Cultural Potpourri | The 54th Celebration of the Hijos de Davao 2018

The celebration of Hijos de Davao’s 54th anniversary held last Jun. 29, 2018, at the SMX Convention Center of SM Lanang Premier was made special with the presence of special guests which included Executive Secretary of the Philippines Salvador “Bingbong” Campo Medialdea, Ambassador to Israel Neal Garcia Imperial, Republic of Korea’s Honorary Consul in Davao Edgar N. Ang, Cong. Karlo Alexei Bendigo Nograles, Cong. Mylene Garcia-Albano and the Chairperson of the Cultural Center of the Philippines Maria Margarita Moran-Floirendo.

Warmly welcoming the guests by the ballroom’s entrance were the smiling Hijos de Davao Officers (2015-2018) namely Vincent J. Garcia (President), Carmen Soriano-Diano (Vice President), Rowena Hizon-Daluz (Secretary), Pilar Rosario E. Rodriguez (Treasurer), Maria Isabel Soriano-Lemen (Asst. Treasurer), Jose Claro H. Velez (Business Manager), Marissa Salonga-Tionko (PRO) and lawyer Rose Marie T. Cabaguio (Director).

In his message, the Hijos de Davao President Vincent J. Garcia mentioned that not even the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law in 1972 nor the devastating siege of Marawi in 2017 prevented the holding of the anniversary celebration of Hijos de Davao.  For indeed, it was a special day to observe the Feast of St. Peter, the Patron Saint of Davao City.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte once reminded the members of the Hijos de Davao:  “The Hijos de Davao has been a valuable partner in preserving the cultural heritage of Davaoenos and in transforming the ordinary people of Davao into exceptional citizens who in turn, help and assist in the development of the City and the empowerment of fellow Davaoenos… We all know that the Hijos de Davao is a socially conscious and responsible institution fixed with a sincere desire to make our community grow and develop.  Thus, we in the government are thankful for the countless community-related activities and projects being implemented by your dynamic organization.”

As is the highlight in the tradition of the annual celebration of the Hijos de Davao, the longest existing socio-civic organization of the City, it proudly presented the lovely, statuesque and talented Cecilia Paulino Reta as this year’s muse.  Cecilia is the daughter of Hijos de Davao members Rodolfo and Jessieden Reta; and belongs to the 6th generation of the Bangoy-Bustamante-Alzate-Suazo clan of Davao City.  Cecilia’s escort was the equally tall and handsome, young hunk of a banker, Brandon Chad Cody Tuano Gahol, the son of Ricardo and Lucille Gahol.  Cecilia was crowned by former Miss Universe (1973) and presently CCP Chairperson Maria Margarita Moran-Floirendo and Exec. Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea; while Cong. Mylene Garcia-Albano and Cong. Karlo B. Norgrales pinned the sash on her.  The sweet Anette Josephine Salonga Tionko, the 53rd Hijos de Davao muse, and Hijos de Davao Pres. Vince J. Garcia presented Cecilia with a bouquet of beautiful flowers.

Twenty-two pairs of dancers, both young and young once, coming from prominent families of Davao were chosen to perform the traditional Rigodon de Honor.  The rigodon participants all looked elegant dressed in their best ternos and barong Tagalog ensembles.

An added feature to this year’s Hijos de Davao celebration, which was ably emceed by DJ Raebert Santos, was the Mother-and-Daughter fashion show featuring the collection of popular Davaoeno designer Bobby Castillo.  The models included Marga and Nikka Nograles; Mia and Sophia Floirendo; Joan and Andrea Alladin; Michelle, Danielle, and Natalia Isabelle Ang; Tricie and Tala Arcenas; Aina, Julia del Rosario and Emelia Santos; Cindy and Mischa Cayco; Lea and Celine Nitoreda; Mabelle and Lissy Lemen; Christine Barreto and Bianca Uy; and Ann and Sandy Gotamco.

Fusion, a Davao based dance organization comprised of Julian Pablo Lizada Lopez, Kyle Alexander Verano, Alex Batistil, Louise Anne Subido, Hyacinth Jan Yanson and Andrea Angel performed their mighty best in a highly energetic hip hop dance number.

A surprise guest performer for the evening was the highly-acclaimed stage and film actress from Manila, Pinky Marquez, who beautifully sang songs from the “Sound of Music.”

After a buffet dinner which was lovingly prepared by Baby Maceda-Montemayor’s Villa Margarita Hotel’s catering service, the Hijos de Davao members and their relatives and friends enjoyed the rest of the evening listening and dancing to the music of a live band called the Reversed Band led by Angelo Inigo.

Long live, Hijos de Davao.


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