Article by: Emmy Nam

Logo by: Trisha Pazcoguin

Halfway through the first semester, the Philippine Cultural Club (PCC) celebrates Filipino pride and culture by hosting the annual Filipiniana—a day filled with festivities, delicious Filipino food, and traditional music.

Last year’s theme for Filipiniana was “bayanihan,” a Filipino word that translates to “collaboration” in English. In line with this theme, PCC concentrated on facilitating hand-in-hand cooperation between the people within the ISM community. This year, the theme of Filipiniana will be Festivals. Specifically, PCC will focus on the “maskara festival,” which literally means “mask festival” in English. This new theme was chosen by PCC President Liana Samson because “it embodies the whole feel of Filipiniana and is directly related to what Filipiniana is all about. ‘Festivals’ in Filipino is ‘pista,’ and this day that we celebrate is basically one huge fiesta which gives us a chance to appreciate the culture of the country that we all live in.”

Every year, Filipiniana consists of the traditional parade, barrio fiestas (such as Fear Factor), and the usual program consisting of performances in the Fine Arts Theater. These customs are sustained because PCC feels that every student, parent, and faculty member enjoys them. One of the recently added traditions that has become extremely popular is a friendly competition wherein the male and female student who best embodies Filipino spirit during the day are rewarded with the titles of Mr. and Mrs. Filipiniana. This is a fantastic supplement to the festive occasion as it motivates students to dress up in traditional Filipino costumes and encourages others to march in the parade. Another greatly awaited tradition are the amazing performances, including those by the Symphonic and Concert Band, the Dance Company, and much more. PCC Club member Sofia Jimenez says, “Everyone can expect a really exciting show filled with really upbeat and popular songs. For each act, performers work hard to perfect their pieces and channel their inner Filipino.” On behalf of the PCC Council, Liana Samson also adds that they “hope with all these activities [they] have in store for everyone, [this year’s celebration] will be a successful and exciting Filipiniana!”

Overall, Filipiniana is a significant and long-held tradition at ISM. It is a day that, though exciting celebrations, helps students, teachers, and staff be grateful for the exotic culture surrounding them. For PCC, Filipiniana is large event which they feel is their “chance to display what the Philippines is truly about and present to the ISM community one of the Philippines’ main traditions of holding yearly festivals around the country.”