FilAms Rallied at FilAm Heritage Month Rites in DC

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – For the 3rd year in a row, Things to Do DC organized “Evening at the Embassy of the Philippines”, allowing more than 80 young professionals of Metro DC to step into Philippine soil and experience Filipino culture and cuisine at the Romulo Hall of the Embassy in the fun-filled evening of October 26.

“I think what I want you to take away from your evening here in the Philippines tonight is a realization, an understanding, an appreciation of how rich, how diverse, and how colorful our culture is,” said Atty. Jose Victor Chan-Gonzaga, Minister for Economic Affairs of the Philippine Embassy in welcoming the guests of the event.

“I hope, particularly for Filipino-Americans who are here tonight, that you go away from the Philippine Embassy with a renewed sense of pride in where you’ve come from, where your roots are,” the Minister added.

The Migrant Heritage Commission Fil-Am Dance Ensemble led the interactive cultural presentation, which includes a demonstration of Filipino stick fighting, performance of Filipino folk dances such as Banga at Sarip, Pangalay, and Tinikling among others.

Ilocano Society of America’s Ms. Teen Philippines of Washington DC, Cathy Bayas, also serenaded the guests while they paraded in traditional Filipino costumes in a mini fashion show.

Volunteer guests also learned and tried basic Tinikling, a traditional bamboo dance that involves two people beating, tapping, and sliding bamboo poles on the ground and against each other, while one or more dancers step over in between the poles in a dance.

In addition to the cultural presentation, a booth was also set up for the Filipino adventure computer game, “The Girl Who Sees” built by Ms. Pattie Umali and Ms. Cherisse Datu of InterIntellectus Games. The game is about a young girl in World War II Mindanao who gets mixed up with the mythical creatures of the Philippines.

“This game is unique because it explores our Filipino indigenous culture and lore, while set in the historical reality of the World War II Japanese occupation,” said game creator Pattie Umali as she encouraged the audience to support the development of a game that can serve as a point of cultural access for young Filipino-Americans.

Things to Do DC is a premiere organization for DC young professionals that makes use of interactive social, educational and cultural events that enrich their social and cultural experiences.

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