Page 1

Letter from the President Greetings Philippine Student Association, Welcome members, new and old, to the first General Meeting of the Spring Semester! If I have not yet had the honor to introduce myself to you just yet, my name is Lizah Doctor and I am this year’s President of the Philippine Student Association (PSA). If you are joining us for the very first time today after signing up at our booth on Activity Day, or because one of our members had brought you here, or even if it has simply been a while since you’ve been able join us, I thank you for being with us today and I hope to see you a lot more this semester! Something that we strive for in PSA is to provide unique and rewarding experiences that cannot be found anywhere else on the UIUC campus. As one of the first Asian-interest organizations at this University, we also pride ourselves of having solid membership, having well-established connections on campus and being able to be a multi-faceted organization. I one of the most important aspects of our RSO that we have held onto for years is our Mission Statement: To foster and support relationships through the education and promotion ofFilipino culture and Asian American awareness, as well as to encourage the development ofacademic and leadership skills ofthe membership and university community.

It is not easy up holding every aspect of that lengthy Mission Statement, and no, I would not say that we are always “on track” every step along the way. Every batch of new members will have their varying backgrounds, interests, curiosities, concern and delights: the same goes for the student leaders that guide the organization. It’s important not to forget why we joined in the first place, why the dozens of members stick around despite their other obligations and why alumni come back past graduation In my opinion, we are all passionate about embracing culture and growing in the community that shares a similar value. In my last semester as a student at the University of Illinois, I want to challenge PSA, the leaders and all of the members, to truly realize what it means to be an RSO that represents the entire country and the people of the Philippines. I want to push us to understand that the campus community can look to PSA, as a knowledgeable organization that is aware of the most recent updates, headlines and trends. PSA and the inspiring individuals within it, have remarkable perspectives of culture. As an organization, I hope to bring that enthusiasm forward allowing those aspiring people to take initiative bring them to their full potential as student leaders. PSA Theme 2014: Broaden Perspective, Awaken Potential: Kaya Natin

I’m looking forward to a great semester, PSA Thanks for reading Lizah Doctor

Letter from the Editor Hello, hello, hello! I hope you all have been getting back into the groove of things by now. We've got a brand new semester ahead of us, and a new chapter in our lives has already begun. It's already 2 months into 2014, but don't forget all the promises you made to yourself for the new year. No matter what it is, acknowledge the new steps in your life you wanted to take. Whether it's being more cleanly or being kind to people. Or even remembering to take off your makeup before you go to bed or making a point to eat healthier. For me personally, well, I knew one of the things I wanted to do was fight harder for the things I care about. Never forget these things, because it's the little things we acknowledge about ourselves that molds us into the kind of people we want to be :). Anyways. Fun little note: I’ve been waiting my entire term to make this newsletter. For those who don't know me yet, those who've got me figured me out by now know that I love, love, looove cultural dancing. And with February being the month of Filipino Culture Night and Battle of the Bamboo, nothing fit this month more than making a cultural­themed newsletter! I’ve been involved in Philippine cultural dancing since I was in 3rd grade, so I’ve rarely been without practicing my culture. But even outside of the dances, there’s so much to learn. What are the costumes from? Do they mean something? Why are they different from the other suites of cultural dances? Heck, what are the suites of cultural dances? Then, there’s more things: the stories behind them, the reason why the dances are performed, and so much more. A big part of me joining PSA was learning about going back to my roots. It was about knowing where I came and what I could bring to the table. I’ll admit, even though I’ve been doing cultural dancing for so many years, I never really became serious about it until I performed as an exhibition act for Battle of the Bamboo 2011. That took me, like, what, 8 or 9 years? And even then, Battle of the Bamboo is one of the main reasons I joined PSA in the first place. You learn to appreciate things once you get the chance to learn about them. And if that’s where your passion lies, then it’s from those things that you’ll flourish, making all this learning worthwhile. Even if you’re not Filipino, the aspects of this rich culture have so much you can learn from. These dances are almost like telling stories, ranging from courtship to mythical creatures. And behind each story, there’s a costume­­a character, perhaps. And a bunch of other things :D. Anyways, I’m here to share some of these stories with you. Happy February, everyone! ­Daphne the Giraffne

Maria Clara

The Maria Clara is a traditional gown worn by women in the Philippines. It originated from a baro’t saya, an ensemble stemming from the time of the Spanish influence in the Philippines. Because of this, it is considered a mestiza dress, or a dress of mixed race, as it combines both Philippine and Spanish influences. The dress normally worn for classy occasions, and it is normally adorned with feminine accessories such as a pañuelo (matching neck scarf) or an abaniko (fan). As a piece of girly attire, you’d kind of wonder why it has the name Maria Clara, right? Is it just a pretty name for a pretty dress? Actually, Maria Clara is the name of the mestiza protagonist in the novel Noli Me Tangere, written by the Philippine national hero, Jose Rizal. She was also known as Maria Clara de los Santos y Alba ­­ the local beauty and celebrity of San Diego. She’s described as being delicate, feminine, and beautiful, with large black eyes and fair skin. She symbolizes the purity and innocence of a sheltered native woman during the time of the Spanish occupation, having shown her love to her sweetheart Ibarra with such modesty that remained unsullied of impure ideas. Known for her strong sense of identity, she held in high esteem her parents’ honor and a promise she had given to Ibarra. Because of this, Maria Clara was said to be the ideal woman of her time, being a faithful lover, a good friend, and an obedient daughter. Additionally, Maria Clara often wore dainty dresses and religious artifacts. She carried a silk pouch holding Ibarra’s farewell letter as well as a fan to hide her face when she’s embarrassed. This traditional Philippine dress was connected to Maria Clara because of her beauty and feminine qualities, and it is the only piece of Philippine attire named after a literary figure. Understanding where the name comes from really ties in with how the dress is worn, especially in terms of cultural dancing. The Maria Clara dress is worn in the Maria Clara suite of Philippine dances, with moves that incorporate grace and poise, with props such as fans and dainty umbrellas. What a beautiful article of clothing, and what a story behind it!

Kalinga Wedding

Some traditional Philippine dances are performed as a part of the lifestyle of a certain kind of people. In the case of this wedding, it is performed by the Kalinga tribe. Can you believe that some these traditions are practiced even today? To think that it could have been our grandparents and great grand parents that did these very things in their days! Portrayed in these dances are the courtship and marriage customs of the Kalinga tribe:


The Salidsid is the Kalinga courtship dance, performed by a male and female (and thus is sometimes called the "cayoo" dance). The dance starts when each of the dancers is given a piece of cloth called ayob or allap. The background and meaning in this dance is evident: the male simulates a rooster trying to attract the attention of a hen while the female imitates the movements of a hen being circled by a rooster. Often the lady moves around in a dainty graceful manner while the male dances around with energetic and lively movements, usually crying out like a rooster as he moves about.

Salip Tribes in the mountain provinces of Luzon preserve their identity, customs and lore. Their dances celebrate important events in life such as birth, wedding, victory in war and thanksgiving. A Kalinga wedding dance is an important celebration. The bridegroom offers the bride the protection and comfort of his blanket. He simulates the movements of a rooster at love play, aspiring to attract and seize his love. The bride's friends are ready to help prepare the bride by offering "bangas" (earthen pots) filled with fresh water from the mountain spring. The bride then balances a tall stack of these pots on top of her head as she dances with her groom. She demonstrates her grace and poise with her posture while doing so, proving that her careful movements are enough for the pots not to fall.

Singkil Some Philippine cultural dances originate from mythologies and legends told by its people. These stories are passed down from generation to generation in the form of dance. Take Singkil for example. Singkil is a Muslim folk dance that comes from the southern part of the Philippines. Its roots are from the Ramayana Hindu folklore, similar to Thai, Khmer Indonesian & Malaysian) Singkil, a dance originating from Lanao del Sur, Mindanao is said to be a dance of Muslim royalty. To the rhythmic clapping of bamboo poles, the dancers weave expertly through crisscrossed bamboos, the ladies dressed in elegant Muslim costumes waving great big fans, the men flipping brightly colored handkerchiefs right and left. The dancers wearing solemn faces and maintaining a dignified pose being dancing at a slow pace, which soon progresses, to a faster tempo. Legend has it that Singkil originated from the day the diwatas (some from of nymph or fairy) played a joke on Princess Gandingan as she was taking a walk in the woods. The diwatas caused an earthquake that made the trees tremble and the rocks to roll and knock against each other. Nothing daunted, Princess Gandingan skipped nimbly from place to place and no tree or rock ever touched her tiny feet.

Like all mythologies and legends, there are many versions of Singkil. When performed by ladies of the royalty of Lanao, a waiting lady, who holds a beautifully decorated umbrella over the Princess’ head wherever she goes, usually accompanies the dancer. This dance takes its name from the bells worn on the ankles of the Muslim princess. Perhaps one of the oldest of truly Filipino dances, the Singkil recounts the epic legend of the "Darangan" of the Maranao people of Mindanao. This epic, written sometime in the 14th century, tells the fateful story of Princess Gandingan, who was caught in the middle of a forest during an earthquake caused by the diwatas, or fairies of the forest. The criscrossed bamboo poles represent the trees that were falling, which she gracefully avoids. Her slave loyally accompanies her throughout her ordeal. Finally, she is saved by the prince. Dancers skillfully manipulate apir, or fans which represent the winds that prove to be auspicious. Royal princesses to this day in the Sulu Archipelago are required to learn this most difficult and noble dance. Perhaps the version more widely performed by dance companies is the "Garden Singkil." The story goes that the princess goes into her garden, accompanied by her slave, and plays with the butterflies, which are represented by the fan dancers. The movements of the fans supposedly represent those of the butterflies, as opposed to the diwatas. In another popular version, the prince uses a scarf instead of a sword. Regardless of how it is portrayed, the story behind Singkil still remains prominent in every way it's performed. And thus, the legend continues to be passed down as long as this richness of this story exists.

Did You Know? Monthly Filipino Cultural Fun Facts!

Tinikling was a form of punishment back in the day. Well‌maybe not exactly. Tinikling is the most popular and best known of the Philippine dances and honored as the Philippine national dance. The dance imitates the movement of the tikling birds as they walk between grass stems, run over tree branches, or dodge bamboo traps set by rice farmers. Dancers imitate the tikling bird's legendary grace and speed by skillfully maneuvering between large bamboo poles. Tinikling means "bamboo dance" in English.

When the Spaniards came from Spain and conquered the Philippines, the natives lost control of their land because they were under the enconmienda system, an economic system that is largely based on rural and agricultural operations of large farmlands administered by caretakers for the King of Spain. The natives had to work all day to please the Spaniards.

The people who worked too slowly would be sent out of the paddies for punishment. Their Considered as one of the oldest dances from punishment was to stand between two the Philippines, this dance was originated in the bamboo poles cut from the grove. Sometimes, islands of Leyte in the Visayan Islands. People the sticks would have thorns sticking from of Leyte describe the tikling bird as one of the their segments. The poles were then clapped to most unique in its movements - walking beat the native's feet. By jumping when the around and between the tree branches and bamboo sticks were apart, the natives tried to some grass stems. This bird was named "tikling" escape this cruel form of punishment. This from which the Tinikling dance got its name. type of punishment became a cycle - the more Because of the creativeness of the people, they bruised the person's feet were, the less work imitate this bird by using bamboo poles. he would do, the less work he would do, the more punishment. Before this dance became what it is today, it went through an evolution of sorts. Different The matrix for the dance was probably laid stories of the Tinikling's origin have been out when the workers would return home passed down through oral histories and with their feet bruised and bleeding from the folklore. punishment. It is said that from a distance, the people who were receiving the beating looked One of the stories of the Tinikling's origin may like the Tikling bird. And this is one of the be made up, a fact, or part of a legend. The stories about the Tinikling's origin. story says that the Tinikling started by the people who worked on the fields and paddies The punishment later became the dance it is in the Philippines. today. When the Tinikling is danced, there is music of plucked strings in Iberian-influence staccato interspersing with tremolos and kept in time with double stepping sway balances. By practicing to escape the bamboo sticks during punishment, the Tinikling soon became a challenge, an art, and a dance.

What's New With FCN?

Reflections from your FCN Coordinators

Dear Fellow Readers! FCN was quite the event. In my opinion, it was really successful. I don’t mean successful to mistaken for a hakuna matata success; but more like, success in the sense that the event happened with passion and love. Yes, there were a few kinks that we ran into, but let me ask you, what event . . . No! What GREAT event happened without any kinks? As a coordinator of FCN, it becomes quite a surreal feeling seeing that the whole show happened because of you, because of your vision, because of your belief and hard work. Dreams are a nightmare if there are no actions. To put it on a much more unbelievable scale, two students put this event together from start to finish. Two students brainstorm for months on end to create a vision made for the members and audience of FCN. Two students, when odds were stacked against them, pulled it together with the help of their friends and put on a magnificent show that impacted an audience of 400+. It is a great feeling to see the glimmer in the eyes of the audience, to hear the laughter from the crowd, feel the anticipation of audiences edging on their seats for the next scene to begin and seeing fcn performers dance out their hearts on the stage. These are the little things that added up to that tear drop that rolled down the corner of my eye. When I started running for this position 10 months ago, I never imagined it to be the way it is. Now the day has passed, and I am still amazed that Marc and I put this entire project together. I tell you all this, if your heart is in the right place. . . anything can happen! Don’t give up because you might just inspire the person next to you. Thank you to advisors, thank you to performers, thank you to the committee, thank you to all my friends, and most definitely thank you to my partner. I do not think this show would have been as successful if it weren’t for all of you who inspired me to do all that I do. Thank You, Jeremiah Xiong

After months of all-nighters, late night food runs, and last-minute space requests, we finally finish yet another successful Filipino Culture Night. In being the 2nd annual FCN, we had implemented an ample amount of innovations. Risky as it was, we were able to pull it all together just in time. Filipino Culture Night. A brand that encompasses various aspects that pushes PSA to progress as an organization. Externally, we were able to not only collaborate with UIUC registered organizations but were also able to bring in MAFA schools into our audience. Internally, we were able to unite different positions within the board. Not to mention all of the faculty and staff that were able to advise and encourage us to keep moving as times became tough. With FCN done, I was able to finally ask myself: Paano Ka Nakarating Dito? How did I get here? Shoutout to Christina Malibiran and Marion Tan for really reminding me of my purpose and why I had run for the position. Special thanks to the FCN committee for really supporting what Jeremiah and I have worked so hard to achieve. Thank you to Paolo Araneta for being my right hand man throughout this whole experience.Thanks to my advisers Fides Araneta, Becky Ozaki, and Desiree Debote for creating the first FCN stepping stone. To the performers that showed up to practice consistently, snow or shine, you all have made this all possible. And a very very special thanks to Jeremiah Xiong for encouraging me to participate within my first FCN. Without him, I would have never discovered my first stepping stone into FCN. So with FCN done, where does that leave us? We were able to leave the stage with thoughtprovoking ideals of Filipino culture, opportunities to feed children for a year for only $15, and ever-lasting memories. Whether you are Filipino or not, everyone has something to take from stage. FCN now sets the first stone for everyone to start their own path. Whether you choose to follow the stepping stones or stray from your own path, always motivate yourself to progress as an individual. And thus ends the chapter of Filipino Culture Night 2014: Paano Ka Nakarating Dito? Exploring the Stepping Stones. -Marc Chua

Want to contribute to the newsletter? A drawing or an article perhaps? Send them to!

Shoutouts MSU PASS UIUC PSA: Have a wonderful new semester PSA! Hope to see you guys soon! PS. Do you want to build a snowman?! :D Jacky Duong Chewter7: where did you go hominator Fizzix: freaking noob Big Mac:let's go to acen Kuya E: I hope the food will taste good Hai: notice me senpai Shawn: want food Ryan: make me food again pls Cj: where did you go Haime: tutor me in Cs pls Tim: tutor me in Cs too pls Tita Joyce: hai Tita how was your break? Jonah: grass eater

Paolo Ate Katie: Ate! I really miss spending time with you! Let's hang out soon! Kuya Gerard: Kuya! I still need to see Black Dynamite! Let's have that movie night soon! (and let's find that apartment, too! haha) Ading Varun: ADING. OUR RELATIONSHIP SHOULD GO BEYOND COINCIDENTALLY SEEING EACH OTHER AT TRANSIT PLAZA. LET'S HANG OUT! Ading Julianne: ADING. WHERE ARE YOU? ARE YOU EVEN ALIVE STILL? HANG OUT WITH ME. Tracy: Why is that whenever we're home, I see you like every other day, but when we're on campus, I never ever see you? Let's hang out soon! Lil Porgy's again?

Henry Guan FCN: Being new, I am so grateful for everyone's hospitality and kindness during all those FCN practices--and outside FCN as well. Thanks for the wonderful opportunity to meet and work with such amazing people! I hope that we will continue our friendships even after FCN has ended. Sincerely. Audrey Jeremiah and Marc: great job on FCN! It came together in the end! Thanks for making a memorable night for everyone :) Katie: more Korea movies! Laura: I owe you a birthday dinner treat >.< Ate Daphne: we should have dinner sometime with the sibby sibs ^___^ Rexly: 500 days of summer and cream and flutter? RJ (aka Robert Barthalamew James): please scare my ate more often lol Kuya Kenny: my floor mates really enjoyed your emceeing at FCN lol and let's do another ading hangout soon :) Kuya Christian: I should start playing league so we can hang out more ~ let's get food sometime >.< Kayrrra: that piano solo it was crazy good, gonna rewatch that video for days Crystal: your solo for boses was absolutely amazing, your voice is angelic >_< not kidding Jake: we haven't ordered food past midnight so far yay :D Neil: two words: comic sans

Jeselle Daphne: ThAnKs FoR tHe HeLp Jeselle: hi butthead Netaf Newolg and Eleira: You guys are oogly. Jk but not jk. Jose Torio Daphne: Hey Daphne, you're awesome <3 Robert: ROOMIE, lets watch more Oscar movies together Neil: Where's the "pleasure box" from McDonalds?! Katreena: .......ehh i guess i'll miss you this semester Bethany: "I love you" *banjo plays in the background* Lauren: HANG OUT WITH ME MORE Imee: Cox and Or's Christine Joy: Mario Party 7! Let's play. Ading Marion, Ading Chrissy, and Ading Laura: Good Job with everything you've done for PSA! Keep up the good work : ) Kuya AJ: Let's get together soon! Sib Justine: SIB! You're awesome. Rexly Penaflorida III Marion: ahhhh the room!!! Princess: Hey roomie... -_Jess: Hey roomie... -_Larry: sup roomie! Jamie: Hey roomie... -_Christian: Bed is in your room for next week. Chrissy: Bed is in your room for next next week. Laura: Sorry I couldn't find a cupcake ;) Audrey: Thanks for running errands with me! haha

AJ Daphne! That scream doe! Hahaha Adings: Show your faces. Lets chill and real talk, fo real doe! Come around and chill wit me at da cube! Mikey and Janea: FCN went really well, proud of you guys. Great job! Future adings if your out there prepared to be ignored! Ading Vivian Rick Tuvilla: Thanks for always being there for me, ku! U DA BEST! Aldin Escalante Lihan Chen: Hi :) Lihan Chen: What's your number? Lihan Chen: Are you still sick :c Aldin Escalante: Hi. Aldin Escalante: How come you don't text me anymore? Aldin Escalante: I'm getting lonely..

Matthew Hom Adings: Did I even leave? lunch soon! Christina Maliriban: sorwiesssss! swipes!!! Kuyas and Ates: merp. JDAM: AD MONUMENTUM! Rexly: I have your shaker. OG Bobby Johnson: OG Bobby Johnson Alice: BETRAYALLLLL Michelle: Communicating on all levels now! Charlene: Bump.

Charmaine Balisalisa Sib Justine: Weeeheee! Thank you so much for being in this with me and using your singing skills! And I'm sorry I required precious time out of your pocket due to the last-minute-ness :( Sib Jose: Goodness I didn't know you were so experienced and skilled in acapella o: thank you for helping out, too! Zac: Seriously, you put the umph in umph. As in, everything just sounds so much better with your nice low range! Thank you so much for pulling through :) Lizah: Thank you :D Thank you not only for using your talent for singing with Boses but also using your musical skills by helping out with figuring out parts and progressing efficiently - you da boss!! Christine Joy: I'm glad you said yes to being a part of this, because your voice is bootiful! and I super appreciate the fact that you didn't back down even though you weren't feeling well at first and the whole thing was last minute >< Audrey: I'm sorry I put you through a lot as a soloist, but I appreciate so much that you were patient enough to go through with it! I'm glad your beautiful voice decided to grace Boses in the end :) Kayla: I feel bad that I asked from you some practice time you could have used to gain more confidence for your dinner performance :( But after this experience, not only am I thankful for you, but I also realized how crazy natural you are with music, because you were able to do so awesomely in both acts even when the week was hectic! Lauren Solomon: Thank you for helping out with your section, too, and I'm super grateful that you said yes despite having to handle FCN and to practice for your dinner performance - which, btw, was also really great :) Thank you for gracing Boses with your vocal skills and I hope you still enjoyed it!

Ading Crystal: As in, CRYSTAL CLEAR. Because your voice was so crisp and captivating and you just did my slideshow pictures so much justice :P Thank you for your hard work and patience, ading, it means a lot to me :) Kuyas & Ates: I'll hangout with you before you all leave me forever :( let's do makeup. Or workout. BOTH. Then eat. Ading Arianna: I have something to give you. Let's watch an anime that we both haven't seen yet c: Ading Chaojie: I miss you! Sib Tim-ber-Lin: I'd buy stuff from your clothing line. I hope I can afford it. FCN Coords: you guys are phenomenal, and both the dinner and show were fun! Congratulations on a successful FCN night! Paolo Araneta: My favorite part was when Jake stopped to listen at the door entrance for Lizah's soliloquy, and the camera was fixed on the back of his head, which he then slowly turns to reveal the side of his troubled face. NICE. My webmaster interns: Hi c:

PSA February Newsletter 2014  

Cultural-themed newsletter