by Maria Cecilia Bataclan Abarro, DDM
The first night of the APO’s 5th Regional Congress was capped by a luau party by the beach. The beachfront of the Boracay Regency Hotel was the site of the fellowship night for the delegates and some invited guests. The whole night was made more enjoyable by the wit and humor of the night’s host, Dr. Jaypee Cadaing who was like Johnny Litton/Gary Lising combined.
Our dear APO President Jose Rivera delivered a welcome address, followed by Dr. Somchai Satravaja, the current APOS President. By 7:30 pm, when majority of the delegates have arrived, dinner was served. It was a very sumptuous one. Everyone enjoyed shrimp sinigang, grilled fish/squid, beef caldereta, chicken barbeque, native appetizers like kilawing tanigue, and native desserts like puto and kutsinta.
The Boracay Republic Band sang varied songs for the night. In between their numbers, APO’s singers Dr. Cynthia Quismundo (APO’s Sitti), Dr. Martin Reyes and Dr. Laarni Serraon (APO’s Martin and Pops) showed their singing prowess. Not to be outdone was one of the congress’ speakers, Singapore’s Dr. Kai Who Loh, who sang “The Young Ones”.
Everyone was amazed, including foreign delegates, on the superior fire dance performed by the natives of Aklan. There were 3 sets of performances. On one part, the fire dancers spinned their fire pois above and behind the delegate’s head, forming a halo. Most noteworthy to mention was Dr. Bobby Eustaquio. When one of the fire dancers approached him, he was quick enough to grab his glass of water, just to make sure.
The luau ended with the delegates dancing to the Boracay Republic’s reggae music. Everyone had a nice time. Everyone had a good memory of Filipino hospitality, talent and more. What a way to cap the first day of the Regional Congress!