|(Photo courtesy of Dr. Joey Santos)|
With Brunei’s conservative culture, to find a place where you can party, engage in wacky activities or watch fabulous performances is very rare. But for someone who's imaginative and resourceful on creating "good times" without going overboard with Brunei's serenity, as a popular saying goes, if there’s a will, there’s a way.
Just recently, I organized an event. As one of the officers of UP Circle Brunei, an organization that hosts alumni from the University of the Philippines who currently live or work in Brunei, I sperheaded the Induction of Officers and Members ceremony.
As I was planning the event, I thought of Philippine Summer as the theme. And so, a vibrant and exciting Hawaiian Night was conceived. The Induction ceremony was held last Saturday, 14 April 2012 at Dewan Shabandar in Holiday Lodge Hotel.
Since I’ve been organizing events for more than nine years now, I was confident that I’ll be able to pull off the planning, execution and post-evaluation of our very own event. Then again, I had some apprehensions. Some officers were busy with their jobs. However, as I contacted the members, I received positive feedback. They're ready to help.
I’m thankful with the huge amount of help and support from the members and officers of UP CB. While Sir Egay’s started making the Facebook invitation page and inviting everyone, I worked on the programme, assigment of decorations to other members, creation of games, and shopping and packaging of prizes.
Positively, over the past days, I was able to book Holiday Lodge. Initially I rerserved for 30 heads. But as the days passed by, thirty turned to fourty and eventually closed at forty-seven. I said to myself, "maganda ang response ng mga members at pupunta sila." With this, I became inspired to "karir" the event.
|Hosts of the Night: Me and Ma'am Betsy. (Photo by Dr. Joey Santos)|
There were some reasons why I loved our event. Apart from the bonggang turn out of attendees, everyone participated in the activities that we prepared. Let me go into the details.
First, everyone came along with their Hawaiian outfits. From kids to adults, everyone was in their best and “hot” ensemble. The girls had their garlands while the guys had their floral printed polo shirts. In the end, we awarded the Best Dressed for the Male and Female Category, on both kids and adults. Yours truly, with the help of my officemate (a designer) produced four medals made of foam and printed paper. Ms. Len and Sir Egay won in the adults category, while Hanah and Abel won in the Kids Category.
|The Golden Medals|
|Best Dressed Adults: Sir Egay and Ms. Len. (Photo by Dr. Joey Santos)|
|Best Dressed Kids: Abel and Hanah. (Photo by Dr. Joey Santos)|
Second, the decoration was amazing. Sperheaded by Ms. Lea, we hang lots of Banderitas, and we also had bright letters on the stage wall. Actually we started the decorations as early as Wednesday as we had to cut the letter patterns.
|Our Decorations head, Ms. Lea!|
|Busy-busyhan with cutting the kapapelan!|
|Chika while working!|
Third, the kids and adults participated in the games. We had prizes to give to the winners. Actually, I shopped for the prizes at a cheapest possible amount. Of course in events organizing, it is important to get the best value with money without going overboard on a set budget.
|Token for those who dressed up!|
|Ms. Jing and Sir Joey won the Neck Tie Game!|
Fourth, there were a lot of performances. It was like a talent showdown. Eurj hit a piece with a piano. Ton played the guitar as Ma’am Betsy sang. Roch and Reese sang. Abel sang the song “rainbow connection” in acapella. Yours truly also performed.On top of that, two Bruneians sang Tagalog songs; Hamdi and Aquila, both from UBD and were former students of Ma’am Betsy in the Filipino Language class, sang “Hanggang Ngayon” by Ogie Alcasid and Regine Velasquez. Aquilah sang another Tagalog song as popularized by Lani Misalucha.
|Eurj playing a piece. (Photo by Dr. Joey Santos)|
|Me, yeah, singing!|
|Hamdi and Aquilah rendering a Tagalog song! Amazing!|
|Ton and Ma'am Betsy. I'm a mic stand (lol) (Photo by Dr. Joey Santos)|
Fifth, a lot of members came and joined the event. On top of that, we had a smooth Induction of Officers and Members.
|Some of the girls! (Photo by Dr. Joey Santos)|
|And some of the Boys. (Photo by Dr. Joey Santos)|
Sixth, apart from having Minister and Charge d’ Affaires from the Philippine Embassy in Brunei Darussalam, Celeste Vinzon-Balatbat, we also had the Ambassador of Korea in Brunei Darussalam, Byung-Koo Choi, who’s also a graduate of the University of the Philippines.
|Middle: Korean Ambassador Byung-Koo Choi. (Photo by Dr. Joey Santos)|
|Minister Balatbat giving a speech. (Photo by Dr. Joey Santos)|
Seventh, the food was great. More than that, we had more to delight everyone's appetite.
And lastly, the event somehow bonded the members and officers of UP Circle Brunei. Sir Egay also delivered a short speech to give direction and set goals for the organization. With this, UP CB can jumpstart to create programs and projects to serve the Filipinos in Brunei Darussalam.
|Our New Chairman, Sir Egay! (Photo by Dr. Joey Santos)|
The event capped off with lots of photo sessions.
|Getting ready for a photo session!|
Indeed, UP CB Induction of Officers and Members ceremony was a success. The organization showed that with camaraderie and dedication among members, nothing is impossible.
|Induction of New Members. (Photo by Dr. Joey Santos)|
|Induction of New Officers.|
Cheers to UP Circle Brunei. Mabuhay ang mga Iskolar ng Bayan.