A night in the islands

 A night in the islands (Bob Varner)

A night in the islands (Bob Varner)

Brought together by the efforts of Skyline’s Filipino Student Union, the Kababayan Program, and Associated Students, April 22 was an exemplary night for Skyline College. Know as Pilipino Cultural Night, Skyline’s FSU hosted their second annual PCN entitled Roundtrip: Balik Sambayan.

The student-created production filled Skyline’s theatre, using cultural song, dance, and acting to illustrate experiences of Filipino and Filipino-Americans. The evening’s attendance was a definite result of ongoing efforts from advisers Liza Erpelo, Romeo Garcia, Nate Navado, Erwin Javellena, and many other Skyline students committed to making PCN a lasting tradition.

The evening’s play embodied the aspiration of two individuals striving to find inner peace within their heritage. In addition, Polynesian, traditional, and contemporary Filipino dances were harmoniously incorporated with the renowned Filipino drum and gong, more infamously known as the Kulintang. Along with all the performers, PCN’s artistic director Adelaine Calma successfully applied color, creativity, and charisma throughout all pieces of the production, transforming the theatre into a night in the islands.

“Everyone was very lively,” said Arnold Nuique, a Skyline student. “I enjoyed all the great performances.”

The event also highlighted a visit from the Pilipino Youth Coalition and the Liwanag Kultural Center of Daly City. Open mic pieces and recognition of graduating students involved in FSU and the Kababayan Program (Skyline’s transfer and community support program for Filipino students) were also a part of the evening.

All the dedication and energy of those involved in the event definitely shined. Along with other fundraisers, PCN serves as a major financial contribution to supplement Filipino clubs and organizations, enabling Skyline to have an ongoing PCN tradition comparable to many northern California universities with larger student bodies, such as San Francisco State.

“We are extremely lucky here at Skyline to have a PCN,” said Daniel Sumbang, FSU’s president and the executive producer of PCN, “We are the only community college in Northern California fortunate enough to have the amount of support from our community.”

Coinciding with Sumbang, PCN participant Cherrie Lynn describes the empowerment of her role as an actress in the evening’s performance in spite of the limited resources accessible to community college students.

“In a small school like Skyline, It’s such a big change to see a group of people come together,” said Lynn. “It doesn’t matter how small we are…our success shows how important our work is.”

Moreover, Skyline distinguishes itself of having a specific class, English 104 of the Kababayan curriculum, dedicated especially for PCN.

With all the labor put into this production, including steadfast support from the student body, Skyline’s PCN definitely adds to the blueprint of Skyline’s progression, and serves as a keen example of how unity and perseverance can only meet achievement.