BSO Cultural Show 2020: "Who Am I? Sino Ba Ako?" (what could've been)
Updated: Apr 19
Poster by Krista Casuga
As we settle into our schedules of online classes and find new ways to pass the time, whether it's spending hours on TikTok or trying out new recipes, we are all adjusting to these changes. We are doing our part by social distancing, sending love and support to our healthcare and essential workers, and enduring these stay-at-home measures. While this is not the way we envisioned the second half of our semester, nor did we ever anticipate living through a global pandemic, it is trying times like these when we must remember who we are. As each day passes, sometimes it becomes more difficult to motivate ourselves, but we cannot let our hard work go unrecognized. We must stay optimistic!
This year's BSO Annual Spring Cultural Show, "Who Am I? Sino Ba Ako?", was a free event that featured Filipino culture and tradition through 10 entertaining dance segments, which were choreographed by several of BSO's own members, and acting segments based on a storyline created by the Cultural Show Coordinators. This year, our theme highlighted the aspects of being a Filipino American through dance, family, friends, and addressed the ups and downs of finding your own cultural identity. We worked throughout the semester to collaborate with other organizations on campus and create fundraisers with local restaurants. The show was set for Friday, April 3rd, 2020 in Weasler Auditorium at Marquette University. Following the show, we planned a reception for the audience and performers, in which we would serve food (LOTS of meatballs and cookies), have a photo booth, karaoke, and a Tinikling workshop for people to enjoy. Our show was going to bring in family and friends from all over the country, as well as many people on the Marquette campus and in the Milwaukee community.
Even though we did not get to see our live performance debut on the stage, we are still so proud of all our participants who helped us work very hard to prepare to represent our Filipino culture through this showcase! We wanted to take the time to highlight our various participants and coordinators that will forever be the faces and talent of "Who Am I? Sino Ba Ako?"
Watch the Theme Reveal Video of Cultural Show 2020!
Video by: Michael Cabahug
Photos by Michael Cabahug & Kaylee Reyes
Main girl - Isa Ramos
Cousin - Chris Ni
Grandma/Lola - Julliane Negre
Mom - Madeleine Manas
Dad - Rich Millo
Cousin’s Best friend - Tina Tan
Evil Dance Crew Leader - Kyle Mendoza
Evil Dance Crew Sidekick - Francisco Asuncion
Dance Competition Host - Paul Vano
Dude with Sign - Michael Price
Our storyline was an original take on the struggles of cultural identity as a Filipina American. The story followed a young girl who goes to the Philippines to immerse herself in her culture and heritage, which she was disconnected from for most of her life. She soon found herself involved in a dance competition that challenged her identity and values. In the end, she was extremely proud of who she was and figured out how important it was to invest herself in the people she loved and her passion for dancing.
Watch the introduction video of our actors in a special anime opener!
Video by: Kaylee Reyes
Photos by Michael Cabahug
Choreographers: Lydia Lau, Stephanie Villaceran, & Sean Ponte
Sayaw sa Bangko
Choreographers: Krista Casuga & Madeleine Manas
Choreographers: Alyssa Sugay & Julliane Negre
Choreographers: Hannah Quijano, Raynne Belingon, & Stephanie Villaceran
Choreographers: Michael Price & Francisco Asuncion
Pandanggo sa Cariñosa
Choreographers: Kristine Ricafrente, Michelle Batad, & Kaylee Reyes
Choreographers: Kelsey Cho, Alyssa Doruelo, & Raynne Belingon
Choreographers: Charlene Soltes & Ina Ramos
Battle of the Bamboo
Choreographers: Alyssa Doruelo, Renee Seguban, & Abby Montalbo
Choreographers: Kyle Mendoza, Rich Millo, & Seniors
2019-2020 Cultural Show Coordinators
(left to right) Russell Sanchez, Mya Coene, & Francisco Asuncion
Photo by: Ernie Sanchez
What did planning and coordinating BSO Cultural Show mean to us?
We had all been involved in the Cultural Show our freshmen year. The atmosphere of show day was so exciting and we realized that we wanted a show we could call our own. Planning the 2020 Cultural Show was such a big commitment of our time, effort, and creativity, but we absolutely loved doing it! Our efficient dynamic was rooted in our friendship and many hours spent working on the script, scheduling practices, and planning several fundraisers. We grew so much as coordinators and leaders in Bayanihan Student Organization this year. Although the unfortunate circumstances due to COVID-19 cut our planning just two weeks short of showtime, we are really thankful to have been a strong trio that served BSO and contributed our ideas to an event we were and still are very passionate about.
What were we most excited about?
As the semester progressed, we had many long (but fun) sessions at coffee shops in which we wrote, re-wrote, and edited our script. It became something that we loved and were really proud of. Many hours of practice went into the dances that involved traditional Filipino and contemporary styles. Like many other members, we were looking forward to watching the wonderful and hard working actors and dancers make the show come to life on the stage. There is arguably no better feeling than taking a bow with all the participants at the end of the show, while families and friends give a standing ovation. We were also excited to eat all the meatballs at the reception!
What would we like to pass down to the next CSCs & BSO Executive Board?
We are living through times of change and uncertainty, to say the least. We wish everyone could have gotten to experience Cultural Show this year. Personally, we are all just trying to do the best we can right now, but we are optimistic for the future. To the next CSCs, we want to say that we are so proud of you for stepping outside of your comfort zones to support BSO and pursuing new experiences through Cultural Show planning! We promise to be there for you every step of the way. Take everything one day at a time and don't forget to breathe. Carry a certain type of grit and resilience in everything you do! Make sure to put meaning into every action and don't be afraid to make mistake or ask for help. We are so excited for this new Eboard and all the potential that each individual holds in creating a better Bayanihan.
We want to say thank you to our sponsors: Marquette University Student Government, Late Night, AMU Event Services, Sodexo, Serenitea, Tangled, Meat on the Street, and Maki Yaki.
We especially want to thank our Executive Board, choreographers, actors, dancers, backstage/tech crew, and all participants. Your hard work was not in vain and we won't forget all the people who put so much of their creativity, time, and effort into helping make this year's show nearly come to life. Your dedication did not go unnoticed and we are so grateful for each and every one of you!
We miss Marquette. We miss Bayanihan. We miss all the events of second semester, in which we would have had new experiences as freshmen, last memories as seniors, and stories to talk about for years to come. "Who Am I? Sino Ba Ako?" will always have a special place in our hearts. Keep your heads up, do your best to stay healthy, reach out to your loved ones, and we will get through this together!
Logo by: Krista Casuga