"Paskuhan Sa Bulwagan"
We, Filipinos, are naturally fun-loving, sociable, skillful, creative and talented people. We always get together to party – eat, chat, sing, dance, play any musical instruments, even play sports, etc. How we wish to have our own multi-purpose hall to do all of these things and call our own. Thus, the concept of a “bulwagan” (a "hall" in English), was envisioned.
In December 1999, the first fundraising, the "Miss Kita Kung Krismas" concert was a success that people were raving about it asking when the next concert will be. Everyone in the group was busy (personal or helping out in the community activities and one of them was the Filipino reunion in 2002 in Wellington) and others went overseas. There wasn't a good chance to plan for any activity until this "Paskuhan sa Bulwagan" Christmas event on 19 December 2004. This was also a good time to re-launch the “bulwagan” project in the form of a fundraising concert, dinner and dance all in one night.
The scheduled time was 6 PM at the Lower Hutt Horticultural Centre. It was participated not only by the Wellington Filipino Community Choir (WFCC and also known as the “Bulwagan Choir" by most Filipinos during these times) but also by some talented Filipinos from the community. An hour of entertainment was enough for people to enjoy and then it was time for the hungry tummies. The food consisting of "Pancit", rice, "Afritada", "Embutido" and a can of softdrinks were served by the choir members and other volunteers from the community. The main caterer was "Tibiao" catering service. There was a “Parol” contest, spot prizes and lollies given to kids and young-at-hearts. After the hearty dinner, the dance floor was ready to shred off the “fats”.
The objectives of this event were :
to re-launch the project “bulwagan”
to raise funds for the multi-purpose hall
to share and appreciate the talents of the Filipinos
to celebrate Christmas in Filipino style
for the Filipinos to get together and party!
Tickets were sold by members of the Wellington Filipino Community Choir (WFCC) and few organizations at the following prices:
$10 Child (5 – 14 years)
$15 Adult Unwaged
$50 2 Adults and 2 Children (5 – 14 years)
Free 0 to Under 5 Years
A few submitted their entries to the "Parol" contest where the criteria for juding these "parols" were based on originality, creativity and Filipino content by judges: Miss Lolit Capco (Philippine Embassy), Father Raymund (Filipino Parish priest) and Robyn Jacquery (WFCC pianist). The winners got "hampers of goodies" donated from friends who preferred to remain anonymous.
The main feature of the concert was the Wellington Filipino Community Choir which rendered traditional Filipino Christmas songs and including the English ones that everyone grew up with. Representatives from the different Filipino organisations also contributed to the programme and these were: the 'Young Once' with a dance number of Raggae and Boogie; Erica Llorica sang "Silent Night" and "O Holy Night"; Melissa Mansell, the 1st Runner up Miss Fil-NZ 2004 (in Tauranga) who is also a member of WIFS (Wellington Internationl Filipino Society) did a hip-hop dance to the music of "Ungood" by Blaque; Youth For Christ did an interpretative dance with an R&B music of “More Than I” by The Commission; Spring Of Life sang new Filipino Christmas songs : “Himig ng Hangin” and “Gumising”; Spring Of Life Kids did a hip-hop dance number to the tune of “I Like That” by Houston; Jamuel Enriquez played saxophone with background music of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and “Winter Wonderland”; NZP group did a Tap dance medley – Razzle Dazzle from Chicago; and OFI band performed “Vindicated” by The Dashboard Confessions, “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World, “Spin Around” by Josie and the Pussy Cat and “Tuloy Pa Rin Ako” by Labuyo/Side A. The programme was emceed by Dinna O'Meara and Jed Delmiguez.
There were spot prizes. The tickets bought have stubs and these stubs were used to pick the winners of spot prizes donated by people from the community. The spot prizes are: wines from Rommel and Bing Pangaruy, Johnny Celeste, Josephine Tiu and Bert and Flora Nogoy; 20-pc dining set from Odette Dulce; WOF voucher and petrol voucher from Manny Mendoza; gift item from Jek and Lani Mendoza (NIC-NAO Foreign Exchange); double passess tickets from Light House Cinema, Petone from Judith Mendoza.
Aside from the main ticket, there were separate raffle tickets sold at $2 each with the main prize of a Hamper donated by Memo Christian.
The dance started after the last winner of the raffle was picked. Dance music were DJ'd by brothers, Jessie and James Macasaquit.
Cash donations made by the following are deeply appreciated: Melinda & John Barneo, Planet Earth (Auckland), Lucky Travel (Glo), Roy Cabauatan, Early Start (Bing and Rommel Pangaruy), Liza Chapman, Andrew and Cameron, Tibiao (Sonny and Nieva Lim) and Gaze Commercial (through Flora Nogoy).
Organisers: Flora Nogoy, Rommel Pangaruy, Bing Pangaruy, Odette Dulce, Dinna O'Meara and Judith Mendoza.
Volunteers: Johnny Celeste (Parol contest), Jessie and James Macasquit (dance music), Cathy Getafe (sponsors and donation, spot prizes and raffle), WIFS (door sales, money collection and main entry ushers), Emil Llorico, Inag Alamani (Ticket design and printing), Young Once (ticket control), WFCC (hall setup including chairs and tables), Spring of Life (softdrink sale), Alvin Estrada (production assistant), Greg Nicolas (camera man).
Sepcial thanks to James Hall-Kenney for setting up and manning the sound system and letting us use the sound system almost free.