The day started at 9AM, hauling benches and props from Curry Student Center to Fenway Center, standing outside locked doors. Once in, Barkada was in for a long day filled with singing, dancing, and skits. Emotions ran high as the day went on, the fuel of morning coffee waning down. Each tech went smoothly, things were on schedule, and Barkada was ready for a perfect evening.
The doors opened and families, friends, and even some alumni poured in. Seats were filling at a rapid pace and the energy was high. Led in by stellar performances by Ivana Sitoy singing the American national anthem and Alexis Bagon singing Lupang Hinirang, the Filipino national anthem, and a PC introduction by Alexis Aguila and Jelina Castillo, the crowd was ready for the beginning of Bahay Kubo 2014.
Until, black. Faced with a minor technical difficulty during the intro video, the crowd waited in silence for minutes, both dancers and audience eager to begin. Finally, after some ruffling, the story began.
Alexis de Santos is a spoiled girl from Manila, attending school at Northeastern. Accompanied by her boyfriend, Julian, attending Boston University, she plans on working in fashion away from the “drab” of Filipino clothing. Along the way she meets James, an RA at Northeastern who tries his hardest to become accustomed to the school. As she meets new people and tensions run high, Alexis learns from her family, friends, yaya, and James, the true values of Filipino heritage and culture (along with being just a bit less snooty).
Between the skits Barkada had numerous cultural performances. Beginning with a ballroom piece by Justin Bioc, members took to the stage dancing a fusion of rumba and hustle. Afterwards, a tinikling piece by Noel Llado dazzled the audience with flying sticks and twirling dancers. Next, Stephanie Rabino and her court of singkil dancers wowed the audience with a dramatic entrance. Jelina Castillo’s binasuan dance shocked everyone as not a drop of water spilled from their balancing act. Tim De Jesus’ sayaw sa bangko dance had the venue sitting on the edge of their seats as benches stacked higher and higher. Finally, James Tan’ maglalatik performance had the audience in laughter from a Single Ladies Beyonce twist.
Guest performances by Iskwelehang Pilipino and Manny Garcia added to the show as well. IP brought audience members back to their days in the Philippines as guitars, rondallas, and basses played traditional Filipino folk songs. Manny Garcia swooned the audience (especially the ladies) as he crooned tunes inspired by soul, jazz, and R&B. His powerful vocals and original pieces (mixed in with some modern covers) left the audience mesmerized by his vocalization and keyboard playing, winning the applause of everyone at Fenway Center.
Before the last performances, the seniors gave their final BK blessings to the younger generations of Barkada members, encouraging us all to continue tradition having fun and embodying the Filipino spirit of family and camaraderie. This all set the stage for the modern performance, as members of Barkada danced to the fierce hits of Beyonce. Donning Beyonce inspired t shirts, Barkada members danced an original line dance by the PC’s, Jelina and Alexis, to Destiny Child’s “Bootylicious.” Following, Alexis and Ryan Punzalan choreographed a modern castanets portion and modern coconuts portion respectively to “Grown Woman.” This transitioned into a fierce piece complete with booty shaking and tribal moves. Anna Nguyen and Ivana Sitoy choreographed a slightly risque dance to “Baby Boy” combined with scarves for the ladies (to be joined by the boys later). Afterwards, Noel and Malisa Saksua brought a more romantic vibe with their couple piece to “Love On Top.” Next, a heartwarming performance by the senior class to “The Way You Move” by Outkast put a bittersweet break in the middle of the set as they celebrated their final Bahay Kubo performance. Finally, a finale dance to “End of Time” was fittingly choreographed by our lovely PC’s, Jelina and Alexis, ended the show with tinikling sticks, coconuts, a male section, and an overall energy packed finish.
The end of the show marked the end of a stress filled and emotion ridden, highly enjoyable semester of dance practices and preparation. Our lovely PC’s were presented with flowers and a surprise giant cupcake as members of eboard thanked various people and organizations for their support. As clean up began tearful eyes glazed over cameras, smiling at the end of a job well done. There could not have been a more perfect ending to the story of Bahay Kubo 2014.
Until next year, Barkada. May we share the stage once more.
Peace, Love, Barkada.