Honoring A Leader Epitomized in Kalayaan Gala Night
The Kalayaan Filipino Cultural Organization (KFCO) celebrated its 32nd Annual Kalayaan Gala Night at the elegant Pearson Convention Center on Friday June 12, 2015. Guests from various Filipino organizations in Mississauga, GTA and surrounding Peel Region who graced the occasion wore with pride our national costume, the Barong and the Terno. It was a well attended, vibrant and meaningful celebration of our freedom and culture as well as celebration of people among us.
Distinguished dignitaries who attended this fabulous occasion were our new Consul General in Toronto Rosalita Prospero, new Mayor of Mississauga Bonnie Crombie and former Mayor of Mississauga, Hazel McCallion.
Highlight of the gala was the special tribute to Ruffy Romano, founder of Kalayaan Filipino Cultural Organization, co-founder of the Peel Multicultural Council and Pilipino Bayanihan of Mississauga. Hazel McCallion, a close and long time friend delivered a grateful and powerful recognition to Ruffy for his leadership in the community, and Jack Rondilla gave a poignant tribute representing old friends and the Romano family. Charity Roda, Editor of the Souvenir Program, dedicated a spreadsheet editorial of Ruffy’s life and accomplishments as a special feature in the Souvenir Program. It was a milestone honouring his hard work and dedication to KFCO, his love of family and the community.
Another highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Terno by sixteen women leaders in the community. The goal was to inspire all Filipinas to own one and wear it with pride. Our costume is part of our national symbol that sets us apart from other countries. It is a tradition that needs to be passed on to our future generations.
World Vision Canada, one of the sponsors for “Fiesta Ng Kalayaan” was part of the gala in launching their new project – Pinoy para sa Pinoy. Their photo exhibit outside the hall told the story of the urgent need for humanitarian intervention for children in the Philippines.
Adding to the celebration was the personal photo exhibit of Mr. Bin Loo, publisher of Filipiniana, who shared his passion for photography and snap shots of the community.
The huge success of the Kalayaan Gala was made possible by the generous Sponsors, Patrons, Advertisers and the Gala Organizing Committee headed by Ms. Rodel Meier, KFCO Chairman; Christine Macri, Vice Chairman;MayetteBabastro, Treasurer; Rene Sevilla, Secretary & photographer, Fe Tabago, Business Manager; Josie Salac, Auditor; Charity Roda, Editor of the Souvenir Program and Bea Paterson, our skilled Graphic Artist.
by: Babeth Cerbas