(originally the Philippine War Veterans & Ex-Servicemen Society of B.C) celebrated Bataan Day- A Day of Valor “Araw ng Kagitingan” on April 5. 2015 at the Vancouver Alpen Club, 4875 Victoria Drive, Vancouver, B.C. It was a “one of a kind celebration” in honor of the defenders of Bataan and the survivors of the infamous Death March. Hon. Don Davies, Member of Parliament, Vancouver- Kingsway and Mrs. Sheryl Davies were guests of honor in this historic event.
Also present were the leaders of the Confederation of Filipino Canadian Associations (CONFICA); Mr. Romy Mercado (Forever Young Seniors Society), Ms. Celyna Sia Sherst (Filipino Seniors Club of BC), & Ms. Ching Hipol (Filipino Zodiac Circle of BC Society). Mr. Fernando P. Salanga, PHILVETS President, in his welcome address said “This celebration is our way of paying tribute and expressing our sympathy, eternal gratitude and affirmation that we have not forgotten the thousands of Filipino and American soldiers who displayed extraordinary gallantry and courage beyond the call of duty in defending Bataan and Corregidor in 1942.”
Highlights of the celebrationwas the coronation of Philvets Queen of Valor, Ms. Imelda Espejo Canlas. A Spring Free Style Fashion Show directed by Marilyn Cabico & Ofelia Padua, was featured, participated in by glamorous models, added zest to the celebration. Models: Jasmine Cabarrabang, Kristine Palomares, Angel Anselmo, Rochelle Canlas, Jasmine Stacey, Merlina Fayusal, Celyna Sherst, Virgie Flores, Mitzi Echague, Virgie Archie, Narcy Vinluan, Luz Stacey, Rose Tedlie, Nelia Asutilla, Helen Villarico, Leocy dela Cruz, Rose Taruc, Gloria Lorenzo, Daria David, Linda Gonzales, Genie Lactao, Erlinda Urrutia, Domeng Bagunu, Puring Salazar & Raymond Lam.
The Zambales Line Dancers: Merlina Fayusal, Angelina Balaong and Carmelita Claudio opened the program with an invigorating dance number. The Philippine Tapestry presented a cultural show, choreographed by Leny & Letty Arboleda. A mini concert featuring the versatile Comedian/Entertainment Host, PAPA BEAR, Raffy Swap One, JJ “Wonderboy” Cepeda and Jasmine Stacey rocked the house down. The attendees were extremely entertained and took home with them not only a feeling of satisfaction at having taken part in a successful and inspirational event, but also agreeable memories of the time spent with Philvets . – Mimi Reginaldo, Program Coordinator