The sweet fresh smell of December air after the rain signals that Christmas is here again. Most of us welcome this moment with a smile because it is the time of the year that is filled with tradition. For now, CTFLC is a tradition that brings happiness and cheers to every membership and their beloved families, though we missed others. We look at this celebration with anticipation mainly because we hold our last meeting of the year, ratify the organization’s Constitution and By-Laws, elect a new set of officers, enjoy sumptuous dishes, sing carols, play games, and exchange gifts “with a twist.”
At quarter to 11:00 a.m., Ms. Mary Rose Peralta, president calls the meeting to order. Membership checks and approves the November Minutes of the meeting. Then, Mr. Salvador Idos and Mr. Jose Chan share and make a presentation about a project called “Tamaguchi – Adopt a Student” (www.buildinglivesforbetterfuture.org), which aims to help Filipino children and their families in the Philippines. After a series of discussions, Ms. Peralta calls for a break during the ratification of CTFLC’s Constitution and By-Laws and Election of New Officers for 2015-2017 pending establishing a quorum. Indeed, it is a perfect timing for lunch.
Gathering around the table, Dr. Cristeta Dumaran leads the prayer with gratitude. Most of us ditch the diet plan and dive into the crunchy lechon, yummy pansit palabok, creamy chicken macaroni, beef empanada, smoked bangus tinapa, rellenong bangus, leche flan, and other Filipino dishes. Others who prefer healthier food have the option to enjoy salad, grilled vegetables, bake salmon, and fruits. For our eyes, the table is a sea of delicacies. Definitely, we enjoy the food as well as each other’s company.
Mustering up a quorum, Ms. Peralta called the membership again to reconvene, tasked Dr. Atilio Alicio to deliberate on the ratification of the Constitution, and requested Ms. Rosalina Idos and Ms. Dolores Balane, COMELEC members, to conduct the election of officers. The new set of officers are:
- President - Jacquilin Magat-Lapid
- President-elect – Myrna P. Ablana
- Secretary – Farah D. Mendoza
- Treasurer – Carolina I. Caparros
- Public Relations Officer – Atilio V. Alicio
Mr. Norman Leonard administers the oath taking. Afterwards, Ms. Magat-Lapid gives her acceptance speech. Then, Ms. Peralta delivers her farewell speech as she hands the presidency position to Ms. Magat-Lapid.
To celebrate this moment, Biares Family Ensemble headed by Mrs. Julita Biares performs a Christmas medley. Her son, Chito plays the bass and her awesome grandkids play the flute and trumpet. Mr. Felizardo Moscoso leads the singing of Christmas carols. Together, with our somewhat angelic voices influenced by satisfied tummy, sing yuletide songs with our best ability. In addition, Mr. Salvador Idos, the King of Games, ask us to join his game of “Bato, Bato-bato, Batuto”. Prizes are given to the winners.
Finally, the air is filled with excitement. Absolutely, it’s time for the “Exchange Gift with a Twist.” Instead of just simply giving gifts, we are allowed to “steal” other gifts that we have an eye for. The third time that the gift is “stolen,” it is already “dead” meaning, it cannot be stolen anymore. This tradition becomes the most awaited moment because we have so much fun laughing at the reactions of the participants. Others pretend to be upset, but deep inside there’s a sense of amusement. Some give witty insinuations or comments that make us crack with laughter and shriek with delight. We consider gifts as a means to have fun and enjoy each other’s company.
Indeed, our Kapamilyang CTFLC Christmas Tradition is worth waiting and worth attending.
To Ms. Julita Biares, and Ms. Marilin Escalante for setting up the venue, CVHS Cafeteria, with festive decors, and to everyone for all the support and assistance to make this year-end gathering a successful, enjoyable and memorable one again… maraming-mamarming salamat!
To the newly-elected officers… Mabuhay!
Sa inyong lahat….Maligayang Pasko at Mapagpalang Bagong Taon!!!