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Pamaskong Handog: Christmas Officially Begins in San Pedro

As I write this post, the students and teachers of San Pedro Manpower Development Institute (SPDMI) are still entertaining San Pedronians in the town plaza. You see, it’s the start of the annual Pamaskong Handong here in San Pedro, Laguna. It’s that time of the year when different schools and organizations in the municipality set aside their differences and come up with spectacular shows to dazzle the townsfolk. This year’s theme is “Paskong Pinoy.”


san pedro laguna


This year, 2010, SPDMI opened the month-long celebration. But not before the First Lady of the town, Lourdes “Baby” Cataquiz led municipal workers and hundreds of San Pedronians in the lighting of the Christmas trees and the whole plaza.You can feel the festive mood of the crowd as they watched the liwasang bayang get lit by Christmas lights and the cloudless night sky brightened by the fireworks. She wished everyone to have a prosperous and merry Christmas and an even better new year. She encouraged everyone to think about creating a roadmap for 2011, an obvious reference to her husband’s Road Map 2020 program.



After Mrs. Baby Catquiz, the municipal administrator made a brief speech to open the second part of the program, which is the presentation of SPDMI. They opened the program with a doxology, which is best described as an interpretative dance to a religious song. The SPDMI staff, headed by their administrator Dominador Mamerto (I hope I got the spelling right), followed with a song number. They sung the Institute’s Hymn. Both numbers have the sobering effect on the audience.




But not to worry. The crowd soon got their festive mood back during the “SPDMI Festival.” It was essentially a very long production number, with dancers garbed in colorful costumes inspired by the Caribbean islands, Hawaii, and Africa. There was a girl who stood out among the rest because she was such a graceful dancer. I couldn’t take my eyes off her.


But what really took the crowd’s attention was the fashion number presented by Cosmetology students of SPDMI, which highlighted their makeup, hairdressing, and costume design skills. It was called “Beauties on Parade.” ¬†Fortunately, I sneaked at the backstage before the show and got closeup photos of the models. Here are some of them:


From left to right: Christmas Costume & Fantasy Makeup, Flower Costume, Modern Cinderella Costume, and Glass Costume.


Kevin Ponce models the feather costume. Looks a lot like a Mulawin costume, right?



The Recycled Materials costume as modeled by Jhanice Sedigo  Under the white lights, this costume was stunning.


After the parade, SPDMI presented Hawaii & Caribbean Moods. The girls were dancing to some slow Hawaiian tune when Gabby asked if we could have dinner already. Since it was past 8PM, I obliged. I wanted to see the other presentations — Winning Moments in Broadway, Then & Now Dance Hits, and Show Girls– but I figured there are still more nights to see more dance numbers.


I would like to take Ms. Fatima, the master of ceremonies, for letting me have a peek at the program.Looking forward to catching the start of tomorrow’s presentation. Hopefully, they’d start on time. Tonight’s presentation started almost an hour late.


Update as of December  7, 2010: I received the schedule of presentations via email from the PAIO. It seems that this annual event is no longer called Pamaskong Handog but Paskuhan. I will be using PASKUHAN in future posts.


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