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Visayan Association “I Love You So” post-Valentine Charity Dinner

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By Richard J Ford
Vice-President and PRO for the Visayan Association of Australia Inc.

On the 20th February 2021, the Visayan Association of Australia Inc. (VAA Inc.) based in Liverpool NSW, decided to hold their first Post Covid-19 Charity Event to raise money for its Overseas Outreach Programs left dormant in 2020 due to the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

The event was held at the Pabico Club 55 in Mount Druitt, under the strong leadership of its indefatigable leader Jhun Salazar. Chit Serra the VAA’s Events Organiser as qualified Covid-19 Supervisor ensured the Social Distancing Rules were followed. 

The universal support for the event was indicative of all who attended and gave generously throughout the night. The event included not only quality singers and music but also fun games, ending with the raffles of fabulous prizes. Congratulations to Mrs Green who won lots of raffle prizes. VAA thanked all for their support and their presence on the night.

The event also included cutting of the cake to celebrate Annie Marquez 49th  birthday. Well-wishers sang a happy birthday song and enjoyed eating the sumptuous cake.  The guest singers were a truly talented female duo, Lilli Mejica and Filomena Boniba, with contributing artists like Jenina Cotelo, Annie Marquez, Mirasol Loyzaga and Maria and Niel. Former Blacktown Councillor Mr Allan Green dubbed the singing councilor took the stage and performed a solo performance. Also present was Glyssa Perez, our Miss Philippines Australia 2014 and Miss Visayan for 2014, who attended to support the event. Glyssa was back in Australia to visit her family but presently resides in the Philippines.  Glyssa is one of the Board of Trustees of the Kapuso Foundation  aka The Philippine Foundation for Breast Cancer Inc. and is its spokesperson. She was the winner of the Miss World Philippines Tourism 2019 and Miss World Philippines Beauty with a Purpose 2019, the first candidate to do so. Glyssa is a multi-crowned beauty queen with over 10 titles and also the very first candidate to win 5 titles in one year from Bohol.

The insatiable desire to get-together was evident by the turn out of attendees who were all smiling and happy to be with the company of new and old acquaintances. The easing of Covid-19 restrictions has made it possible to give everyone a chance to get out from their homes and support the event.

The President of the Visayan Association of Australia Inc., Jhun Salazar, presented a slide show depicting the numerous outreach programs conducted in the Philippines before Covid -19 pandemic. The funds raised will help augment the fund for the outreach project planned in the near future.

The event included fun quizzes and games. Congratulations to the couple Mr and Mrs Julius and Jenina Cotelo for winning the title of Mr and Mrs Valentine. The evening finishes with the traditional Curacha Dance, once again showing the generosity of all present.  A long-time community worker, Ms Milagros Diones, now aged 90 received an award in recognition of her services to the Filipino Community, our congratulations on a well-deserved award. It was an event full of fun and the next will be another exciting get-together coined as “My Pledge of Love” charity event to help fund charitable causes and act of kindness on the 24th April 2021 at the same venue. 

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