Five creatively decorated booths, contests on “best turon/biko/torta,” amateur and impromptu singing contests, lechon and a whole lotta dancing. These were just some of the highlights of the fiesta celebration in honor of patron saint Senyor San Isidro Labrador by the Association of Bukidnons in America (ABA) here in New York City, USA.
Held a day before the actual fiesta (May 15), the gathering was not just to honor Isidore the Farm Laborer and thank him for the abundance of harvest but to also give the ABA officers and members the chance to kick back, relax and just have pure unadulterated fun!
Actually, not only did I have the lovely privilege to attend the event, much thanks to my Tita Emilita, but I also had the chance to help design, create and implement my tita’s cluster’s booth AND represent the cluster in the amateur singing contest. Thankfully, I won first place! I received a cool $50. Pandagdag pasalubong!
The participants were required to sing Visayan songs and what best to sing but the classic “Usahay.” I’m still engaged in a small debate with myself whether or not I should upload the video of me singing. What do you think?
As for the booth contest, ours placed second! Not bad for a booth that mainly had certified handmade decorations. Not complaining, though! I have deep passion for arts and crafts unbeknownst to many. But I digress.
May I just say, though, that above and beyond the revelry, glitz and pomp that day, what I absolutely enjoyed doing the most was observing the ABA officers and members. They all had beautiful smiles on their faces. They eagerly danced. They laughed wholeheartedly. They all excitedly asked each other updates about their lives in America, their families back home, their future plans. It was a small Filipino community but I’m convinced that it was composed of people with big hearts and dreams.
Congratulations to the org movers and shakers: Shirley Soto, Jun Yabo, Emilita Sabana, Leonela Delfin, Wendelina Obenita, Gen Tubeo Mayer, Lalaine Agbayani, Eva Ramirez, Perla Kiel, Dickens Taveros, Edna Sacayle, Malou Velez and Past Presidents Victor Isidore Barroso and Tony Alkuino. Special mention to Gertrudes “Auntie Uding” Piscos and her daughter Vida Lynn. Special shoutout also to the birthday celebrant, Nanay Julie Nabong. Happy 75th birthday! Continue smiling!
* Note: This article also appeared on my regular newspaper column, “Mindanaoan Meets World.” My column appears every Friday on the Urban Life section of Gold Star Daily, Mindanao’s largest newspaper. Do you want me to write about you and/or your business? Email me at mindanaoan at gmail dot com Thanks!
Here’s how my article appeared on the printed version: