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04/11/2010: Philippine Embassy officers attend U.P. Maskara Ball

Minister Ariel Peñaranda (rightmost) of the Embassy of the Philippines in Washington, DC delivered remarks on behalf of Ambassador Willy C. Gaa at the Maskara Ball of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia (UPAA DCMDVA) on October 30, 2010 at the Westin Tyson’s Corner in Virginia. With him in the photo are Mr. Bong Pangilinan, President of UPAA DCMDVA; Mrs. Rowena Peñaranda; and, Atty. Loida Nicolas Lewis, Chairman Emeritus of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA).

Guests don their masks at the Maskara Ball of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia (UPAA DCMDVA) on October 30, 2010 at the Westin Tyson’s Corner in Virginia. (Photo courtesy of Mr. Jay Pecson)

November 4, 2010, Washington, DC – More than two hundred guests attended the Maskara Ball organized by the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia (UPAA DCMDVA) on October 30, 2010 at the Westin Tyson’s Corner in Virginia.

The Maskara Ball takes after the Masskara Festival, an annual event in the City of Bacolod that features the many smiling faces of Bacolod through colorful masks and street fair. One of the famous festivities in the Philippines, the Masskara Festival attracts thousands of local and foreign tourists every year.

Minister Ariel Peñaranda of the Embassy of the Philippines addressed the large community of U.P. alumni in the metro DC area. On behalf of Philippine Ambassador to the United States Willy C. Gaa, Minister Peñaranda said, “True to their title as iskolar ng bayan, scholars of the people, the UPAA always responds to the Embassy’s call and that of the larger Filipino-American community in many important occasions.

Speaking on the good news that comes from the Philippines such as the fresh and hopeful political climate and strengthening economy, Minister Peñaranda urged his fellow U.P. alumni “to be always in the loop” on current developments in the country.

He also took the opportunity to invite the U.P. alumni, who are always eager to give back to the Philippines, to support the campaign for the passage of the Save Our Industries (SAVE) Act, a bill pending in the U.S. Congress that aims to restore and create jobs in the Philippines and the United States by reinvigorating bilateral trade in fabric and garments.

Chairman Emeritus of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA) Atty. Loida Nicolas Lewis was the evening’s keynote speaker. Ms. Lewis presented innovative ways through which the alumni of U.P., may further play an active role in the development of the Philippines. The ball also featured the maiden performance of the Oblation Singers, the newly-formed choral group of UPAA DCMDVA.

The proceeds gathered from the ball will fund the three of the seven Junior Faculty Grants UPAA DCMDVA committed to support. Four of the seven grants have been fully funded.  -- END