In the heart of a balmy August day, a tapestry of joy and jubilation was woven within the walls of the Weehawken Chart House at Lincoln Harbor in New Jersey. The 13th of August marked the culmination of the remarkable Grand Marshal journey as Dr. Dely Go’s Kaleidoscope of Joy unfurled its vibrant hues with her friends and supporters.
The venue seemed to breathe with life as the doors swung open, the atmosphere charged with the promise of an extraordinary experience. The space was alive with laughter, animated conversations, and the subtle rustle of excitement. A bustling dance floor emerged as a melting pot of energy and unity. Strangers became friends, a testament to the power of music to bridge divides and foster connections, leaving only the celebration of shared humanity.
The Ballroom, situated at the edge of the bustling Manhattan skyline, witnessed this enchanting display. Its walls absorbed the laughter, applause, and heartfelt conversations that filled the air, silently becoming an integral part of the day’s story. In Ronald Solosa’s Octagon Photography Photo Booth, guests adorned themselves with playful props, struck quirky poses, and immortalized their happiness in snapshots that perfectly encapsulated the day’s spirit—a celebration of life, friendship, and the excitement of being part of a transformative occasion. They also embraced the opportunity for selfies, capturing treasured moments alongside Dely amidst the iconic cityscape backdrop. Through the lens of photographer Joros Razon, each moment of Dely’s journey was captured, becoming a lasting impression of the kaleidoscope of emotions that danced through the event.
The day began with the stirring melodies of the USA and Philippine National Anthems, resonating as an ode to unity and shared identity. Fr. Julian Jagudilla’s invocation established the mood as a reminder of gratitude and togetherness.
Yet, this was only the prelude to the enchanting journey that awaited. A sit-down lunch ensured that guests experienced a structured and well-paced meal. The clinking of utensils and the exchange of stories wove connections, a reminder that the moments shared were as vibrant as the occasion itself.
Amidst the jubilation, the event saw the esteemed presence of Philippine Consul General Senen Mangalile and Deputy Consul General Ady S. Cruz of New York. During this occasion, Consul General Senen grasped the chance to promote the 2024 Very Important Pinoy (VIP) Tour to the Philippines—an impressive undertaking orchestrated by the Philippine Consulate of New York. The tour initiative serves as a meaningful reunion for Filipinos living abroad, providing them with a meticulously crafted journey across the country, fostering connection and appreciation for their homeland.
The stage, a canvas for artistic expression, came alive with solo performances from Miguel Braganza and Krizia Daya, accompanied by the musical guitar of Sheldon Magbanua. Kinding Sindaw’s Potri Ranka Manis, Nonilon V. Queano, Nurmini Lali, Emily Goes, and Erno John Hormillosa transported the audience into an alternate realm through the language of dance belonging to the indigenous peoples of Mindanao in the Southern Philippines.
But Judilyn Franco’s rendition of You Raise Me Up truly stirred the emotions of all present. The song’s ethereal melody brought forth deep and heartfelt recollections of Dely’s father. Filled with emotion, Dely stood up and warmly embraced Judilyn on the stage—a gesture that perfectly embodied the song’s essence.
The surprises kept coming. Dely was overcome with astonishment as she was beckoned to address the crowd. Out of nowhere, a mighty chorus of voices burst into That’s What Friends Are For, an electrifying wave of emotion swept through the room. Guests rose from their seats, converging around her with heartfelt lyrics on their lips, their synchronized movements a testament to the depth of their connection to Dely. Amidst this exhilarating display, she was bestowed with a birthday cake and a bouquet, surrounded by the embrace of her loving family.
The vibrant video wall came alive with Dely’s CNN Story of the Filipino Documentary, its images, and stories resonating deeply, garnering applause and admiration.
Generosity flowed freely, as a staggering $5,100 in cash prizes were raffled as Ericamae Patricio stood as the Tambiolo Lady throughout the drawings—a testament to the spirit of giving that Dely epitomizes.
Even from miles away, the event’s impact extended its reach. A video greeting from Philippine Consul General Elmer G. Cato from Milan, Italy, was shown on the video wall. Video messages from Mayor Arvin Amatorio of Bergenfield, NJ, and Koro Hiraya from Milan, Italy, delivered their heartfelt messages reserved solely for Dely’s private viewing.
Chart House’s JoJo Paredes and the dedicated staff’s flawless execution provided the backdrop for the day’s magic, allowing joy and camaraderie to radiate even more brilliantly.
It was an afternoon to be remembered, thanks to the gracious hosting of Darlene Dilangalen Borromeo, Shiran Ybanez, and Miguel Braganza. Erno John Hormillosa and Joji Jalandoni supervised the careful placement of guests. Little John Gadia’s DJ Filipino team adeptly harmonized sound, lights, music, and the dynamic video wall, with Kielan Santos spotlighting the event.
At the heart of this vibrant tapestry was SAG-AFTRA actor Pierre Santos. Entrusted with the responsibility two weeks before the event, Pierre conceived, wrote, and directed the show, including crafting flower centerpieces. A symphony of visual and auditory creativity. Pierre’s choreography and dance performance, alongside the Cebu Inc. dancers Shiran Ybanez, Erica Patricio, Rosa Lee, Monica Ongvano, Maricris Tagana, and Jennive Uayan, established the mood for the event, infusing vitality into the opening act. Her unwavering support throughout Dely’s Grand Marshal parades in New York City, Milan, Italy, and New Jersey underscored her steadfast commitment to Dely’s Grand Marshal odyssey.
The lingering resonance of Kaleidoscope of Joy remained as the festivities ended. The day was more than an event; it was a living, breathing story of life, love, and the unbreakable bonds of unity.
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