Days after the Chinese celebrated their Year of the Pig, the Vietnamese had their own Tet Festival, the most important celebration of Vietnamese culture and their own version of the New Year’s celebration at Santa Clara Fairground n San Jose.
Visitors and guests of all ethnicities were treated to featured Vietnamese cultural activities in the Tet festival onstage performances including fashion shows, singing, dancing and children activities, among others
Close Filipino friends of the Vietnamese community collaborated and worked with Fashion of Show Segment led by international fashion designer Debbie Nghiem and CEO of GGConnections,
Filipino fashion runway model director and program coordinator for the GGConnections Fashion Show afternoon segment Christopher M. Alberto is his third year and he was joined by how Filipina co-host BhengTopacio of R and B Productions and Filipina model May Sheena Antolin who was joined by around over 36 models with 7 designers/collections of diverse backgrounds from the U.S and from Hollywood, Bollywood, Vietnam, New York, Miami, Turkey, Africa and many more.
“I like working and meet new community from different ethnics, to learn their traditions, their history,” Alberto quipped.
Nghiem shared that the purpose of the “fashion show is to showcase the beauty, the nature and creative in all the communities in one show. GG Connections can be diverse and equal and humbling ourselves to the purpose of helping one another while celebrating a new beginning of the New Year.
BhengTopacio echoed Nghiem’s aim in having the fashion show on diversity and co-hosted the event with an Indian male co-host and hosted it in English.
“It is nice for me to co-host an honor for me to be invited and doing so I am business partner with Debbie Nghiem and I am here to support and know more about the Vietnamese community,” Topacio added.
Antolin who was born and grew up in Santa Maria Ilocos Sur felt fulfilled to be performing for a Vietnamese event on a work that she passionate about.
“When you are doing what you are passionate about, as a Filipina who is not that tall like the other models are but is asked to join the fashion show just the same. Nghiem may like my demeanor as a model, the way I walk and present myself. And for that I am very proud,” Antolin stressed. “In events like this, I usually make a lot of friends, get to meet a diverse group of people from different races with different personalities, so I immerse myself with them, the models and designers and in the process help me learn about their culture.”
Antolin is also felt very proud and at the same time humbled to be the carrying the Filipino colors in events like these and advised other models to “just be yourself, be proud of who you are, be happy with what you have and be faithful with your work.”
Surprise guest in the festival was Kenny Shedd former Oakland Raider wide receiver who came over to support his Vietnamese friends like Debbie.
“That s why I am here. I always support her fashion shows while she supports my movie-making venture. I have been a moviemaker after being retired from the National Football League. There were a lot of stories that came to me while I was playing so I know write them down and once I was done with NFL, I know have the opportunity to make them happen as a director for five six years now. When you are moviemaking you are in charge in total control over things and I like that aspect. We did four short films already,” disclosed Sheddy.