It was a perfect 25th Anniversary of the founding of Quezon Province Association of Manitoba, a warm salute to the 70th death anniversary of the former Commonwealth President Manuel Luis Quezon (a prominent son of Quezon Province (Tayabas), and to top them all, this silver anniversary has become the living showcase of the beauty and glamour of our national treasure, the Filipina “terno” and the “barong”; and added to the event last August 22 at Viscount Gort Hotel, is the “Rigodon de Honor” ,the gliterati of the bygone eras, the “Rigodon de Honor”, when the illustrados of the pueblos (towns) and capitolios (capital city) showed the finery of the Filipino costumes during fiesta, New Year’s and inauguration balls; and a touch of class decor by Justin Merluza, making the ambience of the grandhall as an added feature to the glamour and glitz of the evening.
“I have never seen many ladies and men wearing the “ternos” and the “barongs”,” said one of the guests.
“This is something nostalgic as I remember my grandmother, in her photo, she was wearing a terno made in sinamay (pineapple fiber) fabric, so beautifully embroidered, and fashionably crafted,” another guest quipped.
The hermanas and hermanos mayores since its foundation were honored. Recognized at the celebration include Olie and Precy Merluza, 2014 Mayuhan Hermano and Hermana Mayores; Cassey Ignacio, Reyna Elena; MaCCFA’s reigning queen, Precy Merluza, Mrs. Philippines-Manitoba 2014. The program was emceed by Alden Novallasca and Hannah Chan-Urbano. Maggie “Maan” Chan-Urbano, president, led the celebration with the other QPAM offices: Rowena Arquero and Olie Merluza, vice-presidents, external and internal respectively; Kristy Andrade, treas.; Norman Padilla, secretary; Bong Profeta, asst. treas.; Glen Relis, asst. secretary; Ed Aquino, auditor; Cocoy Aguilar, asst. auditor; Eddie Padilla and Anjo Maling, pros; Pipo Sarmiento, Mandy Habito, Alden Novallasca, directors;Rod Cantiveros, Nattie Aquino, Normita Cymbalisty, Leah Enverga-Magsino, Fe Cahatol and Jhun Manzanilla, advisers.
“Rigodon de Honor” participants include: QPAM officers: Maggie and Frank Urbano, Olie and Precy Merluza, Eddie Revilla and Rowena Arquero, Norman and Candy Padilla, Rick and Kristy Andrade, and Bobby and Glenda Relis; QPAM Youth: Norman Relis and Hannah Chan Urbano, Carlo Maling and Aubrey Manahan; guests: Mel and Rochelle Buenaventure; Gigi and her son, Jimmy Shand; UGAT:Rod Cantiveros and Normita Cumbalisty, Mannie and Nattie Aquino, Leah Enverga Magsino and Gil Lakandula; QPAM members: Ben and Fe Cahatol, Tex and Carmen de Luna, Adelfo Glodoviza and Lilia Merluza, Jhun and Julie Manzanilla, Manny and Precy Fabre, Ernie and Vangie Natoza, Abdon and Lolita Chan.
Normita Cymbalisty, one of the QPAM advisers, noted the history of QPAM and Manuel Luis Quezon; and Hannah and Alden did a special trivia about Pres. Manuel Quezon when he allowed, in a notable humanitarian gesture, in cooperation with the United States High Commissioner Paul V. McNutt, facilitated and allowed the entry into the Philippines the more than 3,000 Jewish Refugees fleeing the Hitler regimes in Europe, and who were rejected by the United States and Canada, only to settle in the Philippines where they established some notable businesses like Estrella del Norte,one of the most popular jewellery stores and the well-known pharmacy, Botica Boie, in Escolta Manila.
The event planner and design of the anniversary celebration were handled by Just-inCouture by Justin Merluza, owner and creative director. Public dancing followed.
Indeed, QPAM’s 25th anniversary is the celebration of our Filipino heritage and culture, at its finest!
Photos by Alden Novallasca, Norman Padilla and Rod Cantiveros | Filipino Journal