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Parangal Dance Company Showcases Filipino Culture at Indonesia and Singapore Events

The Parangal Dance Company will perform in Indonesia and Singapore what its members learned from their recent cultural immersion in the Philippines. Photo from Eric Solano.

California-based Parangal Dance Company is ready to honor Philippine heritage again when it showcases Filipino folk dances and music in Indonesia and Singapore this coming July.

The Filipino dance group will perform next month in separate cultural events in Southeast Asian countries – the Bojonegoro Thengul International Festival in East Java from July 20 to 24, and the Sentro Rizal National Cultural Consciousness Week in Singapore on July 26.

Artistic director Eric Solano shared with Good News Pilipinas that they have been preparing for their performances for Indonesia and Singapore since early 2024.

We have been rehearsing pretty much since the beginning of this year because we [were] also invited to celebrate and to perform with FACC [Filipino-American Community of Colorado] in Colorado for their 70th anniversary,” he said.

Part of the preparation was the cultural immersion in different parts of the Philippines.‌

We had cultural immersion in Lanao del Sur with culture bearers, Lyns Dimalna and Tita Lods along with their group Salimpokaw Cultural Ensemble,” the Filipino culture advocate shared.

In Bongao and Tabawan, Tawi-Tawi, we connected with Tambuli Cultural Dance Troupe with the support from cultural bearers Nursida Diamson Jaluddin and Sakinur-Ain Mogung Delasas, the GAMABA [Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan] of Igal dance,” he added.

The team also went to Cordillera to undergo the Kalinga dance workshop.‌

We learned more from Kalinga culture bearers in Lubuagan, Kalinga – Cirilo “Sapi” Bawer and his family. We also had more workshops with Papa Sapi’s daughter and Kalinga culture bearer, Manang Jenny Bawer Young, on Banga and Challichog [dances],” Solano went on.

More than half of our program from this year’s immersions, we’re performing them in the tours, including the new dances and new learnings to uplift cultural integrity,” he stressed.

The artistic director also told Good News Pilipinas that the two culture bearers from Mindanao will join them in Indonesia and Singapore.

We are joined by two of our culture Bearers, Nursida Diamson Jaluddin from Sama community of Tawi-Tawi, and Habib Mohammad from Maguindanaon community in Cotabato. This is a rare opportunity to perform and tour with them,” he said.

We hope this tour will give opportunity and platform to represent their respective communities and showcase their living traditions,” he added.

Solano and his 17 teammates expressed excitement at performing before the Filipino communities in Indonesia and Singapore.

Mga Kababayan sa Indonesia at Singapore, magkita at magkaisa po tayo at ma-meet po ninyo si Ate Nursida from Tawi-Tawi at si Datu from Cotabato. Let’s go and represent! Mabuhay ang Filipinas!” he concluded.

The Parangal Dance Company has been representing the Philippines in various cultural festivals in different parts of the world. In 2019, the dance group made its Asian debut when it performed at the World Music and Dance Festival in Hakodate, Japan. In the same year, they represented the country on the 455th anniversary of the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade in Mexico.

Even the pandemic in 2020 did not stop them from‌ showcasing Maranao dances in the web edition of the Dorin Oancea International Folk Dance Festival in Romania. In 2022, the dance company returned to its international tour, showcasing traditional Filipino dances and music in Folkart Maribor in Slovenia.

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Atom L. Pornel
Atom L. Pornel
Atom L. Pornel is a social media manager and producer-writer who returned to GoodNewsPilipinas.com after working as a writer in Viva Communications Inc. for more than four years. He is a broadcast journalism graduate of DLSU-D, and a heritage and local culture advocate.

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