Filipino student group hosts annual cultural fashion show

One of the Philippine Student Association’s biggest events of the year, its 27th annual fashion show, was held Saturday in Foellinger Auditorium.

The show was called “The Debut — A Daughter’s Struggle to Find Home.” The participants have been hard at work since first semester, said Mark Pagatpatan, the show’s coordinator and a junior in AHS.

With the theme of “Debut,” which is a rite of passage for women in the Philippines, the group explored some ideas and themes in Filipino culture that are also relatable to everyone.

The show featured about 90 models and ran from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. It included a number of performances, including the runway and catwalk, as well as dances ranging from a waltz to modern hip-hop. This year, Pagatpatan said, the show had a “new spin” by incorporating a story.

“The story is basically a clash of two cultures: the girl from America, and her mom’s born and raised in the Philippines,” he said. “In the end, they figure out that they are two cultures, and they need to accept that.”

Pagatpatan said the Philippine Student Association helped with publicity. He said the association is one of the oldest Asian American groups on campus and helps organize other events, including one of the largest Philippine American conferences in the nation.

Nikki Vidal, a junior in Education who also helped coordinate the event, said the preparation for the show’s five scenes included months of practice at the Activities and Recreation Center and Florida Avenue Residence. She said the show brought a lot of out-of-towners, with 600 tickets sold.

“We know lots of parents are coming from Chicago to see their kids. We have lots of friends coming from Chicago as well,” Vidal said.

Vidal and Pagatpatan said from their experience coordinating the show they have accumulated leadership skills, communication skills, team spirit, and a gained understanding of each other’s strength and weakness.

Ryan Adriatico, senior in FAA, joined the show as an emcee. He said in addition to being part of a senior tradition, he learned more about his Filipino-American culture.

“We put in a lot of work, we planned a lot, and we just knew what we wanted to do, and we were executing very well,” Adriatico said.