For the past few weeks, long bamboo poles clacked together in front of the University Student Union Robeks as some students practiced Tinikling, a well-known dance from the Philippines that involves rhythmically stepping in between the poles.
Cal State Long Beach’s Pilipino American Coalition (PAC) is preparing to host the upcoming 27th annual Pilipino Cultural Night show on May 11 at the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center.
The show has been a year in the making according to the Pilipino cultural night coordinators, senior human development major, Ashley Cruz and senior journalism major, Jessica Rosales.
Each year, PAC puts on a Pilipino cultural night that is written, directed and performed by students. This is the biggest event hosted by the club.
“It’s a way for the Filipino community to come together, work together and put on a show that not only showcases the contemporary struggles the community is going through, but also things the community takes pride in such as cultural dances and a family storyline,” said senior graphic design major and script director Paul Zappia.
This year, the show is titled “Lakas: The Power of Our People.” The skit focuses on encompassing the idea of strength. It is written and directed by Cindy Jimenez, Michael Sarmiento and Zappia. Rosales said she hopes the show will give audiences the chance to find strength within themselves, their culture or their passions.
“Culture is not defined by your blood but by spirit,” Zappia said. “No matter where you come from, it’s not about the life you were given but what you do with your life.”
Cultural and modern dances are also intertwined within the skit. Rosales, Cruz and Zappia all said that this is going to be the first time that the dances are linked within the story, both conceptually and physically.
Within the show, cultural dances are broken down to five suites: regional, moro, mountain, Spanish and rural. The regional, moro and mountain suites project royalty or a tough life. The Spanish suite shows a flirtatious side while rural suite shows an expressive side to life in the barrios.
For some participating students, this is their fourth Pilipino cultural night. What brings them back is the feeling of family within the club.
“People stay up late, work hard together and try to put on a good show,” said senior health care administration major John Catedral.
Tickets are now on sale for $10 but cost $12 at the door. For more information on tickets or questions, email the club at [email protected] or visit www.lbpac.com.