Twenty seven years after it debuted as the Pilipino Cultural Night as a vehicle to create awareness, nurture and propagate the Philippine culture among high school students in Southern California, four high schools of the ABC School District have banded together again to stage its 30th edition on March 22, 6 p.m. at Lakewood High School,
This Pilipino Cultural Night (PCN) is the culmination of Club Kaibigan’s major activity at Whitney High School, the Filipino-American student body founded in 1984 by now Cerritos City Mayor Pro-tempore Mark E. Pulido.
Three years thereafter since 1987, Whitney’s Fil-Am students spearheaded by 15 club cabinet members organized the PCN as a cultural program to encourage the students to connect to their roots and learn more about their rich Filipino heritage. Since then, this Filipino cultural extravaganza soon caught fire. Other high schools in the school district took part in this tradition, among them Cerritos High School, Artesia High School and Gahr High School.
This cultural showcase is categorized into several main suites which start with Maria Clara then transitioned to Regional, Muslim Mountain and Rural.
In Maria Clara Suite, it features Paseo de Iloilo, Lanceros de Tayabas, Mazurka and Carinosa; Regional (Mindayan, and Raffia); Muslim (Singkil and Katsu); Mountain (Salip and Pattong); Rural (Bulaklakan, Sakuting and Tinikling).
“Every year, we infuse innovations and variations to our folk dances to be different from previous years. We do our research and then meticulously choreograph these folk dance routines and eventually teach our peers,” shared Ann Munoz, president of Whitney High School’s Club Kaibigan who is leading this year’s cultural show. Whitney High has a reputation as a “nationally recognized school of excellence.”
“Our organization is a testament to the power of neighborhood solidarity. The night is a culmination of the efforts of over 100 people who have all worked together to make the Pilipino Cultural Night a success,” chimed in two other Co-Vice Presidents and Co-Dance Troupe Coordinators Cyrus Salvani and Carlo Salonga.
An authentic Filipino rondalla will perform as the ensemble will dance their routines that will somewhat approximate the world-famous Bayanihan Dance Company.
To deviate from purely Philippine cultural show, the up and coming Filipino Band DRH Band headed by Ruben Cuatrona will perform some popular songs of Justin Timberlake like “Mirror”
One thing is certain to emerge from this Pilipino Cultural Night. Student participants who were interviewed said, “We hope to keep this on-going tradition alive for future high school generations to come and to allow them to be able to find connections and appreciation of their Filipino heritage through song and dance.”
For ticket reservation which is $10 per person, interested parties may contact Ann Munoz at 562-833-6751 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Mark Ruiz at 562-650-6207 or email@example.com; Cyrus Salvani at 562-331-9785 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Carlos Salonga at 562-303-7017 or email@example.com; parents Elvie Munoz at 562-480-1780 and Cookie Ruiz at 562-682-8359. Lakewood High school is located at 4400 Briercrest Ave., Lakewood, CA with Tel. No. 562-425-1281. – DAN E. NINO