Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Smith (nee Nena Lozada) at cocktail hour for her birthday party at the Astoria World Manor.  (Photo by YetBo/LoveRita)

The Medicare Grand Ball was the theme of Nena Lozada Smith’s milestone celebration of her life she calls “Nens Journey” of several birthdays, anniversaries, etc., along the way until now that she reaches 65 years young.

Held at the beautifully decorated grand ballroom of the Astoria World Manor on May 3, it was one, if not, the niftiest party everyone had attended.

The ladies wore brilliantly colorful outfits in several shades of rainbow; and the men, looking sharp and dapper.

Nena was toasted and roasted but speeches were brief, cogent, truly sentimental but uplifting.

Her husband Raymond jokingly referred to himself as Mr. Nena Lozada Smith also describing how Nena would just point with her closed lips if he asks for something he can’t locate.

The guests just rolled with laughter knowing fully well this Filipino trait.

Fil-Am stalwarts led by Consul General Mario Lopez de Leon, Jr. and his wife Eleanor, Loida Nicolas Lewis and so many other equally splendid guests of 320 were in attendance.

The amazing cast and crew of dancers who pay homage to the celebrant gave a riveting number choreographed by Reynante.

They dazzled and they sizzled — truly delightful!


HAPPY FAMILY: Nena and Raymond Smith with children. From left, Manny Migrino, Marichelle Migrino Teano, Madelaine Migrino, Marho Migrino Waterman, husband Evan Waterman and their son Alex.  (Photo by YetBo/LoveRita)

Nena sure looked charmingly lovely in her elegant outfit of light gold with some embellishment.

She spoke of her life from then and now, touching on many aspects, her first friends in New York like Angie Cruz and Nilda Jaynal which led to the introduction to people who mattered, who are making a difference in the Fil-Am community.

She was surprised by a Lifetime Achievement Award given by Friends Indeed USA, Inc. for her “loyal and dedicated service to FIUSA in particular and to the community as a whole. A founder, innovator, a doyenne of worthy causes, her leadership, competence and concern for the community are of the highest standards of excellence and devotion that serves as an inspiration to all.”

The Philippines Hearts and Hopes Society, Inc. which she also founded gave her a Plaque of Appreciation coming especially from the Daughters of PHHOSO, a group of beautiful ladies who calls Nena their hero for guiding them to develop a sense of purpose and become a force for good in this world.

It was a big surprise for Nena that they crowned her pointing out that it’s been said “that within every woman there is a Queen.”

The ladies even put a sash on her naming her “Mrs. Fil Am Star of Stars.”

That’s how much they appreciated her as their mentor and friend.

The ladies also provided the 25 large-sized roses of different colors to give to each gentleman who would dance for a minute or two with Nena, starting with ConGen Mario de Leon, Jr.

There were lots of dancing to the wonderful music of Ernie Bugarin.

Rene Ballenas was the emcee and FIUSA president Lito Pernia took care of the video and everything else needed to have a joyous occasion, especially for the birthday gal.

Truly, everybody went home happy with that feeling of joie de vivre (joy of living)!

To Nena and Raymond — Ad vivum! To the life!


Consul General Mario Lopez de Leon, Jr., wife Eleanor, and Nena and Raymond Smith during cocktail hour of Nena’s birthday party.  (Photo by YetBo/LoveRita)


Birthday gal Nena Smith being escorted for a dance number in her honor by PHHOSO ladies.  (Photo by YetBo/LoveRita)


Friends Indeed USA, Inc. presenting Nena L. Smith with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

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