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Bright Horizons

The Literary Musical Contest was formed in 1988 under the chairmanship of the late Rosalie Montero with the assistance of Rose Gavino, Carmen Pelayre, and Felice Obtinario. Three years later in 1991, favoring to work with the Little Royalty, Rosalie relinquished her position, and Flori Montante commissioned Minda Conde Wilson, then president of the Naguilianders’ Association of the Pacific Northwest, to take on the program. With Delia Vita as vice president, NAPNW continued to ensure the participation of the youth in PAGDIRIWANG. During this time, the number of participants and their families grew to fill Conference Room A of the Seattle Center House where the contest was held.


In 1993, still under the chairmanship of Minda Conde Wilson and vice chair Minnie Labonete Erickson, the Filipino American Educators of Washington (FAEW) officially assumed support of the Literary/Musical Contest. It was fitting for this organization to take on this program because the educators themselves could better spot and identify talents from the community of students that they work with. Additionally, they provide encouragement to students in joining the contest and then nurture them in showcasing their talents.


In 1998, this event, which started with essay writing, vocal solo, and piano, expanded to include declamation or dramatic interpretation in order to represent the very nature of Filipinos who love to emote and gesture while reciting a literary piece. The same year, Seattle Center requested that the vocal solo contest be rendered in Tagalog or any Filipino dialect to capture the essence of the Filipino culture.


Sixteen years later in 2009, Minda thought it best to “Let go, so others may grow,” and passed the baton to three young, talented, and hard-working FAEW women: current FAEW Treasurer Lorlie Sardinia, Minda Michelle Mattox, and current FAEW Secretary Annabel Garcia-Andresen who leads the trio. The dedication and untiring commitment of Minda and Minnie, who currently serve as advisers, provide these three young ladies inspiration to fan the flame. Lauren Divina, Tess Shafer, Roger Rigor, and Felice Obtinario continue to serve as essay readers without a year’s absence, while Carmen Pelayre has continuously led the judging of the musical component since the inception of this contest.


Today, this competition among our Filipino-American youth, K through 12th, continues to be an attraction, showing simultaneously with other activities buzzing inside and around the Seattle Center Armory. This year, 2015, is the 22nd year for the FAEW (on its 43rd anniversary year) to organize and lead the annual Literary Musical Contest. Everyone is excited! 

Can you sing a song in a Philippine language?  Want the chance to win $50? Join the Musical competition hosted by the Filipino American Educators of Washington in Loft 2 on Saturday, June 6th. Registration begins at 12:45 pm for walk-on contestants. Competition begins at 1:00 pm.

*Contestants must be a pre-K- 12th grade student of Filipino heritage
*Contestants must not have a record/single out or professional singer
*Registration will close at 12:59 pm

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