By Marivir R. Montebon
New York – President Dulce Barangan in a rich red embroidered Filipiniana graciously made everyone feel ‘at home’ during the summer gala of the Ilocano-American Association Inc. (IAAI) at the posh Leonard’s Pallazo in Manhasset. Barangan and her team of leaders criss-crossed the wide expanse of the Leonard’s ballroom to hobnob about 600 guests, most of them dressed in Filipiniana, on the sunny afternoon of July 15, 2018.
Lovely muses Ms. Little Ilocana Hailey Hild, Ms. Teen Ilocano Heaven Lhia Martinez, and Mrs. Ilocana 2018 Maria Theresa Valdez-Barrett were crowned during the 5-hour event that celebrated the organization’s 36th year. Dr. Mariliz Policarpio and Susan hosted the program which was mainly sponsored by the Philippine Airlines and GMA Pinoy TV.
IAAI is one of the formidable organizations in the Filipino community in New York, founded in 1982, running its own community center in Hillside, Queens as a major income-generating asset. It has continuously undertaken scholarship programs and medical missions in the Philippines.
Under Barangan, the IAAI held its first Ilocano Food and Culture Festival at the Philippine Center on June 16, 2018 which featured Ilocano cuisine and the hand-woven textile called ‘inabel’ in a fashion show.
Consul General Claro Cristobal, in an official statement, congratulated Barangan for her leadership and commended the IAAI for promoting Philippine culture and traditions to the second generation Filipino Americans. (With photos from Jan Andrada and Grace Labaguis)