The Filipino-American Association Inc. decided early on in its history to have an annual banquet to coincide with the date of the martyrdom of the Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. The earliest recorded Rizal Ball was in 1923 at the Hotel Majestic in Philadelphia and attended by the officers and members of the organization and their guests (a picture of this is in this website). It was only until the early 1970’s when the Miss Maria Clara pageant was incorporated to the formal evening event.
The selection of Miss Maria Clara started out as a popularity contest. The contestant who gathered the most in sales of raffle and dinner tickets and advertisements was crowned Miss Maria Clara. The first winner of the Miss Maria Clara contest, Edna Ismael Darrah, was crowned in December 1972. The event was a huge success and attended by car-loads of guests from all over the east coast. After three years of the popularity contest, the selection of the winner was changed and based on 3 categories: talent, poise, and personality.
After many years, another change was made on the format that being a pre-selected winner based on her meeting a strict criteria. So far, FAAPI has crowned 38 Miss Maria Claras. On this centennial year, FAAPI will revive the old glory of the Miss Maria Clara contest as it crowns the Centennial Miss Maria Clara and Miss Maria Clara 2013. The winners will be judged on 3 categories: community service, achievement, and talent. Please see the selection process on this website.
FAAPI is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible.
Upcoming EventsRizal Dinner Gala and Miss Maria Clara 2014
6:00 PM – 12:00 AM, December 28
Commemorating the 117th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, and featuring the coronation of Miss Maria Clara 2014 Melissa Evelyn Laurencio.
Crowne Plaza Hotel Grand Ballroom
2349 W. Marlton Pike
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
Please click the DONATE button above to pay.
$60/person if paid on or before Dec. 13, 2013.
$50/student. $30/children 12 and under.