Kagay-anons in the USA did not let distance stop them from celebrating the Feast Day of St. Augustine like they had done for decades now, except for a brief two year break at the height of the covid pandemic.
The Cagayanons of Northern California Chapter, Kagayanon International (KI) , started off a day early on Aug. 27th at the Eden Shores Park in Hayward, California. The Norcal Chapter includes Kagay-anons residing in the Bay Area, Silicon Valley and nearby cities like Sacramento, Fresno, and Tracy.
Organized mainly by Peter Garcia, Past President and Cecile Macmang- Amaya, Past Treasurer, they had about 25 attendees since several Norcal Kagay-anons also took the occasion to come home to Cagayan de Oro to celebrate with their childhood friends and loved ones after the two year hiatus.
“Although not too many came for various reasons like – some are afraid to be in a crowd for fear of catching covid, other regulars went home to CdO to join in the merrymaking during the fiesta, or to visit family while others had other commitments like taking care of a sick family member,” said Wendy Ramos-Garcia.
Among those who were able to join were Cely and Felix Montecillo who came with Cely’s mother and daughter, Yoling Malferrari, daughter Dia with her young family, and sister Lisa M. Gallegher of Virginia, Cherry Pacana-Lim who came with the Caballes sisters Didi and Ody, Paz and Tony Gutierrez, Romy and Zedy Alvidera, Noel Velasco, Kiko de la Fuente, Jane and Gerald Willkom, Oscar and Cecile M. Amaya, Minda Boulton and sister Alma, Jojo Luminarias, Romy Anora, Wendy, Peter and Rex Garcia (Peter’s nephew).
Food was plentiful -Cebuchon (pork belly) donated by the organization, sisig, pancit, fried chicken, tuna pasta, guinamos with green mangos, biko and other delicacies. A good time was had by all and attendees plan to meet again during the holiday season (Christmas)!
Meantime, the Kagay-anons of Southern California (KSC) held their first in-person fiesta celebration in 3 years on August 28th at the Silverado Park in Long Beach, with around 200 attendees, to celebrate the Feast Day of Cagayan’s Patron Saint, Señor San Agustin, along with the Birhen sa Kota.
According to Frederick Alain Docdocil, KSC Vice President, KSC covers the entire Los Angeles area all the way down to San Diego, California.
A mass to celebrate the Feast of Cagayan de Oro City Patron Saint Augustine of Hippo was held prior to the luncheon, and officiated by Fr. Julius Clavero, parish priest of St Francis Xavier Church in Uptown Cagayan de Oro, who was fortuitously in the US preparing for further schooling.
While the KSC Fiesta festivities was highlighted by the requisite potluck buffet feast, special performances, raffle prizes, and of course, dancing, there was also a bit of a solemn moment when an In Memoriam video was shown in honor and memory of dear departed fellow Kagay-anons who had passed away. Video greetings from CDO Archbishop Most Rev. Jose A. Cabantan, D.D. and Kyle Jennerman, Kulas of Becoming Filipino vlog were also aired.
KSC officers include Orville Willkom (President); Past Presidents Gerlou Gaane, Richard Tompkins, Bella Cristobal, Norma Navarro, Rose Garrido, and Keith Venadas; officers Anjanette Gaane, Rose Neri, Bing Venadas, Zeny Valiente, Joey Dayon, Lorna Cervantez, Virgie Tahan, Ed Moreno and Board Members Merlie Luminarias, Jojo Sombilon, Bebbot Alquitela, Loloy Luminarias, Joe Garrido, Necing Arrabaca, Susan Lopez,
Roel Coscos and Berna Raagas.
Further in the South Central US (also considered as part of the U.S. South and the U.S. Southwest, the Kagay-anons & Misamisnons (Oriental) of Texas, USA celebrated in style at the Philippine Community Center at Houston.
Spearheaded by the Docdocil family with Rosie and niece Juniper Dinlayan-Docdocil as emcees, this celebration was unique in that it had no less than Ms Kagay-an 2007 Diane Bagunoc as an honored guest. Now a registered nurse working in Houston and married to Charlemagne Marban (also a nurse), the couple has two kids.
Some 130 participants joined the fiesta celebration with the Docdocil/Petican/Duterte clan of Houston having the biggest contingent.
“I would like to give thanks and congratulate the Norstand household- Duterte/Petican/Docdocil family for the successful Kagay-anon Festival!” “Rose very good job nalingaw ra sad mga tawo bibo kaayo job well done! Good Job! Successful event . I gained new friends!” were just a few of the kudos posted online by the appreciative participants.
East Coast, New Jersey
The Kagayanon International USA East Coast Chapter, New Jersey also celebrated the city fiesta a day early on August 27 at the Colonial Park, 156 Mettler’s Road, Somerset, NJ 08873.
With the theme Bisag Unsaon Kagay-anon Guihapon, the event was organized by Chita Roa Marquez.
New York City
The Cagayan de Oro-Misamis Oriental Association of New York held its St Augustine Fiesta Celebration and Coronation Night of Ms Cagayan de Oro-Misamis Oriental 2022 at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel, Flushing, Queens, NY on August 27 with over 200 guests present.
CDO-MIS OR ASSOCIATION OF NY INC was founded by 15 charter members in Aug 2001 and today has 231 active members.
Guests from the Department of Foreign Affairs headed by Consul Gen Elmer G Cato who was represented by Consul Ricarte Abejuela , many Fil-Am Leaders, members and friends of the association, said CDO-Misor Assn of NY Inc Pres. Marygene Espinosa.
It was a well-attended celebration with the highlights of crowning the new Ms CDO-MIS OR 2022 Effie Lou Ruiz Zalakar, of Alubijid, Misamis Oriental representing Long Island, NY, now living in Medford, NY, was crowned Ms CDO-MisOr 2022 by Consul Ricarte Abejuela of the Philippine Consulate, NY, assisted by Ms Alice Quimson Manacay, after winning Best in Gown and Ms Photogenic.
The other contestants included 1st runner up Elizabeth Paler Dajao, originally from Patag, representing the Bronx; and 2nd runner up Genevieve Tubeo Maier, originally from Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, representing Queens and who also studied in Cagayan de Oro.
Fiesta Potluck Picnic, on Saturday Aug 27 at Center Island Park (Olympic- Island-Area 17, Toronto, Ontario, M5J2E9 fronting the high rises of downtown Toronto and the iconic CN Tower. Kagayanon International Toronto includes individuals (and their families) who are residents, workers, and students in Ontario, Canada who came from Cagayan de Oro City and the neighboring towns/cities of Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon.
Led by the 3rd generation of officers, Rochelle Montes, Alex Abalos and Kisha Segne and team, almost a hundred Kagay-anons and their families joined the picnic.
The 3rd generation officers are some younger couples and families coming from CDO during the last 10 years and some children of our group (2nd gen officers) who grew up in Toronto, who did all the work, promotion and mobilization, under
he guidance and support of the first generation immigrants.
New immigrants were welcomed and introduced during the event and fun activities were conducted like tug-of-war, sack race, and bring me. Among the current Toronto Council Officers are Chairman Guimoy Puyo; Area Coordinators Nestor Marzan, Philip Abalos and Allan Abellanosa, Rodolf Lastimosa and Program Coordinators Darwin Maandig (MC) and Suzette Montes.
British Columbia, Canada