Filipino Heritage Night events expand from pro sports to college

BERKELEY, Calif. – Filipino culture was celebrated in the second annual Filipino Heritage Night at the University of California Berkeley during the basketball game between the home team Cal Bears and the visiting Oregon State Beavers.

Organized by the Filipino American Arts Exposition (FAAE) and a collaboration with all seven Filipino organizations at UC Berkeley, fans were treated to many different cultural performances including traditional folk dancing and martial arts.

“This is an opportunity to gather as a Filipino community here at UC Berkeley is really important because it makes us stronger, together,” said Nicole Arca.

“It also gets everyone to know that there are Filipinos at UC Berkeley,” said Baltazar Jonnel Dasalla. “We’re here thriving and that the more support we get from everyone else the more we could do each year.”

They also want to celebrate Filipinos in sports on the collegiate level especially since Fil-Am freshman point guard Brandon Chauca is playing on the team.

“This is where athletes are grown and modeled into the superstars they become on the professional level,” said FAAE program manager Kharissa Fernando. I think it’s really important to start celebrating and supporting those athletes, such as Brandon, now.”

Chauca, who did not play in the Cal Bears 73-56 victory over the Beavers, said that he knows that this is just the beginning of his collegiate career and that he is prepared for future games.

Chauca also says that he appreciates all the support from his kababayans and he uses it as motivation to keep working harder.

“I just hope to make you guys proud,” said Chauca. “Hopefully I can bring more people to the games and ultimately win a PAC-12 title and a national championship.”

The Filipino American Arts Exposition says that they will build on the success of this Filipino Heritage Night at UC Berkeley by planning to have similar events at other universities in the near future.

You can contact Rommel Conclara at rommel_conclara@abs-cbn.com and follow him on Twitter @rommelconclara for more information.

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