It all started as a simple get together by our batchmates of 1992 representing Stella Maris Academy, wherein we were just planning for our homecoming this year. We all know that it seemed difficult to gather everyone because of our hectic schedules at work or in business. This has always been a pressure every year when a certain batch is going to spearhead the annual homecoming of their school. For now, I can already feel the pressure along with our officers because we really have no idea where this is going.
There were so many things to prepare and we were told to do some fundraising events. There are actually a lot of ideas that came about during the meetings but the best one was chosen. Sunshine Magdangal Uyking suggested that we conduct a festival which she referred to as “Mooncake festival”. Somehow, it was new to us because we never experience this and so we all agreed to it.
Mooncake festival typically involves much giving, receiving, and eating of mooncakes. Chinese mooncakes are the traditional dessert/snack of Mid-Autumn Festival. They are round in shape, like the full harvest moon of Mid-Autumn’s evening.
It dawned on us that if we will have this Mooncake festival for the first time in our school’s history, it will awaken the significance of celebrating it. We took the risks and pushed through with our decision to have this mooncake festival scheduled last September 29, 2017 held at the sky gym of Stella Maris Academy.
I do not know if this was a coincidence or a good sign for the mooncake festival to happen on such a day because it falls on my 42nd birthday. This is why I didn’t have second thoughts on spending my birthday with my batchmates during the event.
On the day of the event, there was a heavy rain early in the afternoon that it gave us quite a concern on whether or not there will be a lot of people attending. I came a little bit late because I have to wait for the rain to stop. When I arrived at the sky gym, I was greeted by some of my batchmates who were already there ahead of me. Fortunately, it came all out as a big surprise when more and more people arrived afterwards. We felt so happy then knowing they are willing to join and celebrate with us. Before the formal program of the event, everyone had a sumptuous dinner exclusively catered by Peppers Iberica restaurant owned by Allen and Chiqui Aportadera.
The program started around 8 p.m. and the first part was a lion dance to light up the mood of everyone. This was hosted by none other than, Atty. Mariejude Fuentes-Lopoz and Mr. Noel Yango, our batchmates who have such great talents in gracing the show. They were joined by our other talented batchmates who discussed about the history and significance of Mooncake festival, Aileen Suy who spoke in Mandarin and Rommel Jay Orquiza who translated it into English.
As a first time watcher, my duty was to make sure that the game was played fairly and that prizes are given to the winners of this dice game. it was delightful and exciting seeing all those players representing different families having the fun of their lives too. They all each have prizes they won as they luckily played following the rules of the game.
Prizes were complete from the 6th prize to the first prize. There were mooncakes of different sizes, cupcakes, juice, glasswares, glass pitchers and electric kettles given during the game but the most awaited prize of all was the huge oven toaster. The good thing was no one left the festival without bringing any prize. How good is that?
At the end of the event, we knew that many were happy and satisfied. This was really the main objective of the festival. The event was truly successful and made us realize that as long as there is teamwork, there is no hard way to conquer anything that we want to happen.
I am very thankful to all our batchmates who were present during the event despite the heavy rain that night. This was a very memorable night for all of us because we showed great love and support to our batchmates.
We were very thankful to all our generous major and minor sponsors who played an important role in making this event successful including our batchmates here and abroad who heartily gave their financial support.
The blessings we received that night were overflowing and this is why we had an Outreach Program entitled “Live, Love and Share” the next day wherein 32 families arrived at the sky gym to celebrate with us and receive their bag of blessings. There were about 170 beneficiaries of this project who arrived as they were recommended by GKK under the jurisdiction of Sacred Heart Parish. This was an early Christmas gift for the families who brought home a lot of goodies and groceries.
Photo credit to our official photographer, Mr. Kenneth Mark Tan, who shared good photos taken during the Mooncake Festival and Outreach Program.