By RICHARD FREEDMAN | firstname.lastname@example.org | Vallejo Times Herald Jesse
Bethel High school experienced a joyous Filipino Christmas tradition on Tuesday — a “Parol Festival.” A parol is a highly decorative brightly colored star with ornamental attachments, made from bamboo and paper. Parol festivals include a contest for the best parol. Sixty-eight teams of students in teacher Lucy Marte’s Filipino Language class competed in this festival’s contest. First displayed their newly created parols in a parade from their classroom to the school’s theater, and then presented them on stage to a panel of judges, who awarded prizes (donated by local businesses) for the five best parols. The winning student teams were: 1. Jacob Meneses and Myliyah Tuvera; 2). Raquel Lopez and Leyana Sunga; 3). Fleuryda Albano; 4). Cyon Bais and Kristen Deleon; 5). Amario Valenzuela and Nathan Viray.
The judges were Tony Ubalde (Vallejo School Board Trustee), Reyna Rodriguez, Mariella Dela Cruz, Geordan Arenal, Diose Bande, Eloise Scott, Norma Placido, Chris De Asis, Larissa Guarino, and Aiza Garabato.
The festival also included awards to local “Pinay Visionaries” – Filipino American women who have contributed to the community through their service. Awards went to: Dr. Rozzana Aliga, Atty Ruthe Ashley, Eloise Scott, Norma Placido and Annie Ramos. More awards went to teachers and other individuals at Jesse Bethel for their efforts on behalf of the school’s community: Riza Garabato, Annalisa Quilala, Lydia Alejandro, Lucy Datu, Elvie Avila, Diosa Bande and the festival organizer, Lucy Marte.