Bikolandia Christmas party[box type=”default” size=”large”] Music, costumes of 1950s make party a lot of fun[/box]The early BLD (Bukas Loob sa Diyos) Christmas party held last Nov. 30 at the Philippine American Community Center (PACCM) in Southfield was pleasantly different in that it was a trip down memory lane.

The party set back the hand of time to the 1950s, a period when the senior BLD members were still young and care-free and nurturing their dreams of the future. It was also the period when the air waves were dominated by the songs of Elvis Presley, Chubby Checker, Connie Francis, Mat Monroe, Perry Como, Nat King Cole, Patsy Cline, Sue Thompson, etc.

And, indeed, fun there was a lot in reliving the “Rock and Roll” era when BLD members like Terry Acosta, Melinda Montilla, Charito Munoz, Paz Fetizanan, Marlene Viola and Belen Dimaguila were blooming beauties in their colorful petticoats, jumpsuits or simple coed’s uniforms.

It was a sight to behold as the “girls” and their “boyfriends” or suitors danced to the fast tempo of the “Jailhouse Rock” and the “Twist.” They looked like young men and women exuding inexhaustible energy as they strutted, gyrated and spun on the dance floor.

But the reverie of the “golden hits” period vanished when, in the flickering disco light, we spotted the gray hair of two or three of the dancing gentlemen, and this jolted us back to 2013.

But it was fun while the stroll down memory lane lasted. The excellent selection of the old, classical songs contributed much to the nostalgic but merry ambiance of the party.

PACCM Executive Director Tony Kho, assisted by Singles Ministry leader Sabrina Tungol, served as the disc jockey. Tony remembers well the songs of the 1950s and 1960s as he was then a teenager and a leader of a band that was performing regularly in nightclubs in Angeles City.

We could not help but be nostalgic as we heard favorite songs of the 1950s and 1960s such as “Cold, Cold Heart,” “There Goes My Heart,” “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” and “Crazy.” (From one of the songs, though, came flooding back the sad memory of a broken heart.)

When “Unchained Melody” was played, the music pulled many couples to the dance floor. Even the men with “two left feet” like me could not resist but dance to the sweet, slow music. As I danced with my wife, I fondly remembered the good, old days when I was courting her.

As the dancing went on, the purpose of the event seemed to have been momentarily forgotten. Couple Rene and Melinda Montilla, district servant leaders, had earlier opened the party with an invocation, telling the party-goers that the first day of Advent (Dec. 1) ushers in the four weeks of Christmas and the Christian “world prepares and celebrates the coming of Christ to the world.”

Rene said, “Advent is the time to clean and pretty up our homes. ‘Cleaning house’ also means cleansing our spirit, our soul. It’s time to go to confession in order to be ready for the occasion of welcoming and receiving Jesus into our lives.”

Following the invocation was a dinner consisted of – what else? – tasty Filipino dishes, supplied by Red Ribbon. The “menudo” was particularly good.

Shortly after dinner, Santa Claus (Art Acosta) came to town, hollering “ho, ho, ho” and carrying his bag of goodies which he distributed as his gifts to the kids. This was followed by an artistic lyrical dance by Liselle Tungol.

Snack was served at 9:30 p.m. The desserts were mainly Filipino originals such as “suman,” “puto,” “kamoteng kahoy bibingka” and “pitsi-pitsi.”

Couples Jun and Fran Sibug, Tony and Dita Alojipan and Ed and Belen Dimaguila saw to it that everybody had their fill. Fran was going around, telling the guests to have another serving as there was plenty of food.

BLD also means “busog lagi dito,” and whoever said that is one-hundred percent correct.

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