Community members young and old gathered at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center Friday evening to watch the 2012 Man'amko Talent Show.
The senior citizens sang, danced, read poetry, and even did the catwalk to entertain a crowd of about 140 to raise funds to support the various recreational programs at the Aging Center.
The event opened with Teresita Sorroza, president of the Saipan Seniors Advisory Council, delivering her open remarks followed by a special message from 2012 Liberation Queen Lydee Rose S. Pangelinan, who was joined by her Royal Court.
Friday's event drew cheers and applause as the man'amko delivered performances in line with the theme, “Never Too Old To Play.”
Presenters in the dance field included Maxie and the Palauan Dance Group, Alejandra's Group Stick Dance, Ann T. Perry, Alejandra's Fireman Dance, and Paula Mereb & The Ropers. Eighty-four-year-old Abdon “Pepe” Tumaquip proved that age is not a deterrence for those who want to remain physically active as he stretched his limbs and danced to the tune of “Bad to the Bone.”
Members of the audience also joined the seniors on stage as they all grooved to the beat throughout the dance performances.
The singing group, meanwhile, consisted of the Voices of Angels, comprised of Meryalen Conrad, Floria James, and Terry Sitae; Vicente “Ben” Laniyo, who also played the guitar; and Rosario Ibanez, who read her original poem. Rep. Joseph M. Palacios, former Aging director, played the drums in a special number that got the man'amko up their feet and on stage.
Three male seniors also brought down the house when they sashayed on stage in hilarious, ladylike outfits for the Ms. Northern Islands popularity pageant.
But the highlight of the event came when senior Meryalen “The Spitta” Conrad challenged Ben B., also known as The Human Beatbox, in the first ever beatbox battle in the history of the man'amko. Conrad's surprising ability to produce rhythmic sounds with her mouth fascinated the crowd, earning her the bragging rights and respect of her contender and the spectators.
The audience were also treated to a live performance by brothers Dean Manglona and Aging program coordinator Walter Manglona as they sang their hit song, “Chamorro Superman.” Walter Manglona also performed with Ben B. and Guam's Tommy Boy Atalig for the new single, “My Pickup Line.”
Walter Manglona said in an interview after the show that the turnout was “amazing” considering that it was more than what they expected.
“We're very happy that people actually came out to support the show. It's something for the man'amko to get out and exercise and stay happy and they enjoyed themselves. They were very happy that people showed up,” he told Saipan Tribune.
Manglona stressed that the show did prove that the man'amko are never too old to play. He said they are always trying to come up with something different to show the public what the man'amko can do. “We're always trying to look for innovative ways to set the bar higher and higher.”
Aging director Rose Mondala, who also watched the show, said the money raised from the show will be used to host a gathering at a local hotel for the man'amko. “They're never too old to play and I'm really proud of them,” she added.
Council president Sorroza, for her part, publicly acknowledged Manglona for all his work to help the man'amko prepare for the show and his efforts to constantly improve the programs at the Aging Center.
She also thanked the audience for coming to the show. “They stayed until the last minute and I really think it's worth coming to.”
A raffle draw was also held to give away prizes that included deluxe tickets to the Sandcastle show at Hyatt Regency Saipan, gift certificates to Rainbow Photo, a copy of Walter Manglona's CD album, and other donated items.