Pacific Cultural Night highlights student diversity

Last weekend, the 8th annual Pacific Cultural Night was held by the Filipino American Association of Sonoma State University in Pearson Theatre.  

FAASSU’s dance subgroup named KAPWA performed multiple dances honoring their culture and embracing tinikling, the national dance of the Philippines. Throughout the night, there were Polynesian dances and other performances incorporating singing and hip hop.

Pacific Cultural Night, held every spring semester, had 12 acts throughout the show. Every year a theme is created for the event, with this year’s being “Eskuwela,” which means school in Tagalog. 

The performances included actors playing teachers and students giving historical meanings and background behind the dances of their heritage.

“This is our 8th annual show that is student produced, directed, designed and performed by all members in our organization,” said junior Jessica Amen.

Jessica Amen, majoring in technical theatre, was the head coordinator for the event and the president of FAASSU. The event marked her second year being the coordinator for the show and her third Pacific Cultural Night. Amen was a dancer and choreographer for the tinikling dance. She also performed several dances during prior showcases but this year she took more of a technical approach, acting to stage manage the production. 

Last year’s eventsold about 400 tickets, and event organizers hoped to sell even more this time around. 

There was a total of 40 performers throughout the night. Usually the event is meant to fundraise for the organization, but a portion of this year’s proceeds will be donated to benefit victims of the recent earthquake in the Philippines. 

“FAASSU uses this showcase to exhibit traditional dances across the Filipino and Polynesian cultures, while also highlighting the talent and cultural heritage of our members and other multicultural organizations on campus.” said Stacey Smyth.

Smyth, a 22 year-old senior majoring in American multicultural studies and treasurer of FAASSU, will be one of the emcees for the show and perform the dance, tinikling. 

She has participated in the event since she was a freshman and this year’s event marked her fifth time participating. 

Other performances will be done by Blue Baronz, Ballet Folklorico and the Tribe, through music and hip hop. 

FAASSU is one of the largest multicultural organizations on campus. Even though the organization is Filipino-American focused, anyone of any culture is welcome to join. 

Pacific Cultural Night gives students an opportunity to show their culture and diversity through dance and song.

FAASSU meets at noon on Tuesdays in the Sonoma Valley Room in the Student Center. 

To contact them, or see more information about the event, visit them at faassu.weebly.com/.