Outstanding Fil-Ams honored at PACCAL’s Women’s History Month Awards Night

The month of March was made even more significant by the Pan American Concerned Citizens Action League, Inc. (PACCAL) when it celebrated Women’s History Month last Sunday, March 24 at the Crystal Ballroom of Ramada Plaza Hotel where the organization duly recognized the outstanding achievements of eleven Filipino-American women in different fields of endeavor.

The PACCAL annual event primarily recognizes women’s numerous contributions to culture, society, arts and sciences, government, and their lifelong struggle for equality. If before women were regarded as minor to men, the current social setting is viewing them in a better perspective with the advent of the 20th century changes, which further discover the extent of feminine power in shaping not only their own destiny but the society, as well.

Bedecked and festooned with a dramatic fusion of monochromatic shades of chartreuse green and turquoise blue, the main stage was a perfect spot to celebrate the success of eleven distinguished women achievers who made it to PACCAL’s 2013 Women’s History Month Roster of Honor. The rare color motif created a sublimely cool effect which permeated an exciting mood, whereby emitting the very spirit and ample ambiance befitting a women-themed event.

And not to be outdone (or to harmoniously blend with the flow of colors), PACCAL President Rose P. Javier and PACCAL founder and president emeritus Linda M. Mayo were both glamorously donned in aqua marine gowns, the former in a modernized Filipiniana outfit while the latter in a traditional but updated and stylized baro’t saya.

With the Honorable Consul Zaldy Patron as Guest Speaker, the universal status of women was even justifiably given more emphasis and of significant importance. The soft spoken Consul wittily expounded on the various capabilities of women that made them at par with their male counterparts. Expostulatingly zeroing to the huge achievements that great women had contributed to society, the female members of the audience unanimously released a concerted thundering applause in approval.

Honorably recognized as PACCAL’s cream of the crop for this year’s Women’s History Month were:

• Elnora Valmonte English for Early Childhood Education

• Potri Ranka Manis for Cultural Heritage,

• Kay Habana for Performing Arts,

• Irene C Abaya Campos as Mother of the Year,

• Helen Castillo –Bongon for Community Service,

• Lynne A. Ciocon for Teaching Profession

• Veneranda “Vernie” Bacolot for Nursing Profession

• Corazon Jamilano as Senior Citizen of the Year

• Dr. Rebecca “Dolly” Rivera for Medical Profession

• Olivia “Ollie” David for Humanitarian Service

• Joann Sy Bahtia for Pharmaceutical Profession

The lady-awardees, all coiffed and glam, received their loving cup trophies in a well-choreographed fashion that gave them an even more well-heeled status and uncontained feeling of fulfillment. Ably hosted by tested master-of-ceremonies-cum-entertainer and also a PACCAL awardee, himself, in Performing Arts (Solo) JR Lavarro with beauteous singer Ria Serrano, the awarding ceremony went smoothly with neither hitch nor glitch. The proceedings seemingly runs short due to its smooth flow but in actuality, people just loved it that way so they would have more ample time to dance and socialize which is one of the reasons why they love to party!

During the WHM occasion, PACCAL took the opportunity to formally induct its newly recruited members with Consul Zaldy Patron as the honorary inducting officer. Formally sworn as members were: Lumen Castaneda, Ronie Mataquel, Carmencita “Ate menchie” Marzan, Fernando “Nanding” Mendez, Yuka Agulan (on behalf of hubby Greg), Susan Bautista, Ramona Sansait Gapasin, and Labina “Bing” Antonio. The newly installed PACCAL members are expected to add power and prestige to the already well-recognized Jersey City-based Fil-Am community organization.

The entertainment portion nearly brought the house down with the breath-taking, crystal-breaking vocal range of coloratura soprano Kay Habana’s renditions and the exotic charm of Potri Ranka Manis’ enigmatic Maranaw malong dance. Both creatively endowed, Kay is PACCAL Awardee for Performing Arts while Potri was honored as PACCAL’s choice for Cultural Heritage. To justify and rightfully claim the awards bestowed on them, the two ladies passionately delivered world-class performances before an appreciative audience.

Going back to the event: March, incidentally, accorded us to globally celebrate the real status of women. It is a perfect opportunity to reflect on the incredible attainments of the fairer sex, who, in their own capacity, have contributed a whole lot to the advancement of society and raised the bar to create a higher level of achievement in practically every field.

In today’s ever-changing world, a great number of womens’ aspirations take various forms while other’s lofty dreams sometimes fail and hopes dwindle, but were able to rise and resume the challenge. They say men’s existence is easily felt and their roles are predictable but women constantly create encouraging challenges while sustaining precise strength and empowerment in myriad ways. Women have painstakingly acquired every man’s asset and facet while they (also) masterfully penetrated the world where men initially dwell and dominated.

And to quote one of the great exponents of womanhood, Margaret Thatcher: “If you want something said, ask a man…but, if you want something done, ask a woman!”

To all PACCAL 2013 Women’s History Month awardees, “Congratulations!” May your award inevitably fuel your innate advocacy, be assets to your community, and role models to those who look up to you as well as who are walking behind.

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