Feb 21, 2020
Lex Martin points to Albert Jakubiszen during a scene at Filipino Culture Night in the Satellite Student Union on April 29, 2017. (Christian Ortuno/ The Collegian)

Student written play celebrates Filipino culture

Fresno State’s Magkaisa Filipino Club presented its Filipino Culture Night on April 29 in the Satellite Student Union to an audience full of friends and family.

Magkaisa, also known as ‘MGK1,” presented “Katipunan,” a play written by members of the club. The play had two acts and featured cultural dances between the scenes.

Prior to the play, Magkaisa President Clarissa Baldoz welcomed everyone. She said she became close to all the members of the club and encouraged all students from different backgrounds to join the club and learn more about Filipino culture.

Baldoz invited ABC30 journalist Dale Yurong to the stage to speak to the audience. He talked about his work as a journalist and how much the Filipino community supported him.

“Growing up, I noticed a certain disconnect in our community,” Yurong said during his speech, and later added that the younger generation of Filipinos in the community have found a way to unify everyone though clubs and organizations like Magkaisa.

The play was directed, written and edited by Ralph Letim, one of the co-vice presidents, and Kikoh Cabigao, another member of Magkaisa.

“It took us almost 2 ½ months [to prepare for the night] and a month prior to that just planning and writing the script and all of that,” Letim said. “Everything is all student-based, and everything’s from scratch and from our own pockets and a little bit of ASI funding, of course.”

The play was inspired from the play performed the previous year and personal experiences from each of the writers.

The actors in the play were oftentimes the dancers between the scenes as well. The members had a few minutes to change into elaborate and colorful attire that vividly complemented their dancing.

One of the more striking dances was from the “Cordillera Suite” at the beginning of the play. The dances were first performed by the indigenous people who lived in the mountainous regions of the Philippines. Due to hot and humid climate, minimal clothing is worn during the dance featuring intensely percussive music.

“I really like how it’s coming along,” Leann Tonuu, a first-year forensics major from Fresno City College and a member of the club, said during the intermission. “I never come to any of the club events, so this is my first club event of the semester, and I like coming back and seeing everybody from last semester.”

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