Ati-Atihan takes centerstage in Washington Wizards Filipino Heritage Night

HSBC Philippines
Wow Philippines NBA Game
Wow Philippines performed Philippine Folk Dances and Arnis during the Washington Wizard and Denver Nuggets NBA game. Screen-grab from the performance of Wow Philippines.

Philippine traditional dances “Ati-Atihan” and “Tinikling” and the Filipino martial arts “Arnis” were on centerstage during the 8th staging of the Washington Wizards Filipino Heritage Night held over the weekend.

National Basketball Association (NBA) fans at the game between the Wizards and the Denver Nuggets, held on January 4 at the Capital One Arena in Washington, were treated to a halftime show by the Wow Philippines group.

The Filipino Heritage Night showcased the Philippines’ vibrant and colorful festival dance of the Ati-Atihan, the bamboo dance of Tinikling, and the Filipino martial arts of stick fighting.

The dancers wore traditional costumes, held the banner of the country’s tourism campaign slogan “Its More Fun in the Philippines”, and waved the Philippine and American Flags to celebrate the heritage of the two countries.

A featured spot in the show staged by the FABA of Metro DC was the raising of the traditional umbrella of Mindanao. Dancers also performed to the song “Pit Senyor” which means to plead with the Sto. Nino of Cebu and associated with the Sinulog Festival. Another song they danced to was the Original Pilipino Music (OPM) classic “Isang Mundo, Isang Awit” by Leah Navarro.

Facebook user Jeaannette AlohaTravel congratulated the performers, saying, “Congrats! Always proud of my heritage! Sinulog and Atiatihan in Washington DC! NBA halftime show!”. Another Facebook user, Ronald Allan, also thanked NBA for recognizing Filipino culture and Filipino talents: “Thank you so much NBA and team washington wizards for recognizing us filipinos and in our talent. God Bless NBA and more power of success.”

NBA teams have staged Filipino Heritage Night a a tribute to their fans, among them, the Los Angeles Clippers who brought Manny Pacquiao and Apl de Ap for the halftime show, and Inigo Pascual in another event.

The Philippines’ rich ancestral traditions, music, and folk dances that tell of our history, culture, and the story of each place in the archipelago have been celebrated around the world, among them, by a folk dance teacher and choreographer who keeps folk dance alive in Stockton.

Sorsogon province recently set a new Guinness World Record (GWR) for the Largest Filipino Folk Dance.

Saint Louis University Dance Troupe from Baguio City also showcased Filipino folk dances at the 2019 Jinju World Folk Arts Biennale in Jinju, South Korea.

SEND cheers to the Washington Wizards, organizers, and performers at the Filipino Heritage Night at the NBA!

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Blesilda Dela Cruz
Blesilda Dela Cruz is a undergraduate student taking up AB Communication at De La Salle University – Dasmariñas. An Efficient, Hard-working, Committed, and Goal-oriented person towards the goal and development of the company. A reliable team member who knows how to collaborate well. Has a passion in story-telling and acting.