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Paskong Kay Saya sa CA: 2007 Christmas Celebration

By J. Magdangal M. De Leon

The 2007 Christmas Celebration in the Court of Appeals is unique in many ways. Indeed, the Christmas Celebration is an anticipated event in the Court. It is such a major event in the office that much consideration has always been made in choosing its Chairman, its theme and the costume to project the theme. Its planning stage is the time when the Court comes alive as the employees are filled with hope and anticipation, as they look forward to the ‘grocery money’ and the Christmas Party Raffle Grand Prize. At the end of year 2007, there was an extra excitement pervading the halls of the Court of Appeals as a new Presiding Justice had just been appointed on December 4, 2007. The first meeting by the executive committee and sub-committees was called on November 15, 2007 with the Christmas Party set on December 14, 2007. Exactly one month to go!

The pervading atmosphere of being childlike and happy manifested in the choice of the theme “Paskong Kay Saya sa CA.” The costume motif chosen was anything worn by people in a carnival like clowns and performers in a circus or worn in a masquerade or mardi gras. This was the first time that this motif was used in the CA.  Consonant with this motif, the main design used in the tarpaulin for the stage and in the invitations was a carousel. The makeshift barn of the manger was swathed in textiles of bright solid colors in orange, violet, red and green, predominant in a circus. The child in each of us had come to fore! This was apparent in the games of Foot-to-foot, Tyan-to-Chin, Bottle Race, Banana Feeling and Papaya Eating held in the morning of December 13, 2007, under the chairmanship of Justice Ricardo R. Rosario, which was well-participated by the employees, in the spirit of sportsmanship, not to say the enticing prices at stake. The employees gleefully participated in these funny games! The only serious part in the whole celebration was the Holy Mass observed at the auditorium which was almost full.

Unlike before, the most anticipated Raffle was held in two days and not just in one day. The minor prizes were raffled on Thursday while the major prizes were raffled on Friday. Meaning, there were more prizes raffled this year than in any other previous year. In addition to their yearly contribution of P2,000.00 each for the raffle, the justices also donated prizes in kind which ranged from stuffed toys to a home video system. The superb teamwork between Justice Vicente S.E. Veloso and his Co-Chairperson, Justice Mariflor Punzalan-Castillo produced a lot of prizes, making the raffle truly exciting. Of course, the employees were ecstatic with the donation by Justice Veloso of the special grand prize of P35,000.00. This was P10,000.00 more than the grand prize of P25,000.00! Just the hope of winning the amount inspired the employees to stay until after the ballroom dancing portion.

During the program proper, the auditorium was filled with people sporting quirky costumes seen in Rio de Janeiro’s traditional street mardi gras while our female justices proved their femme fatale powers with haute couture reminiscent of Venice’s Old World aristocracy (special mention: Justice Remedios Salazar-Fernando). Harlequins, jesters, artisans, regal dames glided and romped around. The program was fittingly hosted by two of the most jovial justices in the Court - Justice Myrna Dimaranan-Vidal and Justice Regalado E. Maambong. One cannot help but picture them wearing their costumes as jesters while entertaining the employees with their jokes and side comments.

In the same vein, the well-choreographed and entertaining numbers were all received with ohs and ahs by the audience, including the skit by the Judicial Records Division and the dance numbers by the Court of Appeals Stenographers Association and the staff of Justice Ramon M. Bato Jr., not to mention the electrifying performance by Atty. Irene Coloso-Zabala. Also, the Philippine Marine Quintet enlivened the program with their song and instrumental numbers, courtesy of Atty. Caroline Ocampo-Peralta. Added entertainment was the special appearance of Elvis Presley’s clone, singing The King’s popular hits of the 50’s and 60’s.

But what brought the house down was the presentation of the candidates for Carnival King and Queen. Did we hear that Justice Maambong, in his sexy get-up with flowing sleeves, complete with caballero hat, should have been declared as the King instead? Sadly, however, Justices were disqualified in the competition.

The program ended at about 5:00 p.m., to resume at 7:00 p.m. One may predict that some of us would say: that's all for the day, but no, almost everyone stayed and continued the evening's revelry in the dance floor with a number of engaging DI's around. On the lighter side, Justice Bienvenido L. Reyes was even noted merrily doing the jig with gusto.

Credits should go to the Justices and those employees with RATA for their generosity and all the committee members who worked hard to make our celebration a swinging success.

If the superlative state of being happy was the intention of the Christmas Committee when it chose the theme “Paskong Kay Saya sa CA,” then it has achieved its goal as the employees of the Court of Appeals in Manila had been happiest during their 2007 Christmas celebration.




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