WE CALL HER "AUNTIE GUSSIE"

Gussie Jagod is one of the primary founders of The P.A.Y.O. It is because of her vision to create a safe, fun and culture-filled environment for the youth of Tacoma that the organization is what it is today. She has been and continues to be the Cultural Director of our group. She has taught and continues to teach the children all the dances that have made The P.A.Y.O. so well known around our region.

Auntie Gussie finally received the recognition she deserves for all the work she's done, not only for the youth who have been part of The P.A.Y.O, but for the Philippine & Asian community in general around the State of Washington. In 2008, Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire declared May 10 as Gussie Jagod Day! The certificate was presented to her by the Korean Women's Association at a surprise birthday party in her honor. The event was put together and attended by the very people she has loved and taken cared of for many years.

 

 

THE BEGINNINGS OF THE P.A.Y.O.

This non-profit organization was established in Tacoma, WA in 1992. In order to involve the main stream community of Tacoma and to attract the youth in our area, the group began with two primary youth programs: basketball and cultural dance. In 1993, they expanded their activities to include training in video/audio broadcasting through the Pilipino T.V. station called Mabuhay. The youth were taken into the field for actual participation. This was then followed by radio broadcasting live through the station 1635 KKMO. The karate program was later added to promote strength, agility and wisdom.

Meanwhile, the cultural dance program continued to attract new members as they performed in major events around the Puget Sound. Although the group's primary focus is the Pilipino culture, our members have evolved and now includes people from different cultural backgrounds and communities.

Today, The P.A.Y.O. continues to participate in major community events such as the Ethnic Festival at Wright Park, the Jr Daffodil Parade at Proctor, and the Seafair Pista sa Nayon at Seward Park in Seattle. In addition, they also perform for other public and private functions including school and church events.

On June 13, 2000, the group was recognized by the City of Tacoma's "City of Destiny Award" for it's outstanding contributions to the community, specifically for it's youth initiatives.