[box type=”default” size=”large”] Those celebrating their 50th anniversary draw loudest applause [/box]
Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, and for 41 couples, the celebration was special.
The occasion was the Valentine’s Ball hosted on Feb. 7, 2015 by the Philippine American Cultural Center of Michigan (PACCM) at Somerset Inn in Troy. The theme was “Love will keep us together … forever.”
It was, indeed, an affair to remember for the 41 couples who were feted for celebrating this year their landmark wedding anniversary. With each couple holding a long-stemmed rose, they passed through a heart-shaped arch as they were introduced one by one.
The members of the audience, numbering some 450, cheered and applauded them as they walked on the dance floor. Drawing the loudest applause were couples marking their golden (50th) wedding anniversary. They were Bert and Dr. Cloty Sitchon, Drs. Renato and Daisy Ramos, Ed and Letty Dancel, and Dr. Leopoldo and Sonia Palad.
Addressing the couples, Pastor Aaron Tanap of the Bethlehem Baptist Church talked about “healthy marriage,” stressing that cooperation, partnership and open communication lines are some ways to keep their love always glowing. Saying that “your partner is God’s gift to you,” Tana capped his brief speech by asking the couples to seal their love to one another with a kiss. The honorees readily obliged.
American Robert Sealy, who is married to a Filipina, serenaded them with a popular love song. (Sealy and his wife were among the couples who celebrated their landmark wedding anniversary.)
Afterwards, the couples danced the waltz to the tune of “Fascination.”
The other couples who marked their milestone wedding anniversary included the following: 45 years — Bayani and Helen Domingo, Teofilo and Naty Fuller, Rev. Robert and Fe Roland, Dr. Ronaldo and Erlinda San Juan, Dr. Nilo and Didi Montecillo, Drs. Efren and Teresita Platon, Efren and Hazel Mojica, and Robert and Maria Sealy; 40 years — Frank and Evelyn Hazar, Roger and Lydia Palaganas, Dante and Ofie Quetolio and Ben and Vangie Caldero; 35 years – Dennis and Lolita Gosioco; 30 years – Bong and Espie Armendi, Audie and Billie Belen, Jun and Guadalupe Estrada, Ed and Ofelia Neate, Ernie and Villa Aquino; 20 years – Rene and Grace San Agustin, George and Elsa Freeman, and Chito and Monique Cancel; 15 years – Dr. Narciso and Fe Inez, Bryan and Mimie Stempien, Ron and Sol Whitaker, and Ron and Rhia Dancel; 10 years – Elpidio and Amanda Alipio, Eduado and Amalia Reyes, and Dennis and Michele Rapal; and 5 years – Raymond and Louela Brown, and Karl and Mary Ann Noffz.
The couples’ celebration of their anniversary was made more memorable by a dinner entertainment produced by the program-entertainment committee co-chaired by Loida Moses and Willie Dechavez.
It opened with a vocal number by Fely Villegas who sang two love songs entitled “Love Story” and “With These Hands.” This was followed by the rondalla performance of the PACCM’s Heartstring Band composed mostly of Paarlan Pilipno students and teachers.
The audience was amazed as the band played classical Pilipino songs such as “Leron Leron Sinta” and “Dahil sa Iyo.” The band members are Jazmin de Ramos, Isabelle Logan, Marinel Perez, Gabrielle Caoagas, Evelyn Alip, Becky Tungol, Jun Juco, Gabrielle Logan, Jalen Logan, Bouvie Freeman, Isabelle Talaban, Maj. Romy Alip, Ceasar Gemino and Josie Palu-ay.
This was followed by a vocal number by Antoinette Joseph who sang Lea Salonga’s song “Two Words.”
The popular PACCM Hula Dance troupe closed the entertainment show. They swung, turned around and shuffled their feet with their hands gracefully moving like a summer beach wave to the tune of “Have You Ever Seen the Rain.”
The hula dance group is composed of Gabrielle Caoagas, Divina Juco, Marissa Rodowick, Flor Penner, Rose Caoagas, Becky Tungol, Karen Fell, Dory Cardenas, Merce Gooding and Connie Sumalde.