By Marivir R. Montebon
Secaucus – At the bisperas (eve) of the 19-year-old tradition ‘Fiesta in America’ cultural exposition, Filipinos in the East coast partied at the People’s Ball with the 1960s theme.
It was a party (showing the rich blend of the Spanish, American, and ethnic characters of the Filipino) I wanted to miss, but dear friend Ann Beck protested and picked me up from home. So, it became a great Friday night out with Lanie Domingo and Josephine Juhasz.
In the 60s, the world watched the shrinking of women’s skirts. From the 1950s where it used to balloon beneath the knees, this decade saw a lot of skin.
The 1960s was also the uproar of social unrest and the civil rights movement, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Pres. Kennedy, and humanity’s victory on landing on the moon.
Also, this was the time of the spectacle of French actress Briggitte Bardot and for the Philippines to gain its Miss Universe title in Gloria Diaz.
Elvis Presley was king of rock and roll in the 1960s. While people opposed the Vietnam war and pushed for women’s rights, they also twisted and shouted on the dance floor with his music.
At the People’s Ball led by Fiesta in America president Fernando Mendez and better half Laura Garcia, the party animals came in on their bursting psychedelic flair pants and straight mini dresses. Thanks to the appropriate guidance of People’s Ball chair Bobby Yalong who earlier posted on social media how the 1960s fashion looked like.
Cherry Smyth, CEO of KIDS Philippines, was loveliest in her psychedelic mini dress and white boots. She’s quite Brigitte Bardot coming alive that night.
Civic leader Joycelyn Aligarbes was statuesque in her green and white empire mini dress. You look like Gloria Diaz, I told her. Thanks to make-up artist Verush, she said giggling.
Events czar Vince Gesmundo was totally hip and unrecognizable in his long hair and pink eye glasses. He was true to the era in his wet-look silky long sleeve shirt and the beautiful strange shoes. They’re from Italy, he said.
After the awarding of exemplary leaders and artists in the community, the party animals rocked and rolled and twisted the night away in the grand ballroom of the Hilton in Meadowlands.
I was glad to have given in to Ann’s protestations and celebrate the fun of bisperas of the Fiesta with a bunch of new friends.
(Cherry Smyth is the featured photo, as lovely as Briggitte Bardot that night.)