Every year, the Filipino Minnesota Association hosts the Debutantes Ball to celebrate the accomplishments of Filipino youths -- both female and male -- and their approaching transition to adulthood. At the ball, each young person is presented along with his or her parents or guardians, while the audience hears of the youths' personal achievements in academics, extracurricular activities and community involvement. They are encouraged to state their future plans, and then they get to party, dancing a traditional cotillion as well as some American hip-hop. A competitive scholarship from the Balcos family is presented to one deserving debutante and one deserving escort.
At a dress rehearsal Friday at the Bloomington Hilton the night before the big event, Elaiza Bungue, left, and Christine Cando relaxed with their escorts, Alex Hall and Manny Riley.