Governor Icot as he is
fondly called by his constituents was dashing in his barong tagalong.
His partner is the beautiful Congresswoman Nikki Prieto-Teodoro, the
wife of Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro.
Now it could be told
that Governor Petilla is not only an excellent singer, he could also
dance well without being nervous in the presence of the political and
economic elite of the country.
It was said that
Governor Petilla was so surprised when he was called about his being
part of the Rigodon de Honor at Malacanang. He tried to beg off
suggesting if it was okay that he sang instead of dancing.
The answer was, “You
dance first, before you sing.” Indeed, he did dance and well at that.
The rest is history.
President Arroyo led
twenty pairs in this year’s “Rigodon de Honor” to cap the country’s
celebration of the 111th Independence Day.
hosted the traditional Independence Day reception with a dance and
cocktails for members of her Cabinet and Congress, the diplomatic
corps, the top brass of the police and military, prominent business
leaders, former beauty queens, and other noted personalities in
The social gathering
began 6 o’clock in the evening at the Palace Ceremonial Hall on the
second floor of the presidential residence.
The ladies wore
Filipiniana terno while the men wore barong Tagalog. They were paired
according to their height.
The Rigodon dancers
included one of the President’s daughters-in-law, Ma. Victoria “Kakai”
Arroyo, wife of Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado Ignacio “Dato” Arroyo.
Another participant is
Dina Arroyo-Tantoco, daughter of presidential brother-in-law Negros
Occidental Rep. Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo and wife of one of the scions of
the Rustan’s chain of department stores.
Bonoan-David was also in the Rigodon. Other female participants of the
Rigodon include the President’s personal stylist Joanne Andrade-Zapanta;
former beauty queens Miriam Quiambao and Precious Lara Quigaman;
Sunshine Cruz-Montano, wife of actor Cezar Montano; Lizzie Zobel de
Ayala, wife of industrialist Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala; and
Vivienne Tan, daughter of taipan Lucio Tan.
Also among the female
participants were Julie Defensor, wife of Philippine National Railways
chief Michael Defensor; Belinda Adora; Dinagat Gov. Jade
Ecleo-Villaroman; Mimi Aquino; dancing instructor Becky Garcia; Anette
Gozon-Abrogar, socialite-entrepreneur Frannie Jacinto; Carol Quimson,
Chiqui Roa-Puno; and Liana Romulo, daughter of former Foreign Affairs
Secretary Roberto Romulo.
Heading the list of
male participants were ambassadors Luis Arias of Spain and Roderick
Smith of Australia; retired Armed Forces chiefs of staff, Genarals
Narciso Abaya and Alexander Yano who is now Philippine ambassador to
Brunei Darussalam; special envoy on renewable energy Vicente Perez;
Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.; Economic Planning Secretary Ralph
Recto; Presidential adviser on political affairs Gabriel Claudio;
Congressmen Dong Gonzalez, Roman Romulo, and Anton Lagdameo; Governors
Dax Cua (Quirino Province), and Michael Keon (Ilocos Norte).
The rest are Kenneth
Yang, son of Philippine McDonald’s franchise owner George Yang; Ali
Atienza, son of Environment Secretary Lito Atienza; Buddy Cunanan;
Atom Henares; Raul Manzano, and STAR columnist Babe Romualdez.
The Rigodon was
choreographed by and painstakingly rehearsed under the direction of
Pia Dala, Bujing Danao and Renato Delgado.