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Sarong Banggi Ball Celebrates Bicol Inc.’s 18th Year Down Under

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Jinky Marsh
Jinky Marsh
Jinky Trijo Marsh is an actor (stage, screen and voice), media producer, radio presenter and vocalist. She is also a registered dental health practitioner and active community oral health educator. Contact Jinky via her website, https://www.jinkymarsh.com.

Bicol Incorporated (Inc.) celebrated its 18th Anniversary Ball at Blacktown Workers Club on the 22nd of June 2024. The fully packed event with the theme Sarong Banggi highlighted the organisation’s community service and commitment to promoting the Philippine heritage, specifically the richness of Bicol culture and advancing trade and tourism industries to mainstream Australia.   

The Sarong Banggi Ball creatively featured its best trade products, tourism destinations and abundant cultural heritage through fashion, entertainment and showcasing Region V’s #Exciting Bicol splendid tourism showcase as part of the Philippines’ new brand campaign “Love the Philippines”. The Honourable Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Senate President of the Philippines, a dear friend of the organisation since its inception and having been from Sorsogon, acknowledged Bicol Inc.’s significant contribution to society. “Your efforts in showcasing Bicol’s products and top tourism destinations play a crucial role in supporting our local industries and communities.”, Hon. Escudero said.

Bicol Inc.’s Adopt A School project
Bicol Inc.’s Adopt A School project

Bicol Inc.’s Secretary Roberto Lastica, also from Sorsogon, is tirelessly directed towards the realisation of the Balik Bicol Project’s aim which is to inspire Bicolanos in the diaspora with opportunities to help in the socio-economic and cultural programs of Bicol. With the six provinces in the region, ALMASOR will regroup the provinces of Albay, Masbate and Sorsogon whilst the Triple C will regroup the provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur and Catanduanes. A six-year development plan that was passed at the Bicol Regional Development Council outlines investments, product and market development and governance as key strategies to achieve optimal visitor receipts and job creation.

Bicol Inc. Council 2023-2024
Bicol Inc. Council 2023-2024
Family Members of the Late Ms Delia Camat Higoy
Family Members of the Late Ms Delia Camat Higoy
Ms Purificacion Molintas, Tourism Attache and Director- Philippine Department of Tourism Sydney
Ms Purificacion Molintas, Tourism Attache and Director- Philippine Department of Tourism Sydney
Sarong Banggi sponsors - Ms Lian Li of Bicol’s Best Au and Mr Sanny Cruz of Karimadon Australia, Cruzzini Barong and Cruzzini Jewels
Sarong Banggi sponsors – Ms Lian Li of Bicol’s Best Au and Mr Sanny Cruz of Karimadon Australia, Cruzzini Barong and Cruzzini Jewels
Mr Sanny Cruz, Cruzzini-Karimadon owner, Ms Purificacion Molintas, Tourism Attache and Director, Mr Warren Kirby, Labor Member of the Parliament, Ms Alma Argayoso, Trade Attaché, Philippine Trade and Industry
Mr Sanny Cruz, Cruzzini-Karimadon owner, Ms Purificacion Molintas, Tourism Attache and Director, Mr Warren Kirby, Labor Member of the Parliament, Ms Alma Argayoso, Trade Attaché, Philippine Trade and Industry
Youth models for Karimadon Australia, Bicol’s Best Au and Cruzzini Jewels with Mr Sanny Cruz
Youth models for Karimadon Australia, Bicol’s Best Au and Cruzzini Jewels with Mr Sanny Cruz
Bicol Inc.
The Philippine Dance Ensemble
The Philippine Dance Ensemble
Bicol Inc. Pantomina dancers (L-R): Elsie Noakes, Criselda Beck, Willy Sampang, Penny Perfecto and Salvador Doctor
Bicol Inc. Pantomina dancers (L-R): Elsie Noakes, Criselda Beck, Willy Sampang, Penny Perfecto and Salvador Doctor
Bicol Inc
Bicol Inc

Under the chairmanship of Dr Alice Posada, Bicol Inc. celebrated its years of community engagements and services which included the 2024 Adopt-A-School project that provided new computer packages to Buenasuerte Elementary School, Masbate Mobo High School and Masbate Bible School; Masbate Medical Mission in coordination with the Baconawa-Posada Clan; and the Sponsorship to Mt Druitt’s Liga Youth Basketball Team whose funds were financed through the Bunnings Barbeque Sausage Sizzles. “The coming of age of Bicol Inc. is truly a manifestation of hard work, resilience and nurturing nature of its leaders from inception to the present.”, Ms Posada noted.

The Ball has recognised and acknowledged two Bicolanos whose service, generous contributions and gentle spirits made notable impacts not only on Bicol Inc. but also on others. The acknowledgement was given to Mr Moises Sanchez Millena and the posthumous tribute was given to Ms Delia Camat Higoy.

Mr Sanny Cruz, Cruzzini-Karimadon owner, Lady of the Night MsTammy Orantia and Ms Linda Rose
Mr Sanny Cruz, Cruzzini-Karimadon owner, Lady of the Night MsTammy Orantia and Ms Linda Rose

During the celebration, Bicol’s Best Au, located at Matraville and owned by young Bicolana entrepreneur, Lian Li provided the bags and headpieces to accentuate the Barong Filipiniana creations of Cruzzini and Karimadon Fashion clothes. Both brands were owned by Melburnian Sanny Cruz which were showcased in the Tatak Bicol On Show segment. The engagement of youth was emphasised during the night with Jomy Villarante playing the music Sarong Banggi with his classical guitar to accompany the interpretative dance of the immediate past Chairperson of Bicol Inc., Zeny Samar. The Savillana Flamenco Dance led by Jet Villarante with the Pepa Molina Flamenco Dance Company also entertained the audience. The flamenco dance has inspired Philippine folk dances like the Mazurka and even Bicol’s own Pantomina. The Villarante Brothers, Jomy and Jet, played the music Anak by Freddie Aguilar with the guitar and violin, respectively. The Pantomina Sa Tinampo performed by the Bicol Inc. Dance group was introduced by another teen, Cameron Marsh. Pantomina is a Bicolano courtship dance. On the 31st of October 2019, then Sorsogon Governor Chiz Escudero and his wife Heart Evangelista led over 7,000 people to perform the dance to culminate the Kasangayahan Festival in Sorsogon. This historic performance earned Sorsogon a Guinness World Record for the largest Philippine folk dance.

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Sarong Banggi Anniversary Ball Attendees
Sarong Banggi Anniversary Ball Attendees
Bicol Inc
Bicol Inc.
Bicol Inc

Other entertainments include the Surtido Square Dance by the Philippine Dance Ensemble, renditions of If We Hold On Together and Isang Lahi by the talented Bicolana Mae Ibarra Galvez and Public Dance led by Gilda Pagaduan and DJ Emerson. 

Generous giveaways and raffle prizes delighted attendees. Aries Ronquillo and Jimnah Baylon were selected as winners of the Sydney-Manila flight return tickets courtesy of Philippine Airlines. Tess Santos won the third major prize of $500 cash. Twelve consolation prize winners were also selected. Gifts were courtesy of generous donors including the Department of Tourism Sydney. The Lady and Gentleman of the Night were also chosen and awarded with $200 worth of jewelry set and a $150 necklace, respectively, by Cruzzini Jewels-Karimadon owner Cruz. The selected attendees were Salvador Doctor and Tammy Oriantia. The ceremony was mastered by Ms Penny Perfecto, Bicol Inc.’s Press Relations Officer and Council Representative of Camarines Sur and Ms Jinky Marsh, Council Representative of Catanduanes.

“Sarong Banggi is more than an iconic folk song that has transcended generations and borders, rather, it symbolizes the shared pride and cultural identity of each Bicolano and of its members.”, expressed the event’s keynote speaker, Ms Pura Molintas, Philippine Tourism Attache for Australia and New Zealand. Bicol Inc. graciously says Dios Mabalos tabi sa indo gabos.

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