SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY’S PREMIER PILIPINO-AMERICAN ORGANIZATION CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF CULTURAL AWARENESS THROUGH THEATRICAL PRESENTATION
San Jose, CA, April 4, 2013 – The Akbayan Pilipino-American Organization of San Jose State University has unveiled information on its much anticipated Pilipino Cultural Night (PCN).
PCN 2013 celebrates 25 years of Akbayan SJSU’s never-ending effort to enrich the campus and surrounding communities with the melting pot that is the Philippine culture. The student-run production blends a theatrical play with Philippine folk arts and music, as well as other student performances.
“Pilipino Cultural Night is an opportunity for many Pilipino-American Organizations, like Akbayan, to pay homage to our culture’s history and those who came before us,” said Akbayan SJSU president Arlo Trinidad. “It is an avenue of keeping the culture alive by educating those who are hungry for knowledge about the Pilipino culture and history and to give nostalgia to our elders who may have performed these same dances in their younger years.”
This year’s story, entitled “Killer Queen,” puts a fairytale twist in arguably the Philippines’ most infamous couple.
A young, innocent girl named Gabriella is trapped by her older stepsister, Imelda, who uses Gabriella as a personal servant that does nothing but Imelda’s chores. Like “Cinderella,” Gabriella dreams of living a life free of Imelda’s power.
Meanwhile, an exuberant Prince Ferdinand Marcos invites all the women in the province to a grand ball in an attempt to find his princess. Both Imelda and Gabriella have hopes of winning the prince’s hand, but out of fear that the prince may court Gabriella, Imelda locks Gabriella in her room before the ball.
With the help of her fairy godfather, Jose Rizal, Gabriella turns into the Maria Clara she has always wanted to become. However, like her real-life counterpart, Imelda has other plans…
To give further meaning to Killer Queen’s title, a majority of the music performed in PCN 2013 are actually covers of the hit rock and roll band, Queen.
“I chose Queen for a couple reasons,” said Jonathan Juntado, writer of Killer Queen and former PCN executive director. “First, Queen’s popularity seemed to coincide with the height of the Marcos regime. Second, Freddy Mercury broke the mold as to what defined a rockstar. He’s a major influence on the diversity of music today. Much like how the main character in this story tries to redefine the Maria Clara-like image Imelda upholds.”
In addition to the theatrical presentation, “Killer Queen” will feature a wide variety of performing arts with emphasis on displaying the Philippine culture. There will be a choir singing songs in English and Tagalog, modern and hip hop dance pieces, and a live rondallaand student music ensemble to play the background music throughout the progress of the show.
“I’ve found it to be an experience like no other that combines the essentials of Pilipino culture with creative expression,” said Christian Borromeo, executive director of PCN 2013. “It’s been an enriching experience, and every year, I learn something new.”
Being tied in with these entirely student-run performance aspects are the dances of the Philippine islands taught by current and former Akbayan SJSU members that have more than 20 years of combined experience with other PCN productions and cultural dance groups.
“Through these Filipino folk dances that we’ve taught, we hope that people will walk away with inspiration to learn more about themselves,” said Jeffrey Monje, one of the cultural dance choreographers and former PCN executive director. “Filipino folk dance is important because it’s our history through art.”
Akbayan SJSU’s 25th Annual Pilipino Cultural Night will have its opening night on Friday, April 26 and will have its gala showing onSaturday, April 27.
Presale tickets are $16 for students with a valid school I.D., $20 general admission, and $25 for preferred seating will be available until April 4. At the door, tickets are $18 for studentswith a valid school I.D. and $25 for general admission. Tickets can be purchased at the Akbayan recruitment table at San Jose State University, and can also be bought on their website at akbayansjsu.org/tickets.
For both nights, the doors open at 5:00 PM and the show will begin at 6:00 PM.
See attached flyer(s) for additional information.
About Pilipino Cultural Night
For 25 years, Pilipino Cultural Night, or PCN, has been Akbayan’s biggest event of the spring semester. The event is a student-run theatrical presentation that centralizes an important theme in Pilipino-American society. Tied together by a theatrical play, music, dance, and other folk arts, members participating in the production earn on-stage performing experience while also broadening their knowledge of the Pilipino culture.
About Akbayan Pilipino-American Organization
Akbayan, meaning “Embracing in Friendship,” is San Jose State’s premier Pilipino-American organization. Originally a social outlet founded in 1976, Akbayan has since adopted the aspects of cultural awareness and community activism to become one of the most active and respected organizations on the San Jose State campus with highly regarded events such as its annual Pilipino Cultural Night (PCN), Raising Awareness Amongst Pilipinos (RAAP) Conference, and its increasingly competitive social presence in Cal-State Fullerton’s Friendship Games. For more information on the Akbayan Pilipino American Organization of San Jose State University, visit the website at http://www.akbayansjsu.org/.
PCN Coordinator, Akbayan SJSU
President, Akbayan SJSU
Aaron Asilo / D.J. Ramirez
Public Relations Officers, Akbayan SJSU