AT A "NIGHT TO REMEMBER"
Soledad Balda Ilagan
Soledad Balda Ilagan
"Hark Daughters of the great St. Paul"
Singing the night away!
Paulinians and friends line dancing!
Class 68 & 69: Marilyn Abalos, Trinidad Ochoa Francisco, Flor Siazon, Teofy Taganas, Consuelo bula and Nieva Quezon Burdick
SPMA USA, Nieva Quezon Burdick, Consuelo Bautista Babul and
Marilyn Abalos (all SPCM 69), attended the Paulinian Global Foundation fundra
dinner dance on Saturday, May 23, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia. The event, “A Night To Remember”, was to benefit the aging and ailing nuns of St. Paul Vigil House in Taytay, Rizal and Iloilo, Philippines. Soledad Balda Ilagan (SPCM 65), President of the Paulinian Global Foundation, was the host for the evening.
It was truly a night to remember! There were so many Paulinians in the house! From the SF Bay area to Boston, from Toronto to Texas, from Manila to Manhattan – there were over 200 Paulinians, families, friends and guests. Campuses represented include Dumaguete, Iloilo, Manila, Paranaque, Pasig, Tuguegarao, and Quezon City. Paulinian grads as young as Class 1961 to Class of 1988 celebrated the night away while supporting the Vigil House.
Soledad Balda Ilagan welcomed all, “Caritas Christi Urget Nos! Yes, Charist’s charity urges us Paulinians to extend a helping hand to our aging and ailing SPC mentors in the Philippines who reside at the Vigil House in Taytay, Rizal and at the Mere Monique Home in Iloilo.”
“Our goal is to help them with their daily sustenance, and seeing that they are comfortable in their remaining years here on earth. We are grateful to these Sisters for their care, guidance and patience with us while we were growing up and because of their persistent encouragement; we are who we are today," she said.
Kudos to “Tita Sol”, Vice President Virna Loberiza Mananza (SPCQC 82) and the Host
Committee who presented a wonderful evening of food, music, dance and sisterhood! The Paulinian and Friends Band provided great entertainment. Members include Robert Panlaqui, Gerry Berdan, Victor Maliwanag, Tony Manzana, Adrian Ilagan, Brian Berdan and Dennis Soliven. The amazing vocalists were Celeste Voliven, Carisse Hontiveros, Cecile David, Bambi Manalang and Virna Lisa Loberiiza Mananzan. They were excellent! One would think that they might be professional. They should come up to the Big Apple to compete in Battle of the Bands where Philippine College/University Alumni Associations compete! After all, St. Paul is known for its great performances at the Fleur-De-Lis Auditorium and other campuses in the Philippines.
As a special treat for the evening, the Anyare Dancers perform delightful dance numbers. Close Paulinian friends of the VP Virna, dancers were Aileen Baldonado May, Sara Flores, Rica Sunga Campos, Carmela Almeda, Clarissa Valdez, Bambi Manalang and Patricia Roldan. In the words of Virna, they were “icing on the cake!”
“We prepared a simple dance number for the benefit of the nuns. We dedicated it to them,” said Aileen May (SPCM 83), “We will do anything to support them. It was our way of thanking them for being our teachers and mentors."
“It was truly a night to remember - seeing friends from long ago and being crazy with them, but having so much fun - just like we were during our Paulinian years.” Said Trinidad Ochoa Francisco (SPCM 68), “We thank St Paul's for giving us these friends who we treasure forever! Not to mention, we hope these gatherings will help the nuns who took care of us - in our small way."
Cecile David (SPC Paranaque 82) acknowledged the spiritual contribution St. Paul nuns
imparted to students. “I am supporting the Vigil House because in some small way I would like to be able to repay the sisters for their selfless works of charity and for instilling the importance of education and living a Christ-centered life. Being a recipient of that generous spirit and gift of education is something for which I will always be grateful.”
Joji Santos Dominguez (SPCQC 74) reflected on the Paulinian spirit citing the nights and days, meeting, planning and organizing, and dealing with challenges “just to come up with “A Night to Remember” -- To me that is what it means to be a PAULINIAN – dedicated, generous, leaders and talented (what with a band of all Paulinian vocalists and the amazing ANYARE dancers)!! I am so honoured to have worked with such a dedicated, selfless, and talented team.”
“At no time do I ever feel any diffidence whenever I am asked to lend my assistance to the Paulinian Global Foundation,” said Bambi Manalang (SPC Pasig 84), “My years at St. Paul's have been, without an iota of doubt, the best years of my life, so when the chance to give back to my alma mater arise, I grab it like it's going out of style. There is much I owe to the sisters and educators of St. Paul's and that is reason enough for me to endeavor to help in any way I can,” she said.
In addition to supporting the “Vigil House to give back to years of education she received from the nuns,” PGF Secretary Clarissa Isidro Valdez (SPCQC 79) said, “It always feels good to meet other Paulinians and form new friendships and rekindle old relations.”
Cecile David reiterated similar sentiments, “What I enjoyed most about the PGF Night to
Remember Dinner Dance is the camaraderie and knowing that people came to support a very worthwhile cause. It was such a pleasure to see and meet with other Paulinians from different branches and eras, knowing that we have in common the educational nurturing from our alma mater, united in our spiritual ideals, and of course, it was great fun to reminisce on the good ‘ol days. I saw some old friends and made some really good new ones not only that night but even the days leading up to it."
Indeed the connection of Paulinians was quite compelling and memorable. Seated at our table were grads from SPCM Class 68, PGF PRO Teoffy Taganas, as well as Trinidad Ochoa Francisco and Flor Siazon from New York! SPMA USA Secretary Consuelo Bautista Babula talked about the importance of building a Paulinian alumni community. “It is very healthy when we support other SPCM group. It makes our organization alive and supportive,” she said pointing out the symbiotic relationship and support Paulinians can extend to each other. As SPMA USA expands our alumni membership programs and plan our various initiatives and campaigns to support St. Paul, Consuelo said, “these same people we meet…will be the first whom we will invite!"
The Paulinian Global Foundation was established in 2002 in the US at the request of St. Paul College to help with the construction of the Vigil House. PGF President Sol Ilagan was a founding member along with classmates of batch 1965. Its current Executive Board is headed by Executive Director Sister Lilia Tolentino, Sisters of St. Paul along with President Sol Ilagan and graduates from 60s-80s batchers. For more info, visit www.paulinianglobal.org
St. Paul Manila Alumnae USA was created in 2015 by classmates of batch 1969. SPMA USA is a membership organization for all Paulinians in the US and Europe. It is an autonomous alumni association with a mission to connect with classmates, build an alumni community and support St. Paul University and community service projects in the Philippines. For more info, visit http://www.spma-usa-inc.org/– Marilyn Abalos