Of Joys and Sadness

kutitapThe community is still buzzin’ with activities after the boisterous summer. The merriment has not died down. There are weekends when two or even three events happen on the same date. This is a good indicator that we are still very much into volunteerism mode and celebratory mood, thus, the “bayanihan spirit ” is very much alive.  Importantly, there’s still a lot of energy left till the end of the year. With this mindset, we say “never a dull moment” the whole year round. Some remaining events for the year that I know of for October, November and December, have already been completed and invitations sent out.

The Filipino American Republicans of Virginia or FARV has just finished their Gala Ball and Awards night. The PAFC’s “Dakila Awards” is all set to happen end of September. For October, there’s the by invitation only dinner to honor Cris Comerford, the WH Executive Chef. the Bicol Association gala night headed by Yvonne Horneffer, then, The Philippine American Foundation for Charities group for their “Alay” fund raising concert event, featuring Rodney Garcia and his band. Recipients are the Gawad Kalinga and Feed the Hungry. For the not too far away November events, we see Tessie and Pablito Alarcon moving around to robustly invite people to their “Feed the Hungry” dinner dance. The NAFFAA local chapter will also hold their forum. December is also fast approaching. The annual “Paskong Pinoy,” co-sponsored by the Embassy of the Philippines and PAFC, are being set up. The APO group will also hold their Christmas holiday event.

It takes the organizers and attendees to make these events happen. Thanks to their jovial spirit, kindness, generosity and commitment. We love to celebrate, get together and enjoy each other’s company. But there are also sad events when friends and their families in the community pass away or experience medical challenges. In joy and in sadness we are together as a community and we manifest the same spirit of kindness and generosity.

The Aloran Reunion
About one hundred fifty Aloranons arrived from all over the U.S. and Canada to celebrate their 3rd reunion in the Washington, DC area. This recent event was headed by energetic Dr. Jovy Eusebio, past president of the PMA. The three-day event of sight seeing, gala ball and picnic was highlighted by the program during the gala ball. Each U.S. region presented a number comprised of either dance, songs or skit. The Washington, DC presentation, which Jovy directed was a hilarious skit depicting antics of local characters and daily life scenarios in that little town of Aloran. They were the homely housewives, the fish vendors, mayor, mailman, policeman, “lasenggero” (drunkards), jeepney driver and his jeepney, “sabungero,” students, and Miss Aloran revolving in familiar places like their homes, market, plaza and gym cum auditorium. I helped Jovy put together the skit. Rehearsals were a little challenging to me because of language barrier. They tend to speak their Visayan dialect when they see each other and many times, unconsciously to me. Jun, Jovy’s husband, also a Tagalog, just watched during the rehearsals.

This group of people from that tiny town of Aloran in Cebu left and migrated to the United States. It could be that half of the population of that small town are now in this reunion and amazingly, they found each other in a foreign land. I saw pictures of modern houses owned by these American Aloranons and some business establishments that were probably also financed by them. This association is also sponsoring students in their town using the funds that they raised here. The town Mayor must be that grateful to them.

Birthday Celebrations
Evelyn Bunoan, my co-columnist in this newspaper recently celebrated her birthday organized by her husband, Oscar, at their home in Fairfax. The Chef birthday girl, herself, prepared the all the wonderful food that were served buffet style. As always, we all enjoyed the camaraderie and, of course, the “handa” complete with the nice Filipino practice of “to go.” Evelyn’s choir and FARV friends were among those who were invited to the party.
Florence Hansen, a friend and another September born, quietly celebrated her birthday with her family. She is also a member of the choir headed by Yolly Arzadon and Sally Rosal and the FARV group in the area. Florence golfs with her husband, Alan Hansen.

Get well Wishes
We send our cheers to *Bong David, a former Director at the IFC- World Bank group. Wife, Chelo David, makes sure that he receives the best medical attention from his doctors and cheers from their circle of friends. He was the former Chair of the Philippine Festival Committee sponsored by the Philippine American Foundation for Charities, Inc. He is a recipient of the “Dakila Award” in the area of business. Friends will attend this event to show support to Bong.

Sympathy Notes
Cesar Pasaylon passed away on September 11, 2009 after a lingering illness. A mass service was held at the Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Vienna arranged by Leah Roa Cuevas, wife of his son, Russell. A cremation service will be held at another time with just family members. He was the husband of Vangie Pasaylon from the World Bank who passed away several years back. The mass service and reception was attended by friends in the community.

Cesar was honored and mostly remembered for his kindness and generosity. With this, I have a personal note to share. Years back, we moved to our house in Vienna on Christmas Eve. With all our household stuff still packed, Cesar and Vangie invited my whole family to their home in Oakton to celebrate Christmas Eve together with the family of Pete and Boots Anson Roa. Cesar and Vangie were in-laws of Leah Roa. We were grateful for his kindness and generosity.
Norma Azarcon, wife of Manila Mail writer, Atty Warie Azarcon, urgently left for Manila to attend the funeral of her father, Primitivo Hernando. He died on September 22 at the age of 82. There’s concern with her trip because Norma, my friend, has just finished with her chemo therapy and radiation treatments.

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