Mel Calanglang

Executive program manager now turned dance instructor and disc jockey

about me...

Born in Manila, Philippines, my parents moved to Toronto, Canada when I was only 2 years old.  Having spent a large portion of my life in Canada, I’ve only once and recently visited my motherland. Although very short, it was a great time and maybe someday we can chat more about it.
I guess you can say that I'm more Canadian than Filipino, but that probably happens to many people who have been raised in a different country. Here's to Canada from Nanaimo to Halifax. What a great country eh! Anyway, as a Canadian, I love the outdoors and sports.  Basketball, volleyball, softball, tennis and of course hockey are just some of activities I love to participate in. I also enjoy roller-blading, golf, skiing and have recently taken up dance (lindy-hop and balboa).
Growing up in a small town, Pickering was heavily influenced with sports.  What ever the activity there was always an attempt to participate.   I recall that all we ever did was study and play outdoors.  So the summers reminds me of the days when my buddies and I would ride our bicycles through the cross-country trails around Petticoke Creek in search of minor adventures. Childhood was a great time.
In the new millennium, I moved to England in pursuit of happiness and the love a good woman. We were married in 2003 in the lovely Somerset countryside and have enjoyed our lives together since. I’ve been living in London and many colleagues probably consider me to be British, however my soul is still Canadian. In summary, you can just paint me adventurous as I love to try new things. Being very easy going, I like meeting different characters and backgrounds and love having a good time. Whether it's a house party, formal event, dancing or just chatting at our local pub, there will always be a way to have a good time.

news...

23 MAR 2020 COVID-19 forces national lockdown
23 FEB 2020 Jo and Mel spend some time in Australia & Singapore for a dancing holiday
14 NOV 2019 Family saddened by sudden loss of sister
08 AUG 2013 Carter and Victoria come to visit Jo and Mel in London and Athens
26 JUL 2012 Family saddened by loss of grandfather
01 JAN 2012 Mel leaves Pitney Bowes in time for life changes
08 AUG 2010 Taylor and Jay come to visit Jo and Mel in London and Rome
02 FEB 2009 Mel launches Pilot Program for balboa dancing
22 AUG 2008 Mitchell and mother come to visit Jo and Mel in London and Paris
26 JUL 2007 Lovely holiday in Greece relaxes Jo and Mel
10 NOV 2006 Family saddened with loss of loved relative
26 MAY 2005 Hop The Castle goes Wild with the West.
20 JUN 2004 Death-defying accident in East London dance battle leaves Mel hospitalised for 2 days
26 JUL 2003 Mel weds Jo Wilkinson in beautiful countryside wedding
26 JUL 2001 Mel moves to new company for better opportunities
30 MAY 2000 New appointment in consultancy company gives Mel new insight to UK Business
16 MAY 2000 Mel moves to England, UK to start new adventures
30 AUG 1999 Visit to London, England proves fruitful for Mel and Jo
16 JUL 1999 Bratislava, Slovak Republic gives perfect setting for Ballman wedding weekend
18 JAN 1999 Stolt Sea Farm stations Mel in Singapore for 6 months work
21 JAN 1998 Stolt Sea Farm stations Mel in Tokyo Japan for 12 months
01 SEP 1995 Mel joins Stolt Sea Farm in new analyst position
01 SEP 1993 Mel takes on systems analsy role with Club Monaco
23 MAR 1992 Mel graduates from the Univerity of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Mathematics
01 SEP 1990 Mel joins Ontario Hydro Market Statistics group for analytic and systems role
23 FEB 1990 Family saddened by loss of brother
23 JUN 1986 Mel graduates from Denis O'Connor CHS and receives admission to University of Waterloo

With a zest for life, laughter and quest for continuous knowledge

family...

I come from a small immediate family but have a large extended family spanning the world. I have one older sister who's married with four kids.
My mother and father live only a few miles outside of Toronto so it's easy to visit them, when I do visit them. (Sorry mom! Sorry Dad!) But I love them very very much. My grandfather (Dad's dad) and his family also live in Toronto. Hi Lolo and Lola. Cudo's Jacob! And then there's an entire contingent of cousins, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles living all over Canada, the USA and the Philippines. Here's a big hello to all of you. And I used to have a twin brother. Yes a twin brother. But he died years ago in a swimming accident while vacationing in Cancun Mexico. It was a very sad time and I still miss him very dearly. However, the joy he brought to the world will always remain.
I love my family very much. And even though I haven't kept in touch with a few family members as I should be doing, I think of them all the time and I'm grateful for my family putting up with me. Who knows, if it wasn't for the strong ties and family influence I could have ended up in the streets doing something you and I don't want to know!

Find mel on the dance floor somewhere either dancing, emceeing or dj-ing

wedding...

Mel and Jo’s wedding went by so fast it was hard to remember exactly what happened. But thinking back, hopefully everyone had a wonderful time.
The week started off, with Jo and Mel picking up Mel's family at the airport on Wednesday 23rd of July, 2003. Mom, Dad, Jay, Vic and the kids were a bit tired from taking the red-eye flight from Toronto. At least most of them got a rest as we had a good three hour drive to the big house, which allowed them to sleep a bit. Unfortunately Jay had to drive, so by the end the night, he was ready to sleep for a week.

The next day (Thursday) saw the rest of Jo's family arriving at the house. I think everyone got along very well and the dinner was so enjoyable.
The house was massive and had so much character. The gardens were a sprawling 2 acres of wonderful trees and a mill stream. You could wander for hours. Scott and Jo went around the house with the kids looking for secret trap doors and tried to find the right keys to open them with. Carter was a bit frightened as he thought the portraits on the walls actually moved and talked to you. But I think that was Ryan and Mitchell feeding his imagination.

Eventually everyone spent the days outside playing French boulles, lawn bowling, badminton or just sat out and enjoyed the country air. People also ventured into town to get a glimpse of cozy wellington and its surroundings.
Friday came and almost everyone else arrived on time. Raven, Vivien and Nicki were the first to arrive at the house, then came Hubert (Hubie) and Melissa. Next, Dan and Joy, then Joseph and Anita, Raff and Tracy, Cathy, Deb and Jackie ... and more and more people. We were all so excited to see each other. But there was still two people missing...... it was Marc and Susan. Rumour has it that they instructed everyone to meet them at Paddington station around 1pm that day. When the time came and went and they were still not to be seen, everyone started getting a bit worried. Even Susan's sister called from Canada to check up. Finally around 9pm that evening, low and behold the De Leon's finally arrived, but not without a legitimate story.
Apparently when they arrived at Gatwick airport, their luggage had been misplaced and was sitting on a plane destined for Rio De Janeiro. After filling out all the forms to try to get their luggage back, they happened to miss their train in order to meet everyone at Paddington. Without a properly working cell/mobile phone, and in a strange country they had to rely on their wits and sense of humour to make it to Somerset. But they pulled their resources together and managed to get to the house in time for dinner. Everyone was so elated!! And even Hubie offered to provide a suit for Marc for the wedding the next day.

We all adjourned outside with our beers, played night lawn bowling, watched mutant snails devour Hubie's beer and had just generally caught up with the lasted details of everyone's lives. I tried to get everyone to rehearse for the next day wedding, but after a few bottles of wine and several beers, the rehearsal was a bit of a giggle for everyone. How we would be able to pull of a clean procession was the question that eluded me, for a second. Then someone came around with cheese puffs. Eventually we drank and laughed until the wee hours. We were really glad that we had the stables next door for guests to stay at. It really was handy just to walk across the lawn into the stables to rest.
On the Saturday everyone woke up a bit late and we all started to wander to the kitchen to get a bite to eat. It was a rainy day but we were all hoping that the rain would subside at least by 4pm. There were a lot of things still to do, and everyone really pitched in and helped with all the decorating.

A very big Thank You must go to our friends. Vivien, Raven, Nicki and Bavlina helped out with the floral arrangements and Jay, Marc, Sue and Ryan assisted with arranging the Marquee. By the time, we finally finished with all the last minute arrangements it was already 3:45pm and I hadn't even showered and shaved yet. I guess setting the seating arrangements, sorting the music, aligning chairs for the ceremony and fixing the decorations took a bit more effort than we imagined.

With no time to feel nervous, I dashed off to get ready. Marc, like a true best-man was ready and had all the speeches, rings on-hand and instructed all the people to seat themselves in the long room.

It was 4:00pm and I finally finished getting ready. It was a good thing that Jo was a bit late as well. We were lucky that the registrar was very relaxed about starting the ceremony on time. Eventually after what seemed like years, we were ready to start the ceremony. Marc started the music, and Carter walked in to the music of "Moon River", from the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's". Jo and her father followed soon after and I found it very difficult to hold back my tears of joy. She looked beautiful. The room was filled with emotions riding as high as Tsunami waves. Then as Guy Wilkinson (Jo's brother) read the poem, I couldn't help but give a sniffle, which according to others started a massive wave of tears from the females in the room. Honestly, I didn't know. We exchanged our vows, gave our wedding rings and Jo and I kissed. The ceremony ended with a crescendo of applause from the everyone in the room. Jay and Raven came up and signed the marriage certificates and before we knew it we were married. We also sat for everyone to take photographs. It was a beautiful and casual celebration that we enjoyed thoroughly. We hope everyone enjoyed it as well.

Afterwards, we all adjourned to the rest of the house for champagne and photos. It was still raining, much harder than it was in the morning. I have to thank Jay, Marc and Hubie for helping take all the chairs from the long room out to the marquee. They were absolutely drenched!
In fact, Marc, Jay and Hubie escorted all the guests to the marquee using these large Moet and Chandon patio umbrellas. It was classic. When it came time for Jo and myself to head over to the marquee, I raced Hubie across the lawn. To the amazement of all the catering staff and guests we sprinted across the lawn in the true style of 100m sprint, but holding patio umbrellas as well. You can guess who won!

At 6:00 pm everyone was finally in the Marquee, drying off. Not long after everyone got stoned at their tables (no pun intended). Marc started off the evening is his normal form. As an emcee I must admit he had everyone very relaxed and ready to party! I think what broke the ice was when he tried to read wedding card that was written in swedish. It had everyone in a stitch. Thanks Marc! We ended up have a great speech from Marc, a sentimental message from Mr. Larry McAvoy and I surprised myself by making a speech that lasted for more than 5 minutes.
Everyone really enjoyed the dinner and the cake was a real experience, especially to cut it. It was absolutely a delicious reception. It finally stopped raining and after dessert everyone went outside to enjoy the sun set on amidst the misty stream.

Our first dance went by without us tripping over ourselves and eventually everyone danced the night away. I have to thank Colin (Itchy) and Scott for helping with the DJ’ing in the evening. We were even treated to fireworks from the Rugby club across the way.
The evening ended with everyone returning to the long room and others wandering around the gardens, playing night lawn bowling (I couldn't see the ball at all) playing midnight badminton (I couldn't see the birdie at all) and just drinking and telling jokes until the wee hours of the morning.

The next morning, or afternoon had everyone returning to the house again for a big barbecue. The sun came out and everyone enjoyed the gardens and simply relaxed in its quiet surroundings. Jay, Vic, Marc and Sue, Dan and Joy went to the local pub to experience the local hospitality. I really hope Marc isn't too frightened of driving in the English country-side. The narrow roads take awhile to get used to! The children even treated us to a magic show and pinata bashing. Eventually the barbecue pits were ready and everyone chowed down to chicken wings, sausages, veggie burgers, prawns salads and more alcohol. Thanks to Raff and Tracy for helping with the barbecue pit!
I have to admit that it was sad to leave on the Monday morning. It felt so nice to be in the house with family and friends and seeing everyone leave on the the Monday made it a bit sad. But we have the memories to remember and I'll never forget everyone's efforts to make this occasion the most memorable event for Jo and myself.

We’d like to extend a big “Thank You” to everyone for coming to our wedding and making it such a special occasion.