For the first time a dance company representing the Philippines’ indigenous people culture was invited to the annual Folclórico Internacional de Barraquilla Estefania Caicedo in Colombia.
Parangal Dance Company received the historic invitation to represent the Philippines and wowed the festival audience in their Colombia performances, a fitting showcase after their earlier successful performance in the annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival in California.
In this year’s edition of the Folclórico International Festival, all participating dance troupes were from Latin American countries such as Panama, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Ecuador and host country Colombia except Parangal Dance Company – a group of children of Filipino migrants based in the U.S.A.
The Filipino dance company performed different dances from the north – Kalinga, Ifugao, Ga’dang, and Yakan, Ta’u Sug, Maranao and Maguindanao from the south.
Aside from their cultural presentations, the Parangal also held schools tour and cultural workshops where they received warm welcomes from the locals.
In an interview with GNP, Parangal revealed that festival director Ivan Cisneros Cano personally thanked the dance company and appreciated their participation in the Folcorico festival, saying, “nagustuhan nilang ganda ng kulturang Pilipino (they liked the beauty of Filipino culture).”
The group, together with other participating dance companies, had a chance to meet Colombia’s Secretary of Culture, Heritage & Tourism – Juan Jose Jaramillo.
The dance company also affirmed that performing in festivals like Folcorico is part of its mission, and that with the help from cultural immersions and partnerships with IP culture bearers, their performances showcase Philippine culture.
“Para po malaman ng mundo ang mga katutubong Pilipino ay nasa Pilipinas pa rin po. Ang sagot po sa mga cultural immersion namin kung bakit share sila sa amin about their traditions and culture (We do this so the world knows that there are indigenous peoples in the Philippines. In our cultural immersions we ask them why they share their traditions and culture with us, and their answer ) – ‘Through you sa Parangal, we are still here.’ ”
Parangal will stage performances in Pistahan Parade and Festival, the largest celebration of Filipino Americans in San Francisco, California on August 11 and 12, and is set to perform new works in their 10th anniversary concert “Padayon” on October.