By Julia Carreon-Lagoc
March 27, 2016
A most delightful, beautifully designed invitation popped up in my Inbox a week before the big event: Birthday Masquerade Ball, March 19, 2016. A Birthday Party that is also a Masquerade Ball? How fascinating and engaging, from where I was stuck in my computer.
For one who has been long away from the hubbub of the Filipino community in South Carolina, the invitation was invigorating. This seventy-ager (Psst, going on 80) was looking forward to meeting up with friends, missed 3 years or so ago. Time to look for a mask in the department stores. And a gift, too.
The invite mentioned six birthday celebrants. How can you gift all six? I might empty my purse. Well, the solution was right there in a note: Preferred Gifts: Lottery Tickets. And the recipients, rather celebrants, were enumerated thus: Please join us in an evening of merriment and elegance celebrating the birthdays of Violeta Serrano, Cora Elliott, Solly Miciano, Debbie Schroeder, Ilda Navaez and Ellier. Wow! Happy Birthday in advance!
Why birthday celebration with a difference? When the wheels of fortune crank out the winning numbers, the prize will be shared by the gifted as well as by the gifter. A toast to generosity and friendliness! Hey, Lady Luck, shower us your blessings!
The chosen site: Port Royal Plantation Beach House at South Port Royal Drive on Hilton Head Island, the famous island resort in South Carolina. Never more will you see ladies in gorgeous gowns, their beauty hidden by masks. Where’s my friend Criseng? Hey, girl, please unmask. Got you smiling. Smiles were so irresistible, as the finished products of the photo op revealed.
Being far from the home country, the Filipino finds solace and joy in the activities of the Filipino community. A week before the Birthday bash was the St. Patrick’s Day Potluck Party, March 13, arranged by Eileen Roque-Buckalew — dynamic, ever dependable founding member of the Fil-Am Association since its establishment in 2003.
Here’s where sweet reminiscence is in order — a bit of history, excerpts from a previous article: “It was Eileen who undertook the entire nitty-gritty for the 2009 St. Patrick’s Day participation in the absence of Prexy Florence who was out of town. Eileen secured and decorated the convertible whose owner Veep Richard had earlier contacted. In lieu of candies, Richard handed out fliers for the forthcoming Family & Children’s Expo on April 2. Special thanks to my fellow Ilongga Linda Patron who brought the Philippine flag and kimonas and barongs for those who didn’t have Filipino costume. And there was Eileen’s whole kit and caboodle—hubby Jeff driving the spruced up convertible and kids Ian and Caitlin giving out candies to fellow kids in the parade route. My dear [now departed] Rudy, attired in Barong Tagalog, waved to the crowd atop the convertible, so did my granddaughter Danika, lovely in Balintawak.”
The Stateside life of the Pinoy sparkles from the activities conducted by the Fil-Am association. Hearts and minds will converge in FAABC’s next big event: Barrio Fiesta, June 12,2016, in celebration of Philippines Independence Day. At the helm are the current FAABC officers: President, Alvin Arcayan; Vice President, Beth Pelletier; Treasurer, Leo Balistreri; Assistant Treasurer. Lucie Bevan; Auditor, Jemyma Gervero; Sergeant at Arms, Teddy Caasi, Mark Huber, Sheila Mescal; Secretary, Roselle Edmalin; Assistant Secretary, Cora Elliott; Public Relations Officer, Edna Curnell, Tim Wilkes.
The objectives of the Association as set forth in its constitution are worth framing: (a) To promote and protect the interests of Filipinos/Filipino-Americans and their families in this locality; (b) To cultivate unity and cooperation among all Filipinos/Filipino-Americans; (c) To foster and establish better relations and understanding between Filipinos and non-Filipinos; (d) To foster and instill civic spirit and cultural pride among Filipinos/Filipino-Americans; and (e) To coordinate with the city, county, state and national officials in all matters affecting the welfare of all Filipinos/Filipino-Americans. The very things to be enshrined in every Pinoy heart wherever s/he may find her/himself in the U.S. of A.
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