Neriza Tan Pineda, Mrs. Sampaguita USA 2016 | Photo by Clyde Cavada

The Honorary title of Mrs. Sampaguita USA is bestowed upon an active female community leader who has demonstrated outstanding support for the mission and goals of The Sampaguita Group. The co-founders of The Sampaguita Group select the honorary title recipient in confidence. She is then revealed, for the first time, at The Annual Sampaguita Ball.


Neriza was born in Nueva Ecija and raised in Pampanga, Philippines. She’s been living in the United States for 23 years, with her loving husband, Edwin. She is the eldest of four siblings.

Neriza holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, and majored in Accounting. Currently, she works as an accountant for the Municipal Pension Fund of Chicago. She and Edwin have been blessed with two children, Justin (24) and Nicole (21). She says that seeing her kids grow up has been such a blessing.

“I’ve passed those times already of changing diapers, dropping and picking them off from school, etc. Now that they are both grownups, my husband and I are very much involved in a lot of social activities.”

These activities include ballroom dancing, and volunteering to raise funds to help the needy. Neriza support numerous of clubs and organizations, including The Sampaguita Group. Being involved with community organizations that do good work has been beneficial in building confidence, and introducing them to many new friends within the Filipino American community.

Ballroom dancing is Neriza’s recreation. She and Edwin love and enjoy every minute of it. She ascribes to the saying,

“You don’t stop dancing because you grow old, but you grow old because you stop.”