Fil-Am students keep Filipino folklore alive in new play

HAYWARD, Calif. – Filipino American students at Cal State University East Bay are preparing for an annual tradition called Pilipino Cultural Night (PCN).

PCN’s are usually about the Fil-Am experience.

But this year, it puts the spotlight on Filipino beliefs that seem to have been lost here in the US — Filipino folklore and superstitions.

“Our PCN is not your typical Romeo & Juliet love story,” said Angelica Soliman, one of the PCN cultural directors. “It more focuses on the myth aspect like the aswangs and the white lady and all these superstitions you hear from back home like your grandparents tell you. That’s how we keep our culture alive is through passing down these stories from generation to generation.”

The show “The Night Walker” follows a young man’s quest for love while fighting against his mother’s wishes.

“While trying to find that person for him he actually unlocks the truth about his life,” said Jesse Toy, PCN cultural director.

PCN is a student-run production where fellow students learn from other students about everything from dance choreography to historic cultural lessons.

After a whole year of planning, stress, and practices, these students keep coming back for PCN each year because of what they learn about the Filipino culture and how they can present in on stage.

“PCN is a perfect time for us to basically get together and celebrate our culture as one culture with everybody and have a good time, put on a show for everybody, our families are out there watching,” said Kendrick Ladao, who is playing the lead role as Prince Felipe.

“To see all these young college students coming together to celebrate culture, to celebrate themselves, and to celebrate our Filipino roots and we have a couple of students who are in this production who aren’t even Filipino so to see them celebrate our culture is very rewarding as well,” said Soliman.

For those taking the PCN class, it will be counted as credit towards completion of the general education requirements for graduation.

Follow Rommel Conclara on Twitter @rommelconclara for more information.

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