PSA to host Filipino Culture Night on Saturday

By Ariana Conner

The Philippine Student Association will host Filipino Culture Night, a conjoined benefit show and dinner on Saturday at Lincoln Hall and Presby Hall, respectively. The proceeds from both the show and dinner will be donated to the Advancement for Rural Kids, an organization that aims to improve education and health among children in impoverished rural areas by providing children with school supplies, food and high school scholarships.

According to Marc Chua, co-coordinator for Filipino Culture Night and sophomore in LAS, the reason the RSO chose to give to ARK is to benefit the organization by providing food and school supplies, among other things.

Additionally, every $15 the group raises can feed one child for a year in the Philippines, he said.

This is the second year PSA is hosting Filipino Culture Night, and this year’s theme is “Paano ka nakarating dito?: Exploring the stepping stones.” It embodies themes of family, culture and giving back to education, asking questions like “How did you get here? Where do you go now?” Chua said.

The show will also feature four dance performances — modern, culture, throwback and formal — along with three plays that will illustrate Filipino values and culture. Additionally, the show will encompass scenes of dancing, singing and Chinese Yo-Yo, Chua said.

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“We had the support from our families, our friends, our educational system,” Chua said. “Being college students, we are privileged to be in an institution that gives opportunities. We are trying to feed first and second graders, think about that. If you don’t make it past those first stepping stones, you can’t even go on.”

Christina Malibiran, sophomore in Media, will be acting and dancing at the event. Malibiran, a leading character in one of the skits, will play a mom in a scene about interracial dating. She said she has been preparing for the show since September.

“Everyone gets to bond — that’s the best part. Having fun and dancing with friends,” Malibiran said. “I hope those who attend are able to embrace the culture and learn what Filipino culture is all about. FCN shows what it’s like to be a Filipino American.”

Chua said PSA Chapters around the Midwest will be in attendance, including the University of Toledo, the University of Michigan and Michigan State. Other guests include the

Midwest Association of Filipino Americans. The Champaign-Urbana Trickers will be additional performers, and the Tasc Special Ops will be performing Chinese Yo-Yo.

After the benefit show, the night’s dinner portion will also include dancing and acting performances, and classic Filipino food will be served.

Lizah Doctor, the president of PSA and senior in LAS, said there will also be raffle tickets for sale as way to donate to the ARK. PSA hopes to reach a goal of $1500 to send to ARK.

The main point of the organization is to connect with the Philippines and its culture, that’s the biggest thing,” Doctor said. “It’s easy to get lost in all the dancing, but the main reason why we are there is for the cause. I hope people have on the forefront of their mind that this is a charity.”

The dinner is from 4 to 6 p.m. at Presby Hall, and doors will open at 3:30 p.m. The show will follow at Lincoln Hall from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. According to both Chua and Doctor, tickets are $8 for dinner and $8 for the show.

Ariana can be reached at [email protected].