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Leyte Gov part of 111th Independence Day “Rigodon de Honor” at the Palace

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 14, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY  –  Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho L. Petilla was part of the 111th Independence Day “Rigodon de Honor” rites at the Ceremonial Hall of the Malacanang Palace.

Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho L. Petilla
Leyte Governor Icot Petilla

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.

President Arroyo 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 Philippine society.

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.

Representative Trisha 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.