TRADITIONS are an integral part of any culture. For us Filipinos, a tradition is something we follow and pass on to the younger generation. The rituals and/or rites of passage are as staple as our love for adobo.
On October 5, Parangal Dance Company will celebrate its fifth year by recognizing those traditions through its anniversary performance, Handuraw. A Cebuano word meaning “to reminisce or flashback,” Handuraw is a culmination of research and dances learned from indigenous groups and cultural bearers and masters from the southern Philippines and United States.
The show focuses and showcases culture, traditions, (with) inspired music and dances, all from Southern Philippines from five (5) ethonolinguistic groups—Tagbanua from Palawan and Mindanao island, Talaandig from Bukidnon, Maguindanaon from Cotabato, Yakan from Basilan and Ta’u Sug from Sulu,” said Eric Solano, Parangal’s Founder, Board President and Artistic Director.
Solano also explains the five pieces in the Handuraw program, elaborating that these are story-based and consistent throughout the show, illustrating the ways of life, courtship, marriage, community gathering and celebration. “It is with love and marriage that families and communities gather and celebrate and we look back at our experiences, relationships, challenges, and successes,” he said and added, “Handuraw is a first of its kind on a proscenium stage in the Bay Area, Parangal will take the audience in a journey back in time crossing the Sulu and Mindanao seas to the villages of Palawan and Mindanao. Most importantly, It promises to be an educational and entertaining production showcasing music, ethnic textiles, and inspired traditions and dances from southern Philippines.”
Founded in 2008, Parangal is one of the premier Filipino folk dance groups in the Bay Area, and they have been part of the annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival for a couple of years now. Parangal means “tribute,” and it is their mission to give tribute to the Filipino heritage by preserving and promoting its attire, music and dance. The group also aims to inspire young Filipino-Americans to touch base and connect with their roots.
For their anniversary presentation, Parangal clearly reaches out to the community by coming up with a performance that they know is close to the heart of many Filipinos and Fil-Ams.
With Handuraw, Solano acknowledges the help they have received for the choreography. “Choreography was done based on the storyline with big help from friends and indigenous groups in Philippines. We are very thankful for all of them,” he said. “Jay Loyola from San Francisco allowed us to restage his 2012 World Premiere of Tagbanua. Talaandig, Ta‚Äôu Sug, Yakan, and Maguindanao pieces are collections from researched performed in the Philippines and some here in the United States in the last three years.”
Solano also wants to extend his gratitude to the Fil-Am community for their support. “Thank you for working side by side with us to promote and preserve our Philippine culture and traditions and for being with us to inspire, educate and preserve through attire, music, and dance. We look forward to your continued support in Parangal and Philippine Arts. We plan to continue with our endeavor and bring back to share with our community. Our culture is rich and beautiful there is plenty to learn and share.”
Parangal’s Handuraw is on October 5, Saturday, 7pm at the Skyline College Theater, San Bruno, CA. General admission is $30, Senior/Children (12 year and below)/Student $15, Group (6 or more) $20. For tickets and/or more information, log on to www.parangaldance.org.
*All photos used (cover and inside) courtesy of Marc and Phoebe Aviles of This is It Photography.
*Many thanks to Eric Solano for his assistance.
(San Francisco September 27, 2013 SF Magazine pg.2)