El Circulo Fernandino

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Sunday, May 4, 2014

MERRY MONTH - The month of May is said to be the merry month. Precisely it is, particularly in the Philippines, specifically in the City of San Fernando. All over the country, there are santacruzans.

Fiestas in our towns and barangays are mostly held in this month. Picnics, excursions and pilgrimages are common at this time. And May is also the month of elections in this country. And if you are in Zamboanga City, Basilan or Davao City, it is in the month of May when flowers are in full bloom. I was in these places in my younger years, and I stored in my memory those beautiful flowers lined up in a garden in Pasonanca Park in Zamboanga City shaping like a rainbow, so eclectic, similar to that what we saw in the Wizard of Oz. I hope the garden and its flowers are still there.

EL CIRCULO FERNANDINO - Let us journey back in time. Focus on the fifties. Our country was being rebuilt due to the devastation brought by the war. Most homes didn't have television sets yet. If there were, only few can afford them. The hoi polois sneaked their eyes through the window grills on homes of those who had television sets.


Zarsuelas, vaudevilles, musical jamborees and movies shown on town plazas by moving vans of pharmaceutical companies were for mass entertainment. And at least once a year, a grand ball for the town's elite was held. And in the capitol town of San Fernando it was the EL CIRCULO FERNANDINO.

NINETY FOUR YEARS - On May 10 the reception ball of El Circulo Fernandino will be held at the Heroes Hall, an extension building of the city hall built when now Congressman Oscar Rodriguez was the city mayor. Leading figures of the city and from nearby are expected on this annual gathering of the perfumed set, just it was in the many recent years. Men attending in their elegant barongs matched with black pants, and the women are in their couturier-designed formal evening dresses.

In those early years, most towns in Pampanga held similar annual grand balls. Kundiman in Angeles, Old Legs in Bacolor, Mountainside in Magalang, Pillars in Porac, Bato Balani in Guagua and similar social clubs which names escape me now.

THE PEOPLE BEHIND - in this coming El Circulo Fernandino grand ball it promises to surpass if not equal the attendance of the recent years. Madame Ires De Guzman, a bank executive of East-West Unibank and topnotch businessman Capt.Conrado Pacla are on top of preparations as presidents.

Ably assisted by Bong Mah, Vilma Caluag, Jimmy Lazatin, Alma Gamboa, Par Pamintuan, Lina Velez, Jeffrey Dizon, Terry Carlos, Marco Jimenez, Lou Javate, Reynante Fernandez, Myra Manabat, Alex Patio Elynda Arcilla, Angel Wijangco, Jenniffer Bonifacio, Rolly Macalino, Angie Hizon, Ruperto Dumlao,Marilou Santiago, Faustino Javillonar,Ma Salve Olalia, Normandy Canlas, Bernadette Galang, Fer Caylao and Ma. Celina Eusebio.

MORE NAMES - The circulo can't be successful without Levi and Tess Laus, Rene and Agnes Romero, Nestor Mangio, Loy David, Chuck Gueco, Ramsey Ocampo, Melchor Caluag, Letty Yap, Malou Garbes, Franco De Jesus, Ed Panlilio, Eddie and Tess Chua, Rene Legaspi, Allan Dungao, Marco Hizon, Joe and Divine Tulio,Flor Maliwat, Virgilio David, Marni Castro, Dein Henson, Ayzel Macalino. And of course, Mayor Edwin Santiago and Congressman Oca Rodriguez.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on May 05, 2014.


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