Filipino Intercultural Society hosts fifth annual Bario Festival
Issue date: 2/25/05 Section: News
The Barrio Fiesta! is a yearly tradition of FISDU, marking a celebration of Filipino heritage and culture.
"The event itself is aimed to bring people together, and to celebrate and learn more about the Filipino culture, no matter what race, ethnicity, or age you are," Barrio Co-Coordinator, Jennilee Finn, said
"If you looked at the kind of crowd we received , you would have seen children, teenagers, adults and families, Caucasians, Filipinos, African-Americans, Koreans, Chinese and a lot of other groups being represented."
Consisting of a dinner and a show, this year's festival was jointly coordinated by Finn and Johanna Deliciana. Together they directed and choreographed the show's performances with the aid of FISDU President Kristine Olimpo and FISDU Internal Vice President Jennifer Rimmey. This year's play, The Far East Side Story was an adaptation of Jerome Robbin's West Side Story and was divided into two acts, both of which featured a series of traditional performances, such as the Sigkil, Tinkling, Binisuan and Maglaatik, all conducted by members of FISDU. Modern elements were also present in the show, including a series of filmed segments, backdrops and commercials. Professor of Sociology Erensto Arcilla was amazed by the show, stating that "the Barrio Fiesta Cultural Show exhibits and highlights one of the unique traditions of the Filipinos."
Among the guest speakers in attendance was Filipino Senator Pai Cayetano, Senate Assistant Majority Floor Leader and Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography. The youngest female senator in Filipino history, Cayetano addressed an audience of over 450 on a series of topics that currently plague the education and health care systems within the Philippines. Cayetano is also founder of the Gabriel Symphony Foundation, established after the death of her son who was born with congenital anomalies while the Rene Cayetano Foundation, named after her late father, was established to help the underprivileged areas of Philippines in terms health, education and the environment.
"[FISDU is] honored for [Cayetano's] offer to come and share more insight about the current situations in the Philippines," Finn added.
Typically, the Barrio Fiesta! is held each year in May, however, this year's festival was moved forward in an attempt to increase attendance as well as accommodate FISDU's Tenth Anniversary celebration April 10. The anniversary will highlight the achievements FISDU has made since its recognition by the University, including the addition of a Filipino sociology and language class to the University's curriculum.
When asked about future plans for the anniversary celebration, Olimpo commented that "there will be some events and activities on campus to celebrate the anniversary however the culmination will be a semi-formal event held at the Doubletree Hotel in Center City for members and alumni."
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