COVID-19 Crisis: 2020 Parañaque Cityhood Anniversary celebration officially cancelled

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from the City Administrator of Parañaque. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

COVID-19 Crisis: 2020 Parañaque Cityhood Anniversary celebration officially cancelled

Just a few days ago, Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI) announced via Facebook that it has officially postponed the Binibining Pilipinas 2020 Pageant indefinitely. The Bb. Pilipinas is a major beauty pageant and its annual event always draws a huge audience nationwide. As such, the postponement was a bummer for those who were anticipating it even though it is clear that the COVID-19 crisis is still in effect and the nation is slowly adjusting to move the economy forward. Clearly now is not a good time to organize live events with a huge physical audience in attendance. The Bb. Pilipinas organizers stated that it is essential to protect the health of their candidates and many others.

The above development reminded me of something – Parañaque City’s annual Cityhood Anniversary celebration which is traditionally done every February.

To put things in perspective, the 2020 edition of the Parañaque Cityhood Anniversary celebration saw only a few of its scheduled events push through (specifically events that did not involve a huge audience) due to COVID-19 fear.

Back then, the postponed events include the fun run, the Zumba and concert, the drum-and-lyre, the Sunduan exhibit, and most notably the city beauty pageants of Gandang Mamita and Bb. Parañaque. The mentioned pageants are often the most popular attractions of the Cityhood celebration.

That was back months ago.

Today I decided to approach the City Government of Parañaque to find out the status about the remaining events of their 2020 Cityhood Anniversary celebration that were postponed.

I inquired directly with Parañaque City Administrator Fernando “Ding” Soriano and he replied to me via text message as follows:

All events related to our Cityhood anniversary are now cancelled.

So there you have it, my readers. The 2020 Parañaque Cityhood Anniversary is officially no more as the City Government is focused on solving its COVID-19 problems and serving the local constituents. As of this writing, the City Government still has yet to release publicly a signed document by mayor Edwin Olivarez confirming the cancellation. Still, City Administrator Soriano’s words do confirm the cancellation of events.

Think about it carefully. As long as the COVID-19 Crisis continues and the new normal remains in effect, having a huge physical audience of spectators on competitions or special events is simply not doable and too risky for public health. No Parañaque fun run, no beauty pageants, no exhibitions, no parades and no contests. No Sunduan Festival as well.

While the COVID-19 Crisis is still here, it’s simply best to pray to Lord Jesus for the crisis to end, that cures and vaccines versus coronavirus will be realized, that the frontliners will be protected and rewarded for serving us for so long, and that life will return to normal.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

 

My Observations: COVID-19’s impact on crowded fun-oriented events should be taken seriously

For the past few weeks, the coronavirus disease COVID-19 halted much of the world’s societies and economies compelling families to stay at home as the authorities struggle to prevent infections from spreading.

Community quarantine and regional lockdown have been implemented which strongly limited people from traveling around and also negatively affected truck deliveries which really hurt manufacturing and other key economic sectors like food production (and the businesses that sell food), retailing and more.

Unsurprisingly, special events that attract a lot of people as attendees have been postponed or cancelled. In the city of Parañaque here in the Philippines, the planned 2020 cityhood anniversary celebration had to be scaled down dramatically because of COVID-19-related fear. The said celebration’s most popular events such as the Bb. Parañaque beauty pageant and the Sunduan Festival could not be organized and as of this writing, no new dates for organizing such events have been announced. Under the current quarantine procedures, mass gatherings have been prohibited.

That being said, it would be best to forget about crowded fun events for the short term and just focus on being safe at home, managing your precious funds and maintaining faith in the Lord (note: study the Holy Bible and pray in tongues to Him).

Speaking of fun events, Comic Book Resources (CBR.com) published a new article that caught my attention titled Coronavirus Could Be the Beginning of the End for Super Conventions. It caught my attention because I myself had attended several pop culture events, including the gigantic Comic-Con International in San Diego, California (AKA San Diego Comic-Con).

Let’s focus on this excerpt from Comic Book Resources:

Comic conventions long have been an integral part of fan communities. Before comic-book movies and TV shows were a multibillion-dollar enterprise, fans looked forward to these annual gatherings as a chance to be surrounded by people who shared their interests. They (were) a sacred place where fans could collectively celebrate something they were really passionate about.

And they were fun. Really fun. Fans from across the country would make the pilgrimage to get up close and personal with the writers and artists they idolized. It was a dream come true for members of what was then a tight-knit community.

Over the years, that’s all changed. The conventions that were so beloved by a small group of people have ballooned into massive undertakings, drawing thousands of people from all over the world. They’re not so much fan-driven conventions anymore as much as they are trade shows for the entertainment industry.

That’s not to say these super conventions aren’t fun in their own right; they absolutely are. They offer fans a chance to witness major announcements, take part in Q&A’s with their favorite stars and celebrate pop culture on an unprecedented level. They’ve become an annual staple for the promotion of the latest film and television franchise projects, and big names continuously turn up.

Now, however, with the justifiable closure of these conventions due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s unclear how much we really need these super conventions.

To put things in perspective, any convention that is focused on fun would not be possible without the strong interest of multiple fans or enthusiasts who are not only willing to make time to attend such an event but also bring a good amount of money with them and spend on their respective interests.

The San Diego Comic-Con in California, the New York Comic Con in New York, and the AsiaPop Comicon here in the Philippines all require paying a fee (for the ticket or badge) in order to enter the venue which has most entertainment events and booths that fans can go to.

When it comes to special activities, private screenings of trailers of upcoming blockbuster movies occasionally get organized as well as Q&A panel sessions with entertainers or industry professionals, press conferences and more.

However, we are now living in the age of social media, wide access to the Internet and smartphones which enable users to take pictures or videos in high-definition and upload them for people to see online. Think about it carefully.

What good is a closed-door press conference with celebrities when a fan in attendance can capture everything on video and beat the bloggers and members of the press by releasing content on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?

What good is a private screening (which restricts attendees from taking footage) of a trailer or a short scene from a highly anticipated blockbuster movie when such content will only be released by the movie studio on YouTube, Facebook and other sites where Internet users can watch for free at the comfort of their homes?

What good is a fan convention if attendees post pictures/videos of embarrassing moments (example: someone throws a pie on the face of a movie star in front of the fans) online within minutes and become viral?

What good is buying classic comic books at the comic convention when the comic publishers themselves failed to wipe out the widespread online piracy (note: entire issues of comic books in digital form) of their comics which people can find and read for free?

One key point here is that fan conventions and other fun-oriented events that attract a lot of people are slowly losing their relevance. Convention organizers will have to come up with ways not only to stay relevant, not only to ensure exclusive stuff in their event is truly exclusive, but also innovate and raise the convention’s overall quality.

Going back to COVID-19, it is clear that the said virus is highly infectious and this alone defeats the purpose of organizing a huge event for as long as the risk of infection remains. As of this writing, local authorities are struggling to clean and disinfect places. Killing the virus is a costly and time-consuming affair.

Recently, the 2020 edition of the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) had to be canceled due to COVID-19 which was a huge blow to many video game and technology companies that had signed up for the event. Microsoft, which was supposed to showcase their upcoming Xbox Series X console at E3, promptly announced it will organize a digital event instead.

Think about those words: digital events. Digital events can be done by companies to make a special presentation of their products or services in the form of a lengthy and detailed pre-recorded video or by organizing privately their showcase event (held in a venue that the company has all to itself) live via livestreaming. With the access of the Internet and the massive reach that social media provides, digital events can make fan conventions even more unnecessary. Digital events are also very useful for companies because they not only have complete privacy but also a lot more control in terms of creativity as well as amount of information to be released. This also spares companies from the hassles of crowd control as well as rampant questioning from members of the news media.

Together, COVID-19, wide Internet access and social media are factors that make organizing crowded fun-oriented showcase events more challenging than ever before. Why bother attending a local beauty pageant live in Parañaque City when viral infection, live-streaming and even crime incidents could happen?

Even after the end of this COVID-19 crisis, the community quarantine and regional lockdown, I foresee that it will take a lot more time before life really goes back to normal.

By then, I don’t think enthusiasm for crowded fun-oriented events would be restored to high levels immediately. Sports events, in my opinion, have a better chance of resuming given the nature of sports competition which remains very important with Filipinos. Other events like food fairs and shopping bazaars are more important to people in the local communities than beauty pageants or fan conventions. What people clearly want once this current crisis is over is worshiping the Lord together at church on Sundays.

Attending church is more essential than a crowded beauty pageant or a fan convention. There is no doubt about that!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Meet Barangay BF Homes SK Kagawad Irene Juanico

A few years ago, Irene Juanico represented Barangay BF Homes during a beauty pageant that was part of what was back then Parañaque’s 19th cityhood anniversary. She did not make it to the final round but that did not stop progress in her life. Then on May 2018, she ran in the Barangay and SK elections, and ultimately got elected as a kagawad of the Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK).

Recently I got to interview the incumbent SK Kagawad at barangay hall. This is the special feature of Irene Juanico.

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Barangay BF Homes SK Kagawad Irene Juanico.

Background

Irene Juanico was born in the Dela Rama community inside BF Homes subdivision. She is the only child in the family. Her mother is currently a government employee and her father is a customer associate for a courier. The SK kagawad is currently studying at San Beda Alabang taking Marketing Management.

Since she was young, Juanico got into modeling. She learned the way on not just looking pretty but also how to pose, what to wear, when to move and the like. Along the way, she participated in several pageants, modeling events and appeared as a muse in academic and sports events.

In 2017, she found a major opportunity to compete with other beauties from around the City of Parañaque by joining the Binibining Parañaque representing Barangay BF Homes.

“During my younger days, I noticed similar pageants that got organized by the SK and wondered, ‘what would it be like if I joined such events?’”, Juanico recalled. “My handlers, who paid attention to the 2017 Parañaque pageant, asked me to try out and compete since I was already into modeling. I was hesitant back then since I was just seventeen years-old but eventually I agreed to represent the barangay and compete.”

As Ms. Barangay BF Homes of 2017, Juanico joined the other candidates from different barangays practicing for the pageant, participating in showcase events (including the Sunduan-related event at SM City BF Parañaque) and more. Along the way, she had to adjust her schedule with school and family.

“The Sunduan showcase alone was challenging because I had to decide how to present myself in front of the judges, the special guests and many people watching. The pressure is real.” she said.

When asked about the evening of the Bb. Parañaque, Juanico confirmed that there was a lot of pressure not only on her to do her best but also on the other candidates as well. This was because there were so many guests watching including City Government officials, barangay officials, barangay fan groups, members of the media, family members of the candidates and the like.

Even though the pressure was high, Juanico simply focused on her future.

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Irene Juanico as Barangay BF Homes’ candidate in the 2017 edition of the Bb. Parañaque. (contributed by Irene Juanico, photo credit to Kevin Rebollo)

“I said to myself ‘win or lose, I at least represented my barangay well’. My experience also me motivate myself on participating future events representing the community,” Juanico said.

As it turned out in the 2017 pageant, Juanico’s name was not called when the organizers announced the five finalists. She and Barangay BF Homes did not go empty handed however as she won the Boardwalk Model sponsor award. That award was fitting considering the fact that Juanico had been modeling since she was little.

After the pageant, Juanico gained not only improved self-confidence but also respect and recognition from the residents of the barangay. A lot more people noticed her and remembered her participation in the city pageant.

Getting elected into the SK

A year later, Irene Juanico joined the Sangguniang Kabataan team of candidates under the umbrella of Paolo Marquez who ran for Barangay Captain (succeeding his brother Jeremy Marquez).

How did Juanico become candidate for the SK in the first place? It started with curiosity in a rather funny way.

“It all started with a joke with my friends, wondering if I should run for a seat in the youth council (Sangguniang Kabataan). They said I should do it but I reacted I was just joking. Eventually Zeny Pascual contacted me and asked me if I was willing to run. I replied that I would do it,” she recalled.

For Juanico, her candidacy was to inspire other youth of the barangay to aim higher in their lives. It was also her way of showing that a pretty face like her can climb up higher and become a public servant under the reformed Sangguniang Kabataan system. She really went against the local community’s conventional thinking that pretty faces or models have no place in public service which itself is ironic because charm (which comes in very different forms) is a factor on getting elected. She formally met with Paolo Marquez finalizing her candidacy.

During the summer of 2018, she and her teammates struggled to convince voters to trust them and vote for them. They went around from one house to another both in the mission areas (depressed communities) and also inside gated subdivisions. Shook hands and met with people of different walks of life (even former classmates of hers). They also took part in caucuses to reach out to the voters.

“When the campaign ended at last, I recovered by treating myself to a fast food meal. Then I went home to finally get some rest. I prayed to God. I had a very restful sleep and I really felt rejuvenated. Shortly after, my mother told me I won,” Juanico said.

Juanico’s victory in the 2018 Barangay and SK Elections for Barangay BF Homes was, indeed, a major milestone in her life. She and her friends celebrated and she cried out of happiness.

SK Kagawad Juanico and the SK Committee on Health

As an SK Kagawad, Juanico served with her colleagues under chairwoman Mariel Tumang. She is handling the SK Committee on Health. In recent times, the BFSK organized seminars about AIDS, mental health, teenage pregnancy, reproductive health and PWD (persons with disabilities) all of which were projects of her committee.

As of this writing, SK Kagawad Juanico is striving to get not only youth but also pre-teens and children involved with health projects and activities. There are also PWD children (as young as 1-year-old) that she wants to assist. The BFSK is also looking for private organizations as key partners to serve the youth and those with special needs. Team-ups with the health activities of Barangay BF Homes Kagawad Cielo Lazatin have been made.

Juanico confirmed that her committee has several more projects coming in 2020.

Message to the Readers

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BFSK Kagawad Irene Juanico (3rd from right) with the other members of the SK (chairwoman Mariel Tumang is 3rd from left) with guests who took part in a seminar about HIV, STDs and AIDS awareness.

“Service is something that can be given to others without position and without expecting anything in return. It is better to give than to receive. Public service requires not only action but a whole lot of heart.”


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com