An Evening of Feast and Fun at TFC’s Unity Cup Gala and Awards Celebration

The TFC Unity Cup Gala and Awards Night was held as part of a two-event fundraising activity for Bantay Bata (Child Watch), which is celebrating 20 years of helping children at risk. (Photo courtesy of Richard Lao)


ABS-CBN Foundation International recently took over the South San Francisco Convention Center for the TFC Unity Cup Gala and Awards Night.  Around 400 people — golfers, supporters, and friends came out to the fundraiser for the children of Bantay Bata, a child rescue program under the ABS-CBN Foundation. The gala was the second event under the banner TFC Unity Cup, the first being the golf tournament held a week earlier at the Chardonnay Golf Club in Napa county.

It was an incredible evening of dinner, dancing, awards, and a show headlined by multi-awarded Filipino-Puerto Rican, singer-songwriter, musician, actor, music producer and TV host Gary Valenciano.  The Filharmonic, an LA-based a cappella group of Filipino-American youth featured in NBC’s hit musical competition, The Sing-Off, and in the Universal Pictures hit movie, Pitch Perfect 2, opened the evening’s festivities.

The venue was transformed into an elegant space that fit the occasion. Cocktails and the sumptuous dinner were provided by Dominic’s Restaurant, while the stunning décor was from Flowers and Events by Dani.

(L-R) Consul Andre Peter Estanislao; Philippine Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr; ABS-CBN International COO Raffy Lopez; Madame Mariza Bensurto, President of the League of San Francisco Consular Corps; and Consul Carlyn Monastrial enjoy the TFC Unity Cup Gala and Awards Night. (Photo courtesy of Richard Lao)

The Ramos family and their friends are just some of the supporters who came out to have a fun time while doing good at the TFC Unity Cup Gala and Awards Night at the South San Francisco Convention Center. (Photo courtesy of Richard Lao)

Bantay Bata is celebrating its 20th year of existence, and with the funds raised they hope to rehabilitate and renovate the Children’s Village that provides shelter for the children under their care. ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Chairman of the Board Eugenio Lopez III explained that when Gina Lopez became Managing Director of the ABS-CBN Foundation, she initiated Bantay Bata 163, the Philippines’ first media-based hotline that provided protection and welfare for children at risk.

(L-R) Philippine Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr; ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Chairman of the Board Eugenio Lopez III, and his mother, Chairman Emeritus of the ABS-CBN Foundation International Mrs. Chita Taylor, at the fundraising for Bantay Bata, celebrating its 20th year. (Photo courtesy of Pia Lopezbanos-Carrion)

According to Lopez, during the early years of Bantay Bata 163, they rescued a child who captured “the imagination of the nation. His name is Jessie and he was living in a box.” Gina took him out of that box and brought him under the care of Bantay Bata. Lopez continued, “Jessie is still with us. He is 23 years old and he’s leading a productive life. He turned out to be a graphic artist. So, when you give your money, it’s not some figment of imagination. These are real people that you are helping.”

An Evening of Winners

Winners of the inaugural TFC Unity Cup Golf Tournament were also awarded at the gala. For the Net Division Awards, Ramon Magtibay and his partner (net 72) placed second runner up. Katrina Diaz and Lilybeth Harden (net 72) were first runner up, while Angel Molinas and Tomas Encarnacion (net 72) were declared the champions.

Al Bronston and Webster Proctor (Gross 66) ranked second runner up in the Gross Division Awards, while Enrique Olives and Mari Valles (Gross 65) were first runner up. Sean Talmadge and Abby Arevalo (Gross 63) were the champions in the Gross Division.

Kathleen and Mark Talmadge, parents of Sean, accepted the main award in behalf of champions Sean and Abby. Kathleen was ecstatic about her son’s win, we’re thrilled, especially that it’s the first annual tournament for TFC.” For the Talmadges, it was important for their son to understand the plight of the less fortunate in the Philippines. Mrs. Talmadge added, “I want him to be aware of helping other people that live there.” Mr. Talmadge echoed that Sean “enjoys helping people. He’s very caring.”

Mark and Kathleen Talmadge accept the main award of the evening in behalf of their son Sean and teammate Abby Arevalo, who were declared champions in the Gross Division. (Photo courtesy of Pia Lopezbanos-Carrion)

Father-and-son team, Renato and Michael Fortaleza, won in the Best-Dressed category, and Michael also nabbed the PAL Business Class ticket in the raffle. Aside from the raffle, there were various Golden State Warriors memorabilia, Star Wars collectibles, and other premium items up for auction. Philippine Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr., of the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco, walked away with the valuable Steph Curry keepsake.

Michael Fortaleza (center) is flanked by (L-R) Liezel, Lyzette, Becca, and Camille. Fortaleza won twice, receiving a trophy with his father for the Best Dressed category, and a business class ticket from Philippine Airlines during the raffle. (Photo courtesy of Pia Lopezbanos-Carrion)

Philippine Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr. wins the bid for this prized Stephen Curry memorabilia. (Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN Foundation International)

Show-Stopping Performances from Top-Notch Entertainers

Aside from the awarding ceremony, the other highlight of the evening were the performances from The Filharmonic and Gary Valenciano. The five-man vocal group opened the entertainment portion of the night with their remarkable blend of pop and 90s nostalgia.

The Filharmonics, composed of (L-R) Joe Caigoy (tenor), Niko del Rey (beat boxer), VJ Rosales (tenor), Jules Cruz (vocal bass), and Trace Gaynor (tenor) set the finger-snapping, foot-stomping mood for the night. (Photo courtesy of Pia Lopezbanos-Carrion)

Gary Valenciano, known as Mr. Pure Energy, owned the stage (and the floor) with his impeccable performance, song after song. Valenciano also shared the stage and did a show-stopping duet of Al Jarreau’s “Spain” with “diva-on-the-rise” Katrina Velarde, who is also one of the featured artists in Valenciano’s North America tour.

Gary Valenciano is the ultimate performer, engaging the audience with his high-energy numbers. (Photo courtesy of Pia Lopezbanos-Carrion)

Mr. Pure Energy Gary Valenciano has the crowd swaying and dancing to his songs, while they held their smart phones high, taking pictures and recording the moment. (Photo courtesy of Pia Lopezbanos-Carrion)

The crowd shrieked in delight and had their smart phones up, taking photos and filming Valenciano’s high-powered performances. He further engaged the audience by approaching them at their tables, and gamely taking pictures with them. At the last part of his repertoire, he gamely invited everyone to get up on their feet and dance the night away. It was a satisfying way to cap the night.

A Resounding Message of Hope

The gala proved to be a very inspiring evening for the organizers and the attendees. All the hard work put in bore fruit the much-needed funding for the rehabilitation of the Children’s Village was raised. The message was clear: that every effort must be done in order to protect and provide hope for future of the community.

ABS-CBN International COO Raffy Lopez expresses his gratitude to all those who were present at the TFC Unity Cup Gala and Awards Night at the South San Francisco Convention Center. Lopez underlines that “the effort does not stop here. We will continue to invest in the future of our country – our children.” (Photo courtesy of Pia Lopezbanos-Carrion)

Every dollar donated will provide education, shelter, safety and protection for the children of Bantay Bata. Per ABS-CBN International COO Raffy Lopez, these children need to “undergo healing, rehabilitation, and reformation. Our goal is to raise 30 million pesos over the next five years to fund the operation. Of course, all proceeds of tonight and last week’s golf tournament will support this cause. The effort does not stop here. We will continue in our drive to invest in the future of our country – our children.”



Media Contact:

Pia Lopezbanos-Carrion

ABS-CBN International – TFC

2001 Juniperro Serra Blvd, Ste. 200

Daly City, CA 94014


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