Paskong Pinoy draws Filipino crowd


United Filipino Organization members and emcees call for participants during the annual celebration of Paskong Pinoy held at the covered parking lot of the Marianas Business Plaza in Susupe on Dec. 18. (Contributed Photo)

Whether it was for the clothes being sold, the food vendors, or just to have a good time, the Filipino community came in droves to the United Filipino Organization’s annual Paskong Pinoy held in Susupe last Sunday.

Bishop Ryan Jimenez led the invocation followed by the national anthem performed by Donato Santiago. UFO president Bong Malasarte did his welcoming remarks and opening songs were played soon, courtesy of Bonie Gio Sagana. Richard Babac and Minda Castro were the masters of ceremonies.

In his role as outgoing UFO president, Malasarte said, “We just want to have a special celebration for the Filipino community. There are some of us who can’t spend it with loved ones in the Philippines so I hope events like this make it up.”

This year’s Paskong Pinoy highlighted a game called Kuwarta o Kahon, in which a contestant has the option to choose a cash prize or an unknown amount within a box. The grand prize was $1,500.

One attendee, Ron Pascual, said, “I was riding past this place on my bike earlier today and they told me to come over for the event. It’s fun, I like the food and it’s a nice thing to do for the Filipino community.”

UFO extends its thanks to all sponsors, participants, and volunteers. “I would just like to thank everyone who helped in any way. Without them, the event would not have been a success,” Malasarte said.

Performances for the daylong event included the Emperador Band with Gemma, Uncle Ben’s Kids, Out of the Ordinary Band, Erica, Lawrence and Justin Tubera, Kristo Rai Youth Choir, Santiago Siblings, Mikaella Cunanan, Green Meadow School of Performing Arts, Juliet Inocencio, 29:11 Dance Group, Pinoy Attention, Saipan Music and Dance, and Uncle Ben’s Teens.

Nonfood vendors on site sold a myriad of merchandises that ranged from accessories to bags and footwear. Others present even advertised Filipino and locally made dishes.

UFO has been hosting the Paskong Pinoy celebration for many years now. It usually coincides with the Catholic Church’s Midnight Masses from Dec. 16 to Dec. 24.

Michael T. Santos | Reporter

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