2014 Presentation of Debutantes and Escorts

By: Dr. Jose D. Uriarte

The Presentation of Debutantes and Escorts is one of the popular, oldest, original, well-attended, and glamorous projects of the Fil-MInnesotan Association.  Founded in 1978 by then FMA President, Ophelia Balcos, the Debutantes and Escorts’ Ball was an off-shoot of the annual Valentine’s Ball. For 36 years, the Fil-Minnesotan Association has presented hundreds of young women and men in a ceremonial rite of passage, as they are formally introduced to our growing diverse community. Following the formal introduction is the exciting cotillion. For almost three months, the girls and boys, ages ranging from 15 to 19, are trained not only in their dance movements, they are also reminded to hone their leadership potentials in community activism in a positive way.  The weekly activities have given these young people a deeper understanding of the importance of a supportive family, having a circle of friends, and belonging to a compassionate community.

The Debutantes/Escorts Ball is evolving---trailing the path of the changing world and challenges of the 21st century. Changes include flexibility in participant’s age requirements, tailoring down the participants’ expenses, and juxtaposing ballroom dances to the traditional cotillion. With the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Emmanuel Balcos, the couple has established a Scholarship Award Competition open to all debutantes and escorts, in which, award recipients are judged according to scholastic excellence, leadership, and community involvement. With all these new added elements, all factors contribute in making the Presentation of Debutantes and Escorts Ball, truly Filipino and and genuinely Fil-Minnesotan.


This year’s Debutantes’ Ball was held last February 15, 2014 at Hilton Airport, Bloomington, Mn.  The debutantes were Kimberly Boland, Sydney Hough, Cassandra Johnston, Mary Joenah Sisson and the escorts were Mycke Avila, Mathew Fronda, Brendan Tickle, and Rojel Maglalang.  The 2014 Balcos scholarship recipients were Mycke Avila and Mary Joenah Sisson.


On Saturday, February 14, 2015, 7:00 pm, the Fil-MInnesotan Association will present the 37th Anniversary presentation of Debutantes and Escorts and the Annual Valentine’s Ball. The event will be held at the Hilton Hotel-MSP Airport in Bloomington, MN. {Like us on FB- Fil Minn Debs Ball}