The CSC Luzon cluster represented by Directors IV and III of Regions 1 to 5, NCR and CAR honored CSC Chairperson Alicia Dela Rosa-Bala in a send-off program held at Tito Bert’s Farm in Sto. Domingo, Ilocos Sur in the evening of December 13, 2021, with the theme: “Jamming in the moonlight: Dancing and Giggling with Alice”. The first ever face-to-face gathering of CSC Luzon leaders with Chair Bala since the onset of the Covid 19 Pandemic was filled with boisterous conviviality that reverberated with mirth and laughter to the delight of the honoree and participants. OHRMD and OFAM Directors Fernando M. Porio and Ma. Victoria Salazar, as well as Director Carlo Bala and other staff of the Office of the Chairman also attended the memorable event.

And jam in the moonlight, they do as the night was filled with fun trivia games, attempts to hit notes in a song, guessing the title of old songs, a serenade of Ilocano songs, and a thrilling match with Chair Bala of the nation’s favorite– fast-talk. The energy of the evening vibrated with liveliness, when the party guests talked with each other in an attempt to win the games. And in the midst of the serenading, Chairperson Alice was awed with genuine smiles and encouraging howls resembling hoots of an owl.

And of course, what’s a send-off party if there are no carefully crafted farewell messages and meticulously edited videos that recount the offices’ fond memories of Chair Alice? Within the night, at different time intervals, each region narrates a tribute to the ever-so-lovely Chairperson as her 7th-year term comes to a close.

Prior to this bittersweet event, the morning of December 13, 2021, was dedicated to seeing the wonders Vigan City offers. Just one step at the roads of Calle Crisologo is enough to send one back to the past. The structures that claim their dominance to one seemingly put you in the shoes of Crisostomo Ibarra or Maria Clara as its corners evade any trace of the plague of modernity. The hidden garden adorned with lush green plants and specks of colorful hues of flowers was a sight to behold too. And so is Baluarte with animals that greet with hiss or growls. Yet their presence in a relatively tame environment as opposed to their usual habitats in the wild is enough to pique one’s interest.

The fellowship night and send-off party in Ilocos Sur indeed marked the end for a brief getaway. However, for CSC RO1, they were only getting started. All participants, alongside Chairperson Bala, momentarily had stop-over at the newly constructed CSC RO1 Building for another farewell program held on December 14, 2021, this time with all CSC RO1 officials and employees.

Due for a ribbon-cutting, the new CSCRO1 Regional Office Building was graced with an esteemed guest – indeed a significant milestone for the Regional Office. The threads of vermillion adorning the building were ceremoniously clipped by Chairperson Bala as she delivered a message that etched a new beginning for the CSC RO1.

The drones of laughter, glee, and subtle breaking of hearts as Chairperson Alice leaves were not unheard. A farewell party, though often masked as a lively and rambunctious event, one cannot deny that it’s incredibly bittersweet. However, as cliche as it sounds, with every farewell, comes a new beginning. It is best to meet it with joy and gratefulness, with recognition – to utter: thank you for your seven years of service CSC Chairperson Alicia Dela Rosa-Bala from the CSCRO1 Family. (MARINA G. CABAÑERO)