Last August 25 & 26, Chali Beach Resort & Conference Center was transformed into a festive paradise when members of the Neri-Chaves clan trooped to the place for their 4th grand reunion. For two days, Neris and Chaveses gathered to celebrate kinship and unity – the very essence of being a family.
The event was officially opened by the Capitol University cadets with their parade of colors. An ecumenical celebration that highlighted the importance of family and togetherness followed immediately.
One of the most interesting parts of the 1st day celebration was the himamat, where more experienced and senior members of the clan shared their adventures and memories of Cagayan de Oro, of the clan, and of everything special that the younger generations needed to know.
After lunch, the election of the new board members and officers was held. And then the games followed. The young and young-at-heart enjoyed all the fun activities that went on through the afternoon. Some clan members chose to enjoy their free time playing mahjong, one of the favorite pastimes of Neris and Chaveses.
Others simply took advantage of the relaxing ambiance and resort-like atmosphere of the venue.
Early in the evening, everyone dressed up in their favorite casual wear adorned with stars. There were those who wore star stickers on their faces and on their clothes. Some wore star-designed accessories. Others wore star-decorated shirts and blouses, while some others took time to exert more creativity. Several families paraded the Chali ballroom in their coordinated starry night outfits.
But the most awaited part of the evening was the 1st Neri-Chaves Got Talent competition. Eight clan members showcased their talents to the entire Neri-Chaves population present that night. One of them did a gymnastics routine while another wowed the audience with a beautiful ballet presentation. There were several song numbers, a heartfelt saxophone rendition of a popular classic, and a brother-and-sister tandem showing off their electrifying dance moves.
The distinguished judges – composed of theater actor, trainer, and Dulaang Atenista head JC Salon; Ms. Faith Javellana of FJ School of Performing Arts; and singer, songwriter, & theater actor Arthur M. Nery – had a difficult time choosing the winner as all the contestants deserved to win. They eventually chose Angelie and Myko Rebolos – the brother-and-sister tandem – as the 1st Neri-Chaves Got Talent champion. Ballerina Isabel Claravall Gonzalez, who came all the way from Iloilo, won 2nd place, while 3rd place honors went to Roel Rebolos who is, incidentally, the father of the winning dancers.
AJ Belen Gonzales, Jimjim Aliwalas, Mary Martine, and Charm Jongko also went home with special prizes, a reward for their confidence and dedication to their craft.
On Sunday, August 26, clan members went up to Mapawa Nature Park to plant trees on the invitation of board member Eduardo “Bong” Pelaez. It was a fun morning of laughter and good vibes. The activity was the Neri-Chaves clan’s way of giving back to nature.
Later in the afternoon, a Catholic Mass officiated by a beloved Neri-Chaves family member, Bishop Pacana, took place at the Chali ballroom. It was the perfect starter for the evening affair, the Gala Night and Awarding of Distinguished Clan Members. (List of awardees will be provided next week).
Hosted by Paul Falcon and ABS-CBN’s Apples Jalandoni, who is a member of the clan, the Gala Night program paid tribute to the local and international achievers of the clan. The new set of board members and officers were also formally introduced to everyone.
The evening (and the weekend) ended (or started?) with a party courtesy of DJs Cocoy Banaag, Bookee Quiblat, RB Banaag, Kyle Banaag, and Torch Gacuma. Everyone was in high spirits after all the fun activities of the two-day event, so music and dancing was the best way to celebrate!
Congratulations to the Neri-Chaves clan! See you all in the next grand reunion, which happens five years from now! J
(All photos by Tom Udasco Photography)