Kilusan’s Pilipino Culture Night explores and salutes the American Dream
On April 2, Kilusan Pilipino put three months of hard work into action, presenting a three-and-a-half-hour-long performance including a play, traditional dancing and singing about Filipino culture. It was titled, “Patuloy ang Pangarap,” meaning “Continue the Dream.”
Kilusan’s mission was to address the American Dream: “Has the American Dream unconsciously pitted us against each other instead of bringing us together for a common good?” Their performance depicted the horrors of the Watsonville Riots in the 1930s, as well as stimulating questions about our own personal identities.
Incredibly planned and outlined in a program, Kilusan Pilipino featured a choir of singers, live music and nine different dances, ranging from traditional to urban. Their performance incorporated the hard work of 68 astonishing participants of different ethnic backgrounds. They had two showings on Saturday, the first at 1 p.m. and the second at 6 p.m.; the evening showing was delayed, in the best way possible, because the line into the UC Ballroom snaked out the University Center’s front doors.
Sheryl Valasquez ‘17, who has been involved with Kilusan since she was a freshman, served as PCN’s administrative coordinator. Through PCN and “Identifying as a Pilipina American, I am able to grow closer to my culture with others who share the same passion. Being part of this production, you not only are able to learn about the Pilipinx culture but as well as other cultures and identities.” Through Kilusan Pilipino, she has “found a family away from home.”
Bradley Ramos ‘17 was one of the three scriptwriters for the show. He commented, “Being a scriptwriter really allowed me to reflect on my life experiences and my identity and create a way to tell it in a compelling and relatable way.”
Ramos shows a great understanding of his culture and its history, connecting it to today’s struggles: “…Kapwa and the American Dream, and the consequences of glorifying the American Dream, such as the devaluing of community. We question this in order to work toward a better way of doing things, instead of accepting the status quo. The first step to fixing a problem is recognizing it exists.”
Ramos’ favorite part of the production, as well as many others’, was the fact that the messages and themes resonate with people from all walks of life — from internalized racism to identity confusion, there was something for everyone. The larger message left after the show was the true meaning of Kapwa: “a community willing to be there and empower them to learn to love themselves unapologetically.”
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