The USJ-R Dramatics and Cultural Ensemble and Allef Alumni all over the world conducted a global birthday celebration for Dr. Mila Espina via Zoom today, on her birthdate. The special birthday program was also streamed live at Talento Cebuanos by Mila Espina Facebook page.
A series of surprise performances and special messages from the group happened during the program as well as some trivia games. Because of their great love for Dr. Mila Espina, these alumni made sure that on this day they would be able to celebrate it even virtually. The group was founded during the term of Fr. Blas Montenegro under the help of USJ-R Arts and Sciences during the deanship of Dr. Mila Espina, who also served as its adviser and director of its Broadway musicales, plays in USJ-R and Cultural shows all over the US, Singapore, China, Hawaii, etc. These performers pursued their hearts desire to perform and allow the world to see their talents in Broadway adapted plays directed by MCE such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Aladdin , Student Prince, West Side Story, Mamma Mia, Sister Act, Ms. Saigon, excerpts from Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Chorus line in Chicago, etc. Religious plays were The Restless Journey of St. Augustine and St. Ezekiel, the Healing Priest. The Healing Eucharistic during the International Eucharistic Congress. The cross cultural shows were performed in Xiamen, Beijing, Utah, Las Vegas, Honolulu, Salinas, California, Singapore, Korea, Russia, among so many others. The group also performed in the fundraising musicales of Zonta Club of Cebu 1, Speechcom, USJR, etc.
Most of the graduates have become entrepreneurs, professionals, government officials and pursued further performing arts in the Philippines like Anna Fegi, Donna Arquillano, Gisele Almazan, Jimmy Marquez, Junjet Primor, Cinbeth Orellano, Francis Isidro, Melchor Castellano, Gérard Cabras, Clint Ybanez, Mary Ann Tan, Arvie Guevara, etc. These alumni are based in Canada, USA, Australia, Europe, and all over the Philippines.
Dr. Mila C. Espina is most known for her stunning versatility. A star-maker. A coach of few good successful men and women. A passionate educator, just to name a few. She has been instrumental in helping conceptualize a lot of business and social projects that affect the development of Cebu, in business, tourism, academe and politics. Her contribution to Cebu, its culture and arts was just one of the reasons why many always joined in her annual birthday celebration which is usually held at White Gold House Restaurant or in the malls.
Madam Mila said in her response during the program, “Every year you always pull out an innovative program which really makes me happy. The efforts that you put together are more than words that you sing, your messages meant a lot to me. You have done so many things to make me proud. I have no children, I think you are the gift of God to me. We are so many but we have one Heart, one Aim and one Vision.”
Just recently, Dr. Mila Espina joined in the celebration of the 400 Presence of the Recollect Missionary in Cebu being the Hermana General together with the Recollect priests from the various parishes, Academe, the religious community led by Archbishop Jose Palma and Cebu’s government leaders. The Recollect community has been instrumental in planting the seed of Christianity in Cebu and inculcating the Augustinian values of education and community involvement.
Thank you Madam Espina for molding and shaping these talents to what they have become now. Madam Espina as everyone lovingly calls her, may you have a blissful birthday today and your students, colleagues and friends will continue to support you to the end. ADELANTE!