Last April 30 from 6PM-12MN, the Santuario de San Antonio Social Halls were lit as we had the annual YSA Ball 2016 with the theme, “Throwback to Decades Past.” This was a charity event for the benefit of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and it also served as a community bonding effort for all the 3 youth communities of the Santuario de San Antonio Parish. The event was organized by myself, Reg Galvez, and my fellow Antiocher, Enzo Agcaoili. However, the planning for the event itself was a concerted effort done by representatives from the Antioch, Luke, and SYA communities.

Stepping into the venue immediately brought you back to your own childhood as guests were greeted by flashes of light coming from CD curtains hanging all around the room. Table centerpieces made from tapes and CD cases and the overall feel of the whole venue just further reiterated the throwback vibe. All these decors were done by hand and was led by our decors head, Clara Pettersen. Even before the start of the event, music from the early 2000s to decades before that blasted through the speakers giving attendees an instant nostalgic feeling that even more so set the tone for what was to come.

The night started off with opening remarks from our hosts, Kevin Kramer and Iya Aguilar and with an opening prayer. This was then followed by dinner prepared by our caterer, Alessandra Trias. For dinner music and entertainment, we had an open mic set and bands. Performers from Antioch and Luke rushed onstage to amaze us with their on the spot musical renditions. Finally after everyone had their fill of the delicious food, we started our main program with performances by different representatives from all 3 youth communities that were handpicked to wow the crowd with their talent . These performers serenaded us and allowed us to travel back in time as they played songs from decades past. The diversity of the performers allowed the crowd to slow dance, and just jump and sway to the music as fast and upbeat songs started to fill every corner of the social hall.

To stick closer to the “ball theme” we also had an awarding ceremony wherein gift certificates from JJ Yulo and Tamarind (courtesy of Ramon Blanco) were given to the Ball King and Queen (Antioch) and Ball Prince and Princess (Luke). Awards were also given to the Stag of the Night, Best Dressed, and Life of the Party. This was also the part of the night wherein we thanked our sponsors from SYA and the PPC (Parish Pastoral Council) for their generous contributions. Our sponsors were as follows: Edmund Lim, Suzette Gatmaitan, Tina Teehankee, and Jaime and Karen Blanco who gave us monetary support that allowed us to raise more funds for PGH.

Finally, after the awarding, we had a short slow dance set for the ball winners and other ball attendees. Then we proceeded with our upbeat song set that had everyone heading out onto the dance floor. Before we knew it, we had already exhausted our number of performers but people still wanted to dance. To remedy this, we opened another open mic set and also started to blast songs from the speakers that had people dancing to the tunes of Backstreet Boys and other known bands and performers from decades past. With each new song, more people would flock to the dance floor until it was filled with bodies just moving and jumping up and down to the rhythm of the beat. It was truly a sight to see to watch people from all youth communities just dancing together and having the time of their lives.

Soon, the night was coming to an end. We topped off the event with our last song, “Closing Time” then ended with a prayer circle to thank God for this night’s success. We then cheered the respective cheers from the Luke and Antioch communities and with that, ball was over.

YSA Ball 2016 sold over a 100 tickets and was able to raise around P35,000 for PGH. This was a milestone effort that really filled our hearts with joy because of the overflowing support that we got from each youth community. Thank you to all who went and to all who helped us make this night one for the books! It was truly a night to remember!