Soirée to highlight Visayan history

For most people, the Halloween season is a time to let loose, take on a new character donning a creative costume or even share a few new talents with others. 

This year, Kauai Visayan Club is incorporating all of it into their International Costume Ball on Saturday, which will also commemorate the organization’s 29th anniversary. 

“What they’ll learn about is the Visayan heritage and a little bit of the culture,” said Sandra Estenzo, publicity chair of the costume ball. “I’m hoping that people will learn a little about who we are.” 

The biennial event, representing the 20th one held since 1989, will be held in the Kauai Marriott Resort’s Grand Ballroom and feature a short play, called “Lapu-lapu,” that was written and directed by Virgie Cruzada, the club’s current president, choir director and dance choreographer.   

The play will depict “who the Visayans are and what they are all about” through one of their own heroes, Lapu-lapu Dimantag, who was responsible for the death of Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer who discovered the Philippines on March 16, 1521.  

The role of this Visayan hero will be portrayed by his real descendant, Rodilio (Elot) Baring of Omao. 

The play will also feature Sinulog, a cultural dance which originated from the Visayas, honoring the image of the Santo Nino (Child Jesus), which was given to the Queen of Cebu by Magellan when she converted to Christianity and was baptized into the faith.

A buffet dinner, along with music provided by the Ohana Band, will also be provided for attendees, who many enter into the ball’s Parade of Costumes, a competition for best international costumes.

To be eligible to enter into the contest, which features three judging categories (children, individual adults and couples), participants must represent a particular country.

“It’s not only for Visayans, and is open to all nationalities and ethnicities — because it’s an International Costume Ball, we welcome all ethnicities to join in,” Estenzo said. “The costume contest is an international one, so they can represent any culture or country.” 

Doors open at 6 p.m. 

No-host cocktails and pre-judging for the International Costume Contest will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the buffet dinner and program starting afterward.

Tickets are $65 for adults and $35 for children who are 6 to 12 years old. Admission is free for children 5 years old or younger. 

About $2,000 was raised during last year’s event and donated to the Kauai Philippine Cultural Center, which is slated to break ground by the end of this year. Part of the proceeds this year will benefit Kauai Habitat for Humanity. 

For more information, call Evelyn Basnillo at 652-4259; Aurea Laymon at 822-7322; and Eve Baring at 346-2154.

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