Piyesta Pinoy returns for a fourth year!
Mainstream event a mainstay for Chicago Filipinos
CHICAGO, Mar. 26 — Chicago’s favorite Filipino American festival returned to Navy Pier for a smashing fourth year. Sunday. Piyesta Pinoy sa Chicago is Philippine Celebration for Navy Pier’s Neighborhoods of the World series, filling Crystal Gardens with Filipino song, dance, businesses, food and crafts; attracting record crowds and bringing the Philippines closer to immigrants and expatriates.
Attendees welcomed the spring like turn of the weather at the lakefront, turning the Gardens downright balmy inside, matching the memories of Filipinos born in the homeland and calling Chicago their new adopted home.
The festival opened with a colorful Parade of Costumes from the Pier’s first floor marketplace, paired with beloved folk songs rendered by Piyesta mainstay Chicago Angklung and Rondalla Ensemble. Visitors from all stripes are immediately transported to the Philippines, where communities spend the year looking forward to the fiestas.
Visitors were treated to traditional Filipino dance by veteran performers PACF Performing Arts, the youth group of festival sponsor Philippine American Cultural Foundation. PACF Perf Arts showcased four dances – Binasuan, Itikitik, Tiklos and Tinikling.
Lane Tech High School graduates Divine Rhythm kept in touch despite attending various colleges currently, and returned with the crowd favorite, the Tagalog dance Sayaw sa Bangko, known for the demanding technical skill required of dancers leaping between wooden benches stacked three tiers high.
The festival’s dance component would not be complete without college groups fresh from the 2015 Battle of the Bamboo: Loyola Kapwa Cultural placed second with the eight-minute Yakan Suite, depicting daily routines and a wedding dance from the Basilan tribe, in Mindanao.
Battle of the Bamboo hosts UIC Filipinos in Alliance Cultural rendered two traditional dances as well: The stately walk Katsudoratan from the Maranao tribe of Lake Lanao, and the lunar ceremonial dance Pagdiwata from Tagbanua, Palawan.
The dances that come from Battle of the Bamboo and showcased at Piyesta Pinoy are always highly-anticipated, and often the only opportunity non-collegiate audience ever get to see Philippine indigenous dance rendered outside their province and home communities.
The festival would not have been complete without our singers: 13-year-old James and his sister Jannae Agena, a tender 8; a heart-rendering duet from mom and daughter team Bless and Isabella Peterson; and Davao-born Cebuana Divine Aleonar serenaded popular tunes in Cebuano – giving audience a rare glimpse into the vernacular pop culture of a major Visayan language.
Visitors were treated to Polynesian dance as well, specifically Tahitian, from a group of islands a mere stone’s throw away from the Philippines. Ross Rodrigo is director of Moku`aina Hula (“island dance”), featuring i is (pronounced EEE EEEs, bamboo sticks), grass skirts and fast hip movements. All seven dancers from the troupe are Filipina-American.
The event could not have been complete without another group of festival mainstays, Samasama Project, with versatile musician Baron Cabalona fulfilling a New Year’s challenge from wife and front woman Louella Cabalona by playing a double bass for the first time. Louella showed off jazz scat chops and Ranran Sevilla’s inventive guitar rounded out the trio acoustic set of folk favorites and OPM (Original Pilipino Music) in the style distinctly Samasama Project, reminding all that a festival of Piyesta’s caliber is all about Filipino pride and quality.
Emcees Alpha Nicolasin and Mark Dinglasan’s doubled as entertainers themselves as they tried out the Philippine national dance tinikling, inviting audience to brave the clapping bamboo poles for which the dance is known.
Piyesta Pinoy sa Chicago returns in the summer with Piyesta Pinoy sa Bolingbrook! Join us for a massive 12-hour festival, Saturday, June 20, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the sprawling Bolingbrook Performing Arts Center, next to the Bolingbrook Village Hall and Town Center! Applications for sponsors, donors, business and cultural booth tables are now open. Please visit us online at http://piyestapinoy.org/ for details. Kitakits po tayo doon!
Piyesta Pinoy sa Chicago festival volunteers would like to thank the following groups for their table booth participation and display: Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment Chicago, the Chinese Mutual Aid Association, CIRCA-Pintig, Coast 22, Creative Impressions Plus, Darlene’s Boutique, the Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago, the Filipino American Community Health Initiative of Chicago, the Filipino American Network, The Field Museum, The Filipino American Community Builder, the Filipino American Historical Society of Chicago, Futurity First, GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV, Gawad Kalinga, Mark Tan, MegaScene, Nueva Viscaya Association, One Philippines, PepsiCo, The Philippine Consulate General’s office, Pinoy Newsmagazine, Robinson’s Land Corporation, StateFarm, The Filipino Channel, The University of Chicago Midwest Longitudinal Study of Asian American Families (ML-SAAF), The University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Greater Chicago, VIA Times, and Zamboanga del Norte Association of Illinois.
The 2015 Piyesta Pinoy sa Chicago could not have been possible without our Hermano Mayor Consul General Generoso Calonge, our Hermana Mayor Judge Jessica O’Brien, Hermana and Hermanos Vice Consul Ricarte Abejuela III, Vice Consul Alena Grace Borra, Alex and Josie Cirera, DCG Romulo Victor Israel, Jr., Veronica Leighton, Joe Mauricio, Darwin & Imelda Posadas, Mariano & Merlinda Santos, and Bert & Yoly Tubalinal.
We would also like to thank our Ninongs and Ninangs: Imelda Cuevo, Nestor Evaristo (NVAI President), Adeline Fajardo (PACF President), Rudy Garcia, Edgar Jimenez (FAN President), Ruben & Merle Salazar, and Douglas Tayengco.
Festival volunteers would also like to thank the following for their partnership: Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment Chicago, the Chinese Mutual Aid Association, CIRCA-Pintig, The Field Museum, the Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago, the Filipino American Community Health Initiative of Chicago, the Filipino American Network, the Filipino American Historical Society of Chicago, Gawad Kalinga, Nueva Viscaya Association, The University of Chicago ML-SAAF, The University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Greater Chicago, and the Zamboanga del Norte Association of Illinois.
Maraming salamat to our performers: John and Jannae Agena, Divine Aleonar, the Chicago Angklung Rondalla Ensemble, Divine Rhythm, Loyola Kapwa Cultural, Moku`aina Hula, PACF Performing Arts, Bless and Isabella Peterson, Samasama Project, UIC Filipinos in Alliance Cultural, emcees Alpha Nicolasin and Mark Dinglasan.
Maraming salamat to our program booklet advertisers: GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV, The Angelos Concert (sponsored by the Palawenos of the Midwest, Chicago and St. Martha Fil-Am), State Farm, The University of Chicago ML-SAAF, Gawad Kalinga, Mark Tan with Thrivent Financial, Salerno’s Rosedale Funeral Chapels, RJ Jewelry, Comcast/Xinity.
Maraming salamat to our student volunteers from Niles West High School and Northside College Preparatory High School headed by William Su.
Piyesta Pinoy sa Chicago (Philippine Fest) is brought to you by Navy Pier, Inc., the 501(c)3 Philippine American Cultural Foundation, and the Philippine Consulate General of Chicago. We would like to thank our sponsors: Platinum – GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV; Gold – Comcast/Xfinity; Silver – Creative Impressions Plus, Mark A. Tan with Thrivent Financial, Glenda Tolentino with State Farm; Bronze – Robinson Land; Media sponsors – The Filipino American Community Builder, MegaScene, One Philippines, PINOY News, VIA Times; and Food donors – Hong Ning, Isla Pilipina, Pepsico (Gamesa, Dole, Muller, Quaker, Tropicana), Simple Delights, and Val’s Asian Mart. Navy Pier’s Neighborhoods of the World series is sponsored by ComEd.
Maraming salamat from the volunteers of the 2015 Piyesta Pinoy (Philippine Fest) sa Chicago: overall chairperson Ruben Salazar; sponsors Adeline Fajardo and Edgar Jimenez; production and stage manager Rian Mari Francisco; program booklet AnnaGina Millan; programme/emcees Alpha Nicolasin and Mark Dinglasan; communication/press release writer Yvonne T. Hortillo; cultural committee chair Michelle Delson; finance, raffles and passport booklet committee Pia Natividad and Telly Yumping; food committee Merle Salazar, Rome Nichols, Angie Malonzo, and Brenda Vins; graphic designer Lea Rivera; parade committee Emil Nicolasin, Michelle Delson, Louella and Baron Cabalona; performers check-in table staffer Alma Reed; security coordinator John Parrish; vendors/exhibitors committee Cindy Lopez and Almira Gilles; volunteer coordinator Jeff Cruz; and website editors Jeffrey Javate and John Parrish.