Filipinos kick up their heels for good cause

The Dallas Morning News - - STATE - Twit­ter: @deb­biewfleck

The Filipino com­mu­nity of North Texas rarely hosts an event with­out danc­ing. There’s cul­tural danc­ing, of­ten by the Ma­har­lika Dancers, who in one num­ber skill­fully step around bam­boo poles in a dance called tinikling. And there’s also lots of line danc­ing to pop mu­sic. Every­one crowds the dance floor, part­nered or not. Danc­ing and singing filled a glit­tery ball­room Fri­day evening at the Wyn­d­ham Gar­den Ho­tel in Dal­las for a fundraiser for the Roscon Foun­da­tion. The Dal­las-based foun­da­tion pro­motes Filipino arts and tourism and pro­vides schol­ar­ships to stu­dents in the Philip­pines.

Carol Smith, chair of the foun­da­tion’s ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee, wel­comed guests be­fore the singing be­gan. Edith McCoy sang the U.S. and Filipino na­tional an­thems. The main en­ter­tain­ment was pro­vided by An­to­nio Carnota, a fla­menco singer and pi­anist from Spain, and Jor­dan Griz­zard, a lo­cal singer who was on Amer­i­can Idol.

Crys­tal awards were pre­sented to mu­si­cal guests and sup­port­ers. Then, every­one danced.

To learn more about the non­profit, visit roscon­foun­da­

Up next for the Filipino com­mu­nity is a Philip­pine In­de­pen­dence Day Gala on June 18 at the Westin Park Cen­tral in Dal­las. For de­tails, visit

Tel­ugu As­so­ci­a­tion con­ven­tion

The North Amer­i­can Tel­ugu As­so­ci­a­tion is the lead­ing non­profit serv­ing the Tel­ugu com­mu­nity of In­dian ori­gin liv­ing in the United States and Canada. They come from the south­ern In­dian states of Andhra Pradesh and Te­lan­gana. About 500,000 Tel­ugu peo­ple live in North Amer­ica. The as­so­ci­a­tion brought the 2016 NATA Con­ven­tion to Dal­las last week. About 12,000 were reg­is­tered to at­tend the event Fri­day through Sun­day at the Kay Bai­ley Hutchi­son Con­ven­tion Cen­ter.

The con­ven­tion in­cluded the pre­sen­ta­tion of the pres­ti­gious Ser­vice Award to Mon­cho Fer­rer. He is the son of Vi­cente Fer­rer of the Vi­cente Fer­rer Foun­da­tion, a global non­profit based in the United States and Spain that helps those at the bot­tom of the In­dian caste sys­tem. To learn more, visit vi­cen­te­fer­

Spelling, geography bees

Last week, two na­tional bees show­cased smart kids who know how to spell and who know geography. Both ti­tles were cap­tured by In­dian-Amer­i­can stu­dents. What’s even more note­wor­thy is that In­dian Amer­i­cans dom­i­nated the top 10 fi­nal­ists in both com­pe­ti­tions.

In the both con­tests, seven of the 10 fi­nal­ists were of In­dian ori­gin. Two of those fi­nal­ists were from Dal­las County: Pranay Varada of Irv­ing, who fin­ished sixth in the Na­tional Ge­o­graphic Bee Cham­pi­onship, and Sm­rithi Upad­hyayula of Cop­pell, who fin­ished fifth in the Scripps Na­tional Spelling Bee.

Jarvis Ja­cobs

The Ma­har­lika Dancers per­formed at Fri­day’s ben­e­fit for the Roscon Foun­da­tion at the Wyn­d­ham Gar­den Ho­tel in Dal­las.




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