Tracey Taylor once said, “home is where you feel loved, appreciated, and safe”. For people who migrated and left home, reunions are the times to chance on people you may know.
This recurrent event never gets tired of reliving old happy times and just enjoy a day in this life away from home. The Nueva Vizcaya-USA’s humble beginnings started from a group of Bay Area Vizcayanos and their families who celebrated an annual picnic that came to be known as “Vizcaya Day”, a commemoration of the camaraderie amongst the Nueva Vizcayanos away from home as they reminisce how life was in Nueva Vizcaya. The NV USA-Bay Area families grew by word of mouth and the group extended to every Vizcayano residing in California. To date, the picnic is popularly attended by 500 guests each year from near and far, domestic and international and became a venue for family reunions,
class reunions, meeting old friends or childhood buddies, and for the host families to take on a challenge for each family to work as a team.
As time went by, NV USA became a socio-culturally responsible organization. Despite being a free-standing and self-governing organization, NV USA thrived and continued to sustain the yearly commitment for an annual celebration with a budget of $10,000 minimum to provide for a free event. NV USA did not have officers, just volunteers; no membership fees imposed on each member, and no revolving funds (zero balance accounting). It was through the hard work of dedicated volunteers that this event is held year after year.
Brainstorming, innovation, creative fundraising, and teamwork were the solutions to defray the costs. The event is a symbol of the Vizcayano pride from each member who declared their Novo Vizcayano heritage.
NV USA embraced the collective desire to become one family and one community. The absence of elected officials did not hinder the success of NV USA, but instead raised a different standard on the governance of an organization or association. It was nurtured by a trusting relationship with its volunteers. This unwritten code of brotherhood and solidarity became the very foundation of what it represents today. NV USA instilled the old-fashioned way of a meaningful brotherhood pact: palabra de honor (word of honor) and Bayanihan Spirit (walang iwanan, one for all & all for one). This code bears more responsibility and commitment from each member – the discipline that created NV USA to what it is today.
For its 25th year, the Solano Residents headed by the Labog f
amily, and the Daltonian Alumni will be hosting the event, having Governor Carlos M. Padilla as its guest speaker.
Usually held during the long Labor Day Holiday weekend, the yearly feast starts with a picnic at the Swiss Park located in Newark, California. Novo Vizcayanos bring their food—mostly artisan—potluck style and augment pre-ordered hot food from neighboring caterers. The speakers blast with casually clad emcees announcing a repertoire of entertainment—music, dance, comedy, you name it.
During the event, you eat, dine, drink and be entertained continuously—a treat that one could only experience first-hand at this get-together. Dinner/Dance follows when the sun sets, and conveniently, the venue is right across the park; a non-pretentious hall that is apt to the festivity’s character. More food is served, entertainment gets enjoyed to the hilt and in-between segments, short inspirational words, and speeches from visiting dignitaries are heard. Each year’s program differs, but songs and dance numbers are always to be expected.
Vizcaya Day is a culmination of more than six months of planning and footwork that always turns out to be a success. Its popularity has grown big as to attract attendance from all over the United States, the Philippines, Australia, Europe, and more. Apart from the festivities hosted in the event proper, this year, alumni from Saint Louis School (SLS) Class of 1981, Nueva Vizcaya General Comprehensive High School (NVGCHS) Class of 1981, and Dalton High School will be holding their class reunion.
As the celebration draws closer, the anticipation each participant has also risen. September of this year will once again start fresh with excitement as we open it with a celebration of our heritage, and end with loud cheers for the years to come.