Catholic school in Tacloban honors its dance troupe
- Marlon A. Taño () - July 2, 2011 - 12:00am

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines  - The Holy Infant College in this city yesterday paid tribute to its now defunct dance troupe, which 50 years ago started a series of performance, here and abroad, that brought the school honor and fame.

The school, ran by the Religious Sisters of Mercy, honored the Leyte Filipiniana Dance and Rondalla Troupe with a grand event during its homecoming and grand reunion held at a restaurant in Brgy. San Jose here, a day after the 122nd Tacloban City Feast of the Senior Sto. Niño, Patron Saint of Leyte.

Socorro Maceda Pastor, one of the founding members, said the dance troupe originally started as a school's College-Day performance, and had its debut in a public show on September 26, 1961 to help raise funds for a much needed new school building at the time.

She recalled the impact of the group's performance on at least 6,000 people who saw the premiere performance in public. This led to an invitation for shows in Ormoc City and in several towns in Leyte until the later part of 1962.

Pastor said new recruits eventually joined and, after four years of intensive training and successive performances in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, the group decided to raise more funds by venturing into a tour show in the United States, accompanied by the late Sister M. Canisus Murphy and Sr. M. Lelia Callanan.

The dollars earned by the dance troupe helped much the school's struggle for money to fund the construction of its administration building at the new site of the HIC's campus in Brgy. Utap of this city.

The successful fund-raising performances of the group boosted tremendously HIC's determination to achieve a bigger dream of giving quality education to the people of the fast-growing city, said Pastor.

On September 24, 2010, the school's Mercy Hospital opened its doors to health education through its nursing college. Its graduates on Radiologic Technology even landed on top of the 2004 and 2005 exams, Pastor said.

Pastor said the event to honor the troupe started with a thanksgiving mass celebrated by Naval Bishop Filomeno Bactol with six priests as concelebrants.

She said that Regional Trial Court-Las Piñas City Judge Bonifacio Sanz Maceda led the other members of the troupe that attended the affair, which included those already residing in the US---Betty Lee Brown, Edward Texas Brown, Christine Roxas, Vicente Froilan, Teresita Maceda, Remedios Reposar and Genevieve Singzon, among others.

The HIC started as an academy in 1924 when founded by the late Bishop Sofronio Hacbang, Msgr. Almarines, Fr. Mora, lawyer Pastor Salazar and Sr. Dona Asuncion Rodriguez Vda de Sanz.  (FREEMAN)

BETTY LEE BROWN BISHOP SOFRONIO HACBANG BRGY CANISUS MURPHY AND SR. M CHRISTINE ROXAS CITY CITY JUDGE BONIFACIO SANZ MACEDA EDWARD TEXAS BROWN HOLY INFANT COLLEGE LELIA CALLANAN LEYTE FILIPINIANA DANCE AND RONDALLA TROUPE
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