Vibrant Gala evening celebrates Filipino culture and traditions

By Estelle Oloresisimo and Mary Powers

The Filipino Ministry of the Archdiocese of San Francisco hosted their annual Gala showcasing their rich cultural heritage.  For the past 13 years, the Archdiocesan Filipino Ministry has promoted the best in Filipino culture and enriched the multicultural life of the local church through devotional practices and religious-cultural celebrations that embrace a vision of a church that is open and welcoming to all.

The night included dancing, awards, and a raffle.

The Gala presented two individuals with an annual Gala Papal Blessing. This year’s honorees were Edgar Estonia and Deacon Ven Garcia.

Later in the evening, Father Kevin Kennedy, pastor and rector of the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption and pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Byzantine Church, picked the winning raffle tickets and Father Jerald Geronimo read the names of the winners.  Winners included parishioners from St. Mark’s Church in Belmont, St. Augustine Church in South San Francisco, Good Shepherd in Pacifica, and Our Lady of Mercy in Daly City.

The MCs for the event were Christine Adiaz and Leon Palad, and the program included performances by St. Augustine Children’s Choir, the Filipino Ministry Music Choir, Father Rey Culaba, Father Boie Espeleta, Robbie Herrera, and the Kariktan Dancers.

Also attending the evening celebration were dignitaries such as the Hon. Consul General Neil Ferrer and the Philippine Consulate staff, South San Francisco Mayor Flor Nicolas and Nenar Nicolas, along with clergy and religious sisters of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.