Kulintang is good for all ages.
Vallejo Pista Sa Nayon
It was the 20th anniversary of this festival rooted in this Bay Area city on the waters edge that almost birthed a Filipinotown in the delta–Vallejo.
It was uncharacteristically rainy at this festival that hadn’t seen rain for all of the previous 19 years. This might have slowed things down a bit but the Filipino community of Vallejo showed up by the thousands before the day’s end.
Kulintang Dance Theater
I sat in with Kulintang Dance Theater for an educational performance at a Bay Area children’s school. These kids are so lucky to be exposed to such eclectic experiences.
Philippine Fiesta of Sonoma County
The Philippine Fiesta of Sonoma County was held in Santa Rosa on a beautiful sunny day in wine country. This festival has a lovely neighborhood feel. It seemed nearly everyone knew each other. FANHS had a great booth, the performances were inspiring (including another great show from Kariktan!), but there was one other thing that stood out at this festival: the food! Home cooked delights come from neighborhood chefs including a Sonoma specialty: kilawin kambing.
Nightlife at California Acadamy of Sciences Filipino Night
Meanwhile, at the California Acadamy of Sciences, which is also home to the amazing Philippine Reef Exhibit, prepared to share the results of a recent biological expedition to the Philippines that resulted in the documentation of over one hundred new species.
The occasion was marked by a Filipino takeover of the museum. Even Palabuniyan Kulintang Ensemble performed, warming up the crowd with authentic Maguindanaoan kulintang music and dance. They drew quite a large crowd with its unmatched tempos, colorful attire, and entrancing dancers. I couldn’t have asked for a better setup for my set.
I thank all who attended this great event, especially the gentleman who started the dance party (and got a free kulintang starter lesson after the show). It was so great to see a crowd of dancing bodies smiling and enjoying the sound of live kulintang playing. The more experienced kulintang fans recognized some of the pangalay influenced patterns and did the corresponding dance moves (thanks Diwa!). I loved seeing those fluid hand movements above the bouncing crowd. Perhaps one day we will be seeing oceans of pangalay hands at every Kulintronica show.