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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Judging " Marinduque's Got Talent" Contest

The four days of reunion and business meeting of Marinduque International Inc in Buena Park, California was just concluded last weekend. (http://marinduqueawaitsyou.blogspot.com)

Marinduque International Inc. is a non-profit organization composed of nine chapters all over the world. It's major humanitarian project is the Medical Mission held every two years in the province of Marinduque, Philippines. The four days included a Welcome Night/Dinner, A trip to the Casino, A Talent Contest, An Induction Dinner Dance, Business Meeting/Election of Officers and Farewell Brunch. The following are my brief impressions of the events that Macrine and I had attended.

Thursday Night, August 20-Welcome Party-”Surfin' California Theme- No Cost-We were not able to attend, but we heard it was fun. Moreover it was free, compliments of the host chapter-Southern California(MASC).

Friday Afternoon, August 21- Talent Contest.- I volunteered as one of four judges. Seven of the nine chapters participated in the contest. The chief judge informed us that there are five criteria in the judging as follows: Overall Performance, Extra-Ordinary or over all Impressions, Talent, Costumes and Humor.
The rating will be from 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest score. In the middle of the contest, out of the blue, we were told to limit the time to 15 minutes. Points will be deducted for overtime performance.
Here is my rating for the seven participants based on the above criteria. ( Toronto and Saudi Arabia Chapters did not participate)
MACUSA -4.8, MESA-4.2 , MANC 3.5, MASC -4.5, Vancouver-4.5, MASTEG- 4.5 and MACA-3.0

At the end of the program, the chief judge informed us that another criteria should be considered. This is the relevance of the presentation to Marinduque Culture. She said there are only two presentations that has relevance to Marinduque culture- MASTEG and Vancouver. We must choose the winner from these two presentations. Because of the boring length and over 15 minutes overtime of the MASTEG presentation, I choose VANCOUVER as the winner. The four judges were unanimous in choosing Vancouver as the winner.
Olga and Lito Quiazon from Vancouver Chapter, Jorge Bunag from MESA with me and Macrine at the Dinner Dance
(In case, you do not know, Olga and Macrine are first cousins).
The next day, I heard that there was a lot of dissatisfaction from our judging from another judge. Later on that night, somebody from MACUSA ask me why I did not vote for MACUSA as the winner, since they spent a lot of time preparing for their presentation. I told her, I gave their group the highest rating, and she was satisfied with my explanation. However, I did notice that most of the members of MACUSA were not talking to me during the Grand Ball and Induction of Officers. I suggest that in the next reunion in Chicago, the criteria for judging be given ahead of time to the participating chapters. Lessons learned from this event is to communicate in a timely manner.

Friday Night-Trip to the Casino. Forty six avid casino gamblers went to Club Serrano, San Manuel Indian Casino in San Bernandino County. Macrine and I were eager participants. Our weekly entertainment activity is to go to one of the two Indian Casinos near our residence. The two Indian Casinos are the Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln, CA and the Red Hawk Casino in Placerville, CA. Both Casinos are new. Almost all of the slots machines are brand new compared to the old slots machines in San Manuel. Needless to say, I lost $40 in 5 minutes. Macrine and I decided to use our $10 coupon at the seafood buffet instead of feeding the hungry one-arm bandits. We gorged ourselves with lobster, Alaska King Crabs, fresh oysters and numerous other dishes and desserts. The seafood buffet was the highlight of our trip. Later after dinner, I tried the “old” slot machines. It was definitely programmed so that the players chance of winning is almost nil. At the end of the night I lost $100, the amount I budgeted for the trip. I guess the old slot machines(true one-armed bandits) in Old Indian Casinos are programmed so that the player has only less than 10% chance of winning. I believe however that the newer Casinos are required by California law to increase the odds of players to win to about 40% in the slot machines. If you know the exact odds of winning the slots in Thunder Valley or at Red Hawk Casinos, let me know.

Saturday:August 22- 10AM to 4:00PM- Business Meeting and Election of Officers. The following are highlights of the meeting:

1.Clarification and Explanation why participation to the medical mission is one of the requirements to be President or Vice president of the organization, besides good moral character and the ability to manage a complex organization.
2.Latest status on the province legal battle against Placer Dome Mining, a subsidiary Of Barrick Inc.-A Canadian mining company.
3.Latest news on the reopening of the mines in Marinduque-canceled due to time constraint
4.Another public tantrum and dramatic outburst from a MASC member on topics #2 and #3
5 Election of Officers for 2010-2012
The results of the election are as follows:
President: Annie Miles Jalac- Vancouver
Vice President: Mike Miciano-San Diego
Secretary: Sonia Ferranco Baltazar- Northern Ca
Treasurer: Violeta Magsino-Chicago
Auditor: Joe Blanche-Southern Ca
PRO: Blanca Salcedo Ho- MACA
Our congratulations to the newly elected officers.

Grand Ball and Induction of New Officers:

Northern California Table at the Dinner Dance and Induction
Agnes and Macrine enjoying the festivities
More than 470 attendees crowded the ball room of the Knotts Berry Farm Hotel in Buena Park. The food was plentiful and delicious. The music was fine, but the dance floor was so small, that if you want to be trampled, go to the dance floor. Several of the guests were dancing on the side of the hall outside of the dance floor. I heard that one male guest complained to an officer of MASC, that they came to dance not to listen about the raffles. There a was an "after dinner dance snack" at the hospitality room of MASC president It was was well attended in spite of the late hour. There was plenty of snacks for every one to partake and to bring to their hotel rooms. In charge of this "after dinner dance snacks" was Joyce Ancog. Some members brought with them dozens of muffins and several sandwiches to their hotel rooms enough to provide breakfast for a dozen more guests in the morning. The "after dinner snacks" event was indeed successful, but it looks like some of the guests have not eaten for weeks during this after dinner affair by bringing so much food to their hotel rooms.

SUNDAY-August 23- Brunch at Jojo and Andrew Soriano Mansion in Orange, CA. Jojo, Andrew and mother, Fely Lansangan in her beautiful yellow terno greeted the guests in the gardens of their spacious antique mansion with free valet parking where a superb Filipino brunch was served from around 10AM to 1:00PM. Some guests arrived as early as 9:30AM and were served a refreshing melon drink or coffee. Then at exactly 10AM, Jojo ranged the bell announcing the buffet was served. More than a dozen Filipino breakfast delicacies such as salted duck eggs with sliced tomatoes, de-boned bangus(milk fish), sausage, daing(dried fish), samporado and other Filipino delicacies were served hot. It was delicious and I enjoyed specially the salted egg and fried fish combination with fried rice. My guess is by around 12 NOON most of the expected guest had arrived with the exception of a few who overslept and did not arrived till around 1:00PM, when half of the guests had already left. But I notice there were still plenty of food left after the late comers had arrived, so there is no danger that the late comers will have nothing to eat. I also notice that most of the MACUSA members were not there. They must have left for Chicago in the early morning. Macrine and I had a grand time. Thank you, Jojo and Andrew and Fely for your hospitality.

Note to my none-Filipino readers: Although arriving one hour to two hours late in a social event here in US is considered bad manners, there is still a lot of Filipino-Americans who practice "Filipino time" even if they are already residents of United States for a number of years. This behaviour reminds me of an Ilongo joke, " Dugay ka na sa America, tonto ka man gihapon", which meant "You have been a resident of the United States of America for a long time, but you are still stupid". This joke also refers to students from the provinces in the Philippines who had studied in Manila.

Our Stay at the Ancog Hotel and Gardens at La Mirada: Normally, when we attend MI, Inc meetings and reunion, we stayed at the Hotel where all the activities are held. This was the second time that we stayed in a private residence of a member of the host chapter during an MI, Inc reunion. Our capable hosts were Ray and Joyce Ancog. We are glad we did accept Joyce invitation. About six months ago, Joyce called Macrine that if we are planning to attend the 30th Anniversary of MASC, she would be delighted if we stay with them. We said yes and they promised to pick us from the airport on Friday Afternoon and bring us to the airport Monday afternoon. We decided not to attend the Thursday night welcome Night Activity. Again, we are glad we stayed with the Ancogs. Their hospitality overwhelmed us. I enjoyed Ray's orchids and tropical plant collections. Relaxing in the patio of their residence in La Mirada was a delight. Looking at the blooming orchids, and fruit bearing guavas, avocados, oranges, cherimoya, persimmons and several citrus trees was the highlight of our stay. We also enjoyed our tour to Huntington and Redondo Beach Piers as well as our two-hour escapade to a ballroom studio in Long Beach Sunday night. Thank you, Joyce and Ray for your hospitality. This was the best MI, Inc reunion and meeting that we have attended for the last 10 years because we stayed with you.
Tour of Huntington and Redondo Beaches on our way home to Sacramento
Congratulations to MASC for a job well done. Special congratulations and thanks to Luz, Agnes, Albine, Grace, Connie, Joyce, Ray, Eve, Noly and other MASC officers who made this event a tremendous success. We hope to see you all in the next reunion in Chicago in 2011. David and Macrine Katague

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