role as executive director of PHI, Naomi was invited to join the aforementioned Council, meant to discuss Agenda-21, Ways to Commemorate the Millennium whose theme was: “Honor the Past, Imagine the Future.”

She likewise chose the Millennium Recognition Awards to pay tribute to outstanding individuals whose contributions “enhanced the quality of life in the community.”

Naomi selected ‘our nurses for their hands-on above and beyond compassionate service, volunteerism and their sheer numbers in the Health Care workplace.’

From the first White House Millennium Tribute awarded to the “Twenty Outstanding Filipino American Nurses” whose roles were recognized in October 1999, those ‘seeds of the nursing advocacy,” sown by PHI were nurtured over time.

In the more than a quarter of a century since its founding in 1989, the Philippine
Heritage Institute International (PHII), has proven how it has served as the catalyst of
Philippine culture and ideals. The Smithsonian Institution has documented the organization’s participation in the Centennial of the First Filipino U.S. Migration, the United Nations International Year of the Nurse in 2010, and the International Year of the
Youth in 2011.

In its modest participation, PHII did respond with its zeal and fervor to the multi-nation initiatives that have underscored civic responsibility to make this world a better place.

Naomi Armada was inducted as Board member of the Filipino American Press Club of Los Angeles ( est. 1978), Inc. with author, Cecile Ochoa, Lou Sabas, Dante Ochoa, Muni Zano and Evelyn Portugal, President 2014- 2016.  Inducting Officer, L.A. Superior Court judge Ralph A. Ongkeko.  TetBee photography

Naomi Armada was inducted as Board member of the Filipino American Press Club of Los Angeles ( est. 1978), Inc. with author, Cecile Ochoa, Lou Sabas, Dante Ochoa, Muni Zano and Evelyn Portugal, President 2014- 2016. Inducting Officer, L.A. Superior Court judge Ralph A. Ongkeko. TetBee photography

Three years ago, the very first time it happened, a tribute, the PHII’s Founder’s Award, was conferred on the Philippine News, as a member of the Fourth Estate, as it celebrated its golden anniversary as a ‘prestigious vehicle of information whose integrity has stood the test of time.’

The same award recognized how the publication ‘upholds the principles of honest,
dignified and prudent journalism.’

Responding to the spirit of Filipino unity and patriotism, a realization of PHII’s
pledge to be a benefactor to the Dr. Jose P. Rizal Monument Movement, Naomi led the
way to mark that celebration, as the monument continues to stand in all that it represents:
the symbol of freedom and justice in the International Sculpture Garden in the City of
Carson, California.

Naomi was the widow of Lamberto R. Armada, member of Class ’53, Philippine
Military Academy, not only as an ‘original officer and a gentleman,’ but was likewise ‘an accomplished public servant in the military.’

They had eight children: Anna (Bing); Antonio Lamberto II (Bert); Amelia (Bambi); Alvin (Butch, deceased); Arthur (Jojo); Arnold, Angelyn (Angie); and Andrew,
all known to have “A-names” to ‘match’ Naomi’s “alpha personality.” She had
18 grandchildren, ages 6-32, “who are all thriving in their respective fields.”

A literary icon, Naomi was a pillar of the Filipino American Press Club of Los Angeles, Inc., established in 1978, and was known by her colleagues as one who served their organization with the same dedication she professed in all her community
affiliations.

Whenever the theme of love of country will come up, the name of Naomi Palma
Armada will, without doubt, be remembered. She has, in her multi-faceted ways,
rendered a record of service that was distinctively hers, one without parallel in a land
away from her homeland. Yet, notably unforgettable!



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