The PCARDD and the Philippine Cultural Heritage
Some of the members of the PCARDD Folk Dance Troupe performed the “Sayaw sa Bangko” (Dance on the Bench) during the New Year’s Gala of the Filipino-Canadian Association held at the Exhibition Hall, Sheraton Hotel, Red Deer on December 31, 2011. This is a native dance comes from the main Luzon region in the Philippines. The dancers are required to balance on a bench—as demonstrated by Jessmervin Ramos and Jhoanna Capicio in this picture—that is less than a foot wide, and perform linear movements and small leaps in the air. It is a dance where the performers skip and sway on top of a small bench while the villagers cheer them on and demand skill from its performers.
“The cultural dances have brought meaning and traditions garnered by its Filipino ancestors to each and every performer and have educated them with the importance of preserving their Filipino roots.”— Alex Capicio, PCARDD President
IF you happen to go on-line with the official website of The Philippine Canadian Association of Red Deer and District (PCARDD), the www.filipinoreddeer.ca, you may notice that one of the original objectives of the Filipino-Canadian Association is to conserve and promote the Philippine Cultural Heritage in Canada.
“Preserving and promoting our Philippine Cultural Heritage here in Canada is very important,” Alex Capicio, the incumbent president of the Filipino-Canadian Association in Red Deer District, said.
In the said website, it is also stated that by sharing the Philippine culture and tradition, PCARDD is helping to preserve and enhance the multicultural heritage of Canada.
It has promoted acceptance and understanding among Canadians of other ethnic origins through its cultural and social activities over the years.
“And in acquiring this original objective, one of the initiatives is by forming a Folk Dance Troupe of the organization,” Alex, a multi-awarded black belter in self-defense, and currently Senior Instructor of Cheeney Karate Studio in Red Deer, said. “The cultural dances have brought meaning and traditions garnered by its Filipino ancestors to each and every performer and have educated them with the importance of preserving their Filipino roots.”
The PCARDD Folk Dance Troupe was formed by Dr. Ben & Iris Yumol in 1985.
“With the proceeds from volunteering at the Red Deer Casino, the PCARDD supports the Folk Dance Troupe,” Alex added.
The PCARDD Folk Dance Troupe has performed on the world stage at Expo ‘86 in Vancouver, and at the Winter Olympic ’88 in Calgary.
Also, it has performed in a number of communities in Alberta for schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and various organizations and groups, including the seniors and the physically & mentally challenged groups.
As a regular performer at the Canada Day (July 1st) celebrations in the City of Red Deer, Year 2011 Performances by the PCARDD Folk Dance Troupe would be the most exhilarating held at Bower Ponds.
That was the 15th year for the organization to participate in the Cultural Showcase.
The Filipino dance troupe demonstrated their Filipino culture through traditional dance, not only the regular folk dance hits of “Gayong-Gayong,” “Maglalatik” and “Sayaw sa Bangko,” but they also premiered a new repertoire of Maria Clara and other rural dances, as junctured and choreographed by Jojo Lucila, an Edmonton-based choreographer and dance director.
Jojo and his wife, Ida, were hired as dance instructors and choreographers by PCARDD, under the incumbency of Alex, when the original dance instructors, Christina Tiongco and Bernadette Robles, resigned in early 2011 as mentors.
Christina and Bernadette has studied many traditional dances in a Philippine University, and undauntedly imparted their talents to the PCARDD Folk Dance Troupe.
The couple—Jojo and Ida—inculcated new dynamics to the association’s Folk Dance Troupe via a 10-week workshop on Philippine Folk Dance.
With their loaded experiences and affluent knowledge as one of the best choreographers and dance directors produced by the Philippines before they migrated here in Canada, Jojo and Ida successfully amplified the number of participants from the Red Deer Community.
“The young dancers not only experienced the discipline that is always exacted by a professional artist,” Ida disclosed in her column, the “Arts and Culture” in Pinoy Times, about the members of the PCARDD Folk Dance Troupe, “but were provided a context of the various folk dances in our Philippine culture.”
As expected, the triumphant presentation of the PCARDD Folk Dance Troupe during Canada Day educed affirmative reactions from the audience.
The reactions were identical when the members of the Folk Dance Troupe performed in PCARDD’s New Year’s Gala on December 31, 2011 held at the Exhibition Hall, Sheraton Hotel in Red Deer.
“This year’s group has 26 dancers consisting of both children and adults,” Alex, a son of a first Filipino family generation, and well-known Registered Nurse and Heavy Duty Mechanic Couple in Red Deer, revealed when he introduced the dancers before they performed. “Tonight’s presentation will be a subset of that group with just 12 dancers, but will bring the same high energy for your entertainment.”
The dancers—composed of Jhoanna Capicio, Joshua Capicio, Josephine Nava, Noah Nava, Kaye Agonoy, Eric Malaque, Kathleen Ortega, Jessmervin Ramos, Jason Ramos, Odie Padios, Kathleen Saari and Mary Rosario—showed their talents by dancing the “Gayong-gayong,” “Maglalatik,” “Sayaw sa Bangko” and a “Hip-Hop.”
The “GAYONG-GAYONG” is a playful Muslim dance which originated from the province of Aklan.
The story behind the dance states that “Gayong” is a nickname for a fellow name Leodargio.
He has a friend name Maisong which was a nick name for Dalmacia.
The legend and the words of the song tell us that Maisong and Gayong went to a fest which celebrated the life of a friend that recently died.
Masiong was known to have a healthy appetite.
He found himself choking on a piece of Adobo and cried out: “Gayong! Gayong!” He was calling out to his friend for help.
He needed Gayong to remove the bone of the Adobo that was stuck in his throat.
The dance depicts Maisong’s fondness for feasts in his province.
The result of his gluttony and overeating, however, was lived up to lively ridicule.
This dance contributes to so much merriment and panic in representing to the feast-goers’ effort to try and find aid for the choking Maisong.
The “MAGLALATIK” is a dance originated in Biñan, Laguna, Philippine.
In the town fiesta of Biñan, they dance the Maglalatik in the religious procession as it moves along the streets.
They perform the dance as an offering to the patron saint of farmers, San Isidro de Labrador.
This mock war dance demonstrates the battle for the prized coconut meat (latik, in Filipino).
Through a synchronized sequence, 8 coconut shells are struck in a rhythmic fashion, which are located on the hips, thighs, chest, and back.
All dancers are male, and are not shy to show their coconuts.
“SAYAW SA BANGKO” is a Native dance comes from the main Luzon region in the Philippines.
The dancers are required to balance on a bench (Bangko in Filipino) that is less than a foot wide, and perform linear movements and small leaps in the air.
It is a dance where the performers skip and sway on top of a small bench while the villagers cheer them on and demand skill from its performers.
ALEX wants to thank the couple—Jojo and Ida Lucila—for teaching the members of the PCARDD Folk Dance Troupe.
They exerted lots of effort, shared their talents, and extended their perseverance to the talented PCARDD Folk Dance Troupe.
With them, the members of the Folk Dance Troupe of the association became dancers with confidence, and evidently their talents sharpened to the maximum.
“They are very brilliant, focused and disciplined dance instructors,” Alex, currently working as IT Systems Analyst of Nova Chem, commended to Jojo and Ida. “That’s what we need, and as we had proven, the association through its Folk Dance Troupe, fulfilled its mandate and objective of conserving and promoting the Philippine Cultural Heritage in Canada.”
The Philippine-Canadian Association of Red Deer and District (PCARDD) was incorporated under the Societies Act of Alberta on 11 March 1976.
The association was formed by the Filipino pioneers: Anita Cruz Compton, Imelda de Guzman, Rose Capicio Lernowich, Lauro Ligad, and Ed Santiago.
At that time, there were about 20 families of Filipino ancestry in the Red Deer area.
Since 1976, the Filipino community grew steadily through immigration, particularly through sponsorship of relatives.
In the past few years, the number of Filipinos has grown substantially as foreign workers were granted landed immigrant status and subsequently sponsored their own families.
In sequential order, the following persons served as president of the PCARDD: Lauro Ligad, Joe Carlos, Sonny Padilla, Jun Salita, Leo Abenes, Lauro Ligad, Mila Flores Post, Herman Mallare, Jun Capicio, Edith Sison, Ruben Virtucio, Sid Selirio, Dale Nava, Sid Selirio, Gerry Tabbu, and Alex Capicio.
PCARDD MANDATE AND OBJECTIVES
Aside from conserving and promoting the Philippine Cultural Heritage in Canada, other original objective of PCARDD is to foster closer relationships among Filipinos themselves and among Filipinos and Canadians.
This objective still remain as part of the current objectives of the association.
The association’s regular social activities include a Spring Dance, Kalayaan Picnic in June, Pinoy Camp Out in August, and a Christmas or New Year Party.
Some activities in recent years included the traditional Santa Cruzan, Flores de Mayo, and Fiesta sa Nayon.
With the proceeds from volunteering at the Red Deer casino, PCARDD also supports number of local charities, a scholarship fund to encourage post-secondary education among youths of Filipino ancestry, building fund for a future Philippine-Canadian Multicultural Centre, and major community-based projects from year to year.
Since 1990, PCARDD has operated a food booth during Canada Day that sells Filipino food, including the much acclaimed “Philippine barbecue.”
From 1990 to 2003, it was arranged for the Philippine flag to be raised and flown for a week at City Hall to commemorate the Philippine Independence Day and to promote awareness of the Philippines and the Filipino people.
It has participated in the Westerner Days Parade with a float that featured Philippine culture and costumes that earned number of prizes including the Grand Award in 2005.
In 2002 and again in 2006, PCARDD funded a brand new Citizen Action Bus for the physically challenged residents of the City of Red Deer.
To promote volunteerism, PCARDD created in 2007 a Scholarship Endowment Fund at Red Deer College with a donation of $10,000 to provide one scholarship per year of at least $500 to an eligible student who has served as a volunteer while attending Red Deer College.
In response to the typhoon disasters, PCARDD donated $20,000 to the Canadian Red Cross for the Philippine Typhoon 2009 Fund at the Red Deer Branch on November 3, 2009.
The Filipino-Canadians Association has committed to a cash donation of $5,000 to the Red Cross which would directly address to the Philippine Flood Disaster 2011.
This amount was exclusively for the victims of Typhoon Sendong (international name Washi) that struck the island of the Philippines in the early morning of December 17, 2011.
The said typhoon devastated the southern regions, particularly in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, two known cities in the country.
According to the latest report, Sendong or Washi killed more than 1,000 people, hundreds were still missing, and thousands were injured, and displaced 63,079 families or 338,415 people.
The PCARDD also sponsored the Filipino basketball league.
PCARDD’s participation in the basketball league is to promote the camaraderie of Filipino’s through this fun and enjoyable activity.
PCARDD has also been involved in sponsoring awards. One of them is the scholarship award.
This award is granted to students attending post-secondary education and is chosen based on an interview process.
The student or family must be a member of the Philippine-Association and has contributed/participated in one of our events.
WITH the indefatigable leadership of Alex Capicio, the Filipino-Canadian Association of Red Deer District is continuously attaining its objectives, not only to promote camaraderie amongst the Filipino community, helping the fellow Filipinos, not only to those in abroad, but to the Filipinos in the Philippines, helping to preserve and enhance the multicultural heritage of Canada, etc., but likewise to conserve and promote the Philippine Cultural Heritage in Canada. (Reference: www.filipinoreddeer.ca)