A first for the Rotary Clubs of Baguio City was the visit of the Rotary International representative of President Jennifer Jones, Mary Berge, and spouse Ivar on April 25. The rare occasion was made possible by past district governor (PDG) Rolando Villanueva who was a contemporary in international trainings of the PDG Mary of the United States.
Eleven clubs of the cluster gathered to give the guests a taste of the hospitality of Baguio City and the cultural diversity of melded nationalities and ethnolinguistic groups.
The Philippine National Police officers and trainees gave a view of the music and dance of the Cordillera. The lively dance using gongs gave the visitors an idea of the indigenous customs and traditional wear hereabouts. Kariza Kris Chan, an international wushu champion, showed her winning form in a short performance of the Chinese sport. The unique athletic discipline of the Asian martial arts using a sword was displayed.
But the gems of the evening were the five young children aged four to five years old from the Imelda Village Child Development Center. A product of the community project of Rotary Club of Baguio amongday care centers in the city, the group won the art and dance performance contest that the club conducted in December.
The young ladies used the Kalinga instruments as props and danced to the tune of “Siwsiwit”. Dressed in the colorful beaded wrap around skirts, typical beads, and sunflower anklets, they were able to copy the common dance steps of the Kalinga tribe.
The symbolic Key to the City of Baguio was awarded to RIPR Mary and spouse Ivar as honored guests of the city. Charter President Virgilio Bautista was emissary of the City Mayor Benjamin Magalong.
There were group photographs as mementos of the occasion. Each of the clubs had their opportunities to share their smiles with the American pair.
There was group dancing too that she was gamely joined before the night ended for her, as the fellowship among the Rotarians continued.
This was the taste of the Cordillera kind of welcome apart from the three-day district conference they witnessed in Clark, Pampanga during the weekend.