Arts & Life, Events

Snaps all around at PAC Poetry Night

The sounds of clapping, singing and laughter from an audience of hundreds of attendees that filled the outside of the Kin Courtyard as students performed both original and covered works on stage.

The Pilipino American Coalition hosted its PAC Poetry Night on Thursday. The night welcomed PAC club members and guests to showcase their artistic talent through poetry, music, spoken word and dancing.

Poets and singers translated their talents and artistic skills into the microphone exposing their deepest emotions and feelings.

Hilario Balajaou, a computer science major from Dominguez Hills, covered the song “A Million Dreams” from “The Greatest Showman.”

“For tonight, I wanted to sing that song because I am in a long distance relationship and that person couldn’t be here tonight,” Banajaou said.

Admission was free to anyone who wanted to come out and show off their original or unoriginal works and guests were able to purchase Thai and boba teas as well as spam musubi while they watched the performances.

Performances ranged from spoken word, poetry, singing, dancing and playing instruments.

Throughout the night, audience members maintained high levels of energy, singing and laughing with those they came to support.

Fourth-year students Nicole Swayne and Ma Kathrina I Sip went to the poetry night together to have fun at the event.

“The vibes have just been chill,” Kathrina said. “It’s good to see each other’s talents and meet new people.”

PAC members Ian Soriano and Justin Fontanares collaborated together onstage, with Soriano singing and Fontanares playing the guitar. Together they covered the songs “Changes” by Jeff Bernat and “Slow Dancing in the Dark” by Joji.

Soriano shared words of advice to for anyone wanting to pursue  a career in music.

“If you’re going after music, don’t give up. Just keep trying and pursue your passion,” Soriano said. “I would like to make it as a singer working with Justin.”

Among the performers at the poetry night was Leila Lagandaon, president of PAC, who sang the national anthem of the Philippines, “Lupang Hinirang”  in Tagalog.

“It’s our way to celebrate Filipino History Month so that all the Filipinos in our club and even non-Filipinos can show off their talents,” Lagandaon said. “I really just want people to have fun and enjoy themselves and celebrate the Filipino culture.”

The previous version of this story falsely stated that Leila Lagandaon sang the American national anthem. At the poetry night Lagandoan sang the national anthem of the Philippines.  


  1. Avatar
    Brianna Herbolario

    Hello Jose Ahumada,

    I just wanted to correct your statement regarding Leila Lagandaon. She did not sing the Star Spangled Banner in Tagalog. She actually sang the Philippines national anthem, “Lupang Hinirang”. It is not at all similar to the American Star Spangled Banner. I hope you correct or address that this statement is incorrect because as a Filipino-American I’m slightly disappointed you did not find out this information at PAC Poetry Night especially when you interviewed Lagandaon herself.

  2. Avatar
    Bailey Nelson

    Overall, great article but I will say that Leila didn’t sing the Star Spangled Banner, the American national anthem, in Tagalog, the national language of the Philippines. She sang the Pilipino national anthem in Tagalog.

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