MANILA, Philippines - Club Bulakeno, a socio-civic organization in the Philippines, recently hosted its annual charity ball.
I'm proud to be a "Bulakeno" myself so I was happy to attend the festivities and experience the elegance of this year's Venetian-inspired ball led by this year's committee: Tess and Bert Castro, Lydia Reyes, Ofelia Trinidad, Kim Lokin, Gigi Trinidad, Dolly Borlongan, Atty, Jonas Cabochan, Mars Lambino, Mario Hilario, Mari Lacson, Frank Adriano and current presidents Marietta Holmgren and Danny Jacinto.
Officers and members of Club Bulakeno. Photo by John Paul "JP" Tanchanco
Club Bulakeno is a philanthropic organization composed of business leaders, personalities, politicians, artists, academe and technocrats who have roots in the province of Bulacan.
Bulacan has always been a center of freedom, excellence and empowerment dating back to pre- and post-Spanish colonial times. In fact, the establishment of the first republic in Asia in 1899 was held in Malolos, Bulacan.
The Charity Ball
The charity ball of Club Bulakeno is a much-awaited annual event. It raises funds for the club's important socio-civic projects.
The event was an expression of the culture and prestige shared by Club Bulakeno's past presidents; Sonny Tanchanco, Nedy Tantoco, John Gaddi, Patrick Jacinto, Berna Lomotan, Gene and Lydia Reyes, Ofelia Trinidad, General Dionisio Tan-Gatue and Sol Tan Gatue.
The night was filled with joyful support from distinguished friends and families such as: current Ama ng Bulakan Ambassador Bienvenido Tantoco, Madame Imelda Marcos, H. E. Ambassador Heikki Hannikainen of Finland, Baroness Eleonora de Strobel-Hannikainen, Dr. Alfonso Tagliaferri - First Secretary of Italian Embassy, Pepe Rodriguez, Don Ado Escudero, and Philippine Ambassador to Russia H.E. Victor Garcia.
We were welcomed to the ambiance and glory of old Venice, Italy. Venetian masks and colorful accents of royalty filled the ballroom of Sofitel Philippine Plaza.
The show started during dinner as we were introduced to the new muse Bettina Reyes through outgoing muses Nicole and Camille Yu Tantoco, and we were serenaded in Italian by child prodigy John Paul Gonzales.
Rigodon de Honor expressed in a Venetian Waltz Dance Number. Photo by John Paul "JP" Tanchanco
Then we enjoyed watching Venetian masquerade dancers in colorful masks that set the regal mood leading us to a fresh version of the annual Rigodon de Honor of Leaders accessorized by designer Lito Perez all graced the dance floor with a Venetian Waltz choreographed by Budjing Danao and Dalah Pia.
A Province of Prominence
Many prominent historical personalities have "Bulakeno" roots such as: Gregorio and Marcelo Del Pilar, Francisco Balagtas, Rizal's famous "Women of Malolos" from the Tiongson-Tantoco-Reyes-Tanchanco families, artist Guillermo Tolentino, the late former Senator and Ama Ng Bulakan Blas Ople, former President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, former President Joseph Estrada, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, and many others.
Former First Lady and current Ilocos Norte Congresswoman Imelda Marcos awarding maestro Raul Sunico with current Presidents Danny Jacinto and Marietta Holmgren, founders Gene and Lydia Reyes, Atty Jonas Cabochan. Photo by John Paul "JP" Tanchanco
Club Bulakeno gathers the leaders of society with Bulacan heritage to inspire new generation of Pinoys with the ideals of excellence, service and philanthrophy that have been long established by people from the province throughout history.
In support of its thrust, the party's highlight was its annual awarding of excellent Bulakenos called "Anak Ng Bulakan". This year's recipients were: business leader Consul Luis I. Ablaza, "Lord of Scents" Joel Cruz, academic leader Lydia Echauz, DBP's first woman CEO Remedios Macalincag, Dra. Isabel Nazal, Justice Bienvenido L. Reyes of the Supreme Court, restaurateur Tita Rodriguez, hospital entrepreneur Dr. Milagros Sevilla, music maestro Raul Sunico, and child singer Kris John Paul Gonzales.
Anak ng Bulacan awardees: restaurateur Tita Rodriguez, Dra. Isabel Nazal, financial technocrat and DBP's first woman president Remedios Macalincag, academic leader Dr. Lydia Echauz, "Lord of Scents" entrepreneur Joel Cruz, Justice Bienvenido L. Reyes of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, Mark and Jun Ablaza receiving the award for business leader and entrepreneur Consul Luis Ablaza. Photo by John Paul "JP" Tanchanco
The night culminated in joyful dancing to a live band as everyone thanked each other for the gracious support and philanthropic achievements of the year.
Mabuhay Club Bulakeno!
John Paul C.Tanchanco is a travel, food, party, film and music aficionado. He is also an economist, businessman, MYX/Awit award-winning media producer and Kala guitarist.
"Tha Good Life" is a special feature for ABS-CBNnews.com about pop culture, travel, music, entertainment, business, food, clubbing, shopping and events.
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