By DIANA BERNARDES-CHAWDHURY
â€œLivinâ€™ La Vida Buena â€œâ€“ â€œLiving the Good Life!â€ is contrary to the â€œlive and let liveâ€ kind of life described in Ricky Martinâ€™s popular ditty, â€œLivinâ€™ La Vida Locaâ€. In this kind of life, people experience joy in simplicity, responsibility and harmony with everyone around them.
This is what I had in mind as Navalenos lived through the ten-day festivities of the just concluded Naval Town Fiesta 2007. Everyone had their share of fun from day one until it culminated with what is now the Legendary â€œTSINELAS PARTYâ€ on October 6, the Feast Day. All Navalenos from the farthest barangay and all citizens in all categories of life; the gays, the youth and the senior citizens had their fill of joy and fun in the ensuing activities accorded to all of them. Even the Religious canâ€™t be beaten as well, with their coronation of the Cathechistsâ€™ Queen on September 25 on top of other activities they had lined up for that day, one day earlier than the official kick-off of the Fiesta activities, the PUEBLO DAY Celebration on September 26.
I know someone must be seething with jealousy as her long time wish to be the first queen to be crowned at the new Naval Gymnasium couldnâ€™t be fulfilled. Who can beat Mama Maryâ€™s choice? The honor has to be given to one representing Her church, an advocate of the Faith and President of the Catholic Womenâ€™s League-Naval Unit, MS. LOLITA DARANTINAO. The occasion even made the Mayor herself dance with other CWL ladies and some local gents (mostly their husbands) in homage to her.
After that were a string of activities mostly capped with the coronation of this and that queen. I almost got myself crowned too during the Naval Central School Grand Alumni Homecoming Socials on September 27, when I represented the Naval Central School Batch â€™71 in the instant KURATSA. The fiesta having been made as the occasion to meet school buddies in the first Grand Homecoming of the Naval Central School, the cradle of who are now the best and brightest of Naval, the Congressman and the Mayor included. As it was a money contest, we only landed the first runner up title as gratefully, (yes gratefully, as I canâ€™t imagine myself being one of the â€œqueensâ€) the Honorable Congressman who belong to Batch â€™87 arrived. The honor has to be reaped by their representative, MARYROSE (LotLot) SOLITE-VILLAGONZALO. The day being Mayor Susanâ€™s birthday and she being our batch-mate made us feel like we were true winners nevertheless. â€œMayor Susan, we will do better next time!!â€
Like I said, the other nights were as rich with pseudo diamonds adorned on heads of other queens. To name them, Ms. JIJI NUIJTS of High School Batch â€™87 the NIT Alumni Homecoming Queen held last September 29, Mrs. BERNARDA JAMPAS, the winner of the Search for Queen of the Senior Citizens of Naval held last Oct 1, , Miss BELLAMIRA MIFLORES, the winner of the Search for Miss Bagasumbul, a beauty and brains pageant held also on October 3, Ms. AIDA MECARAL-SESE, the crowned BALIK NAVAL INTERNATIONAL QUEEN last October 4 and finally MS. MA. ROSARIO GARCIA-SALVATIERRA-SORILLA, the Matron QUEEN OF NAVAL crowned during the Vespers night, October 5. . Seven Queens all in all!! I bet my bottom peso, no fiesta in Naval or elsewhere accorded multiple queens in just one fiesta occasion ever.
It gives me gooseflesh just going over the facts now. As I look back at the festivities, I find it very obvious that the hand of Providence has been behind all those. First, it started with a non-auspicious coronation of a religious representative and then was finally capped with the coronation of who else but a namesake of the Holy Rosary herself and a direct descendant of the founding father of Naval, FR. INOCENTES MANGCO-GARCIA, the Matron Queen being MARIA ROSARIO GARCIA SALVATIERRA-SORILLA. List that among notable serendipities right in our doorstep! Not to mention that the PUEBLO DAY Celebration is â€œBISPERAâ€ of the 49th birthday of our first lady Mayor of Naval, HON. SUSAN VELASQUEZ-PARILLA who celebrated her Birthday on September 27 on the occasion of the first year that the Fiesta is returned to its original month of celebration, from January back to October.
I wonder â€˜tho if many were able to witness the most glorious coronation during the festivities.. The sound of trumpets heralding Her entrance and the glorious march of the clergy led by the Knights of Columbus made me feel as if I was witnessing a coronation of a true blue-blooded monarch, The Lady of Fatima being the most honored of all monarchs. Her visit capped with the coronation of Her image and our own image of the of the Holy Rosary in the afternoon of the Vespers brought true Glory and Honor to the Naval Town Fiesta Celebration. If that is not yet a manifestation of His Glorious presence, what else could top that? I am happy that I was one of the forty plus BCBP choir members to sing during that memorable day of praise at the Naval Cathedral, my sense of priority in giving attention to the many activities lined up were not focused mainly on the frivolous after all.
Thus the people of Naval have this sense of goodwill and positive outlook in the years to come as the Love of the Almighty has once again been manifested in that long and tedious (at least to the organizers like me) fiesta celebration. The coronations were just a fitting symbol of the good prosperous life that the Navalenos now look forward to with so much anticipation, enthusiasm and positive attitude. Many are hoping that the very successful fiesta celebration was a foreboding of good things to come.
Livinâ€™ La Vida Buena indeed!