Let’s rewind, fast forward.

After watching PACN 43 last year in the stands, I was in awe, and even more appreciative of my Pilipino identity. I definitely saw myself being a part of the next one. Talking it up with my friends who performed that year, and hearing all of the “YOU SHOULD!!” from all the other Kaba members.

Fast forward a year later, and the same feeling resonated from behind the stage, watching my friends dance Tinikling (the national dance of the Philippines) with the live music playing in tune.

Image of Rural suite performing backstage.

PACN 44: Tahanan (home), follows the story of childhood friends who’ve endured loss in different ways. The loss of their mother, and bonds shattered in the name of love and identity. When twenty years pass, how do you pick up those pieces?

Alongside stories that may hit close to home for some, in different ways, there were presentations of different dances that have shaped the Pilipino culture and identity over time. And commercials that uplifted stories, with lip-dubs that were just really fun!

I participated in the Kordilierya dance suite and Commercials logistical suite this year.

koords, koords, koords!

Caught up in a bunch of sickness, and the pain of matrix operations last fall, I really didn’t consider the variety of suites PACN had to offer; and even missed the workshops. I gravitated towards Kordilyera because my roommate wanted to, and was taken back by the cultural atire.

Image of PACN 44’s Kordilyera suite.

Simple movements, but still out of breath, our suite coordinators defintley put a lot of work into making sure our movements were in sync, on point. We all bonded over changing in and out of our attire. Our downtime had us in our small conversations. We ran into each other on the bus, and defintley at Saturday practices.

lights, camera, commericals!

Defintley a more familiar suite, if high school and anything after rings any bells. I didn’t expect to edit, but when put to the task, I really did enjoy learning how to use Final Cut Pro. In contrast to iMovie, you can do a bit more.

Image of PACN 44’s Commerical suite.

This suite had me making the most out of my duality: a character/actor for “PACN on the Street” and an editor behind the scenes, watching it all come together.

the magic of tahanan

My k-sib said it perfectly,

[because] bahay is usually used when referring to a home but directly translated it’s the building. whereas tahanan is the people, the feeling :’))"

And ironicall, the sentiment is similar to a piece of literature we both looked at in our technical writing class, ICS 139W. Where Robert Pirsig in “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" reasons that a university isn’t the physical building itself, it’s the knowlege passed down from an intelectual to others.

Tahanan is simply that feeling of camaraderie we share between each other, and a love and the spirit we have for our own identiity. The friends at practices, and to those who showed up to the show, all encapsulate a feeling of home. And as someone who wants to uplift and understand the stories we have within the Pilipino diaspora, I find it as important to remember, reflect, and celebrate the stories of our past that brought us here to begin with.

A photo of a slide titled “The importance of PACN”

From my inherited appriciation for the hard work and love my grandparents and parents shared, connecting all the way to the appriciation I have to my community here. And, to those before us who had their love for Tahanan.

okay, okay, okay

We became more involved with Kababayan this year, and actually became a general member. Recalling that this is where we left off last time:

Another club I came to enjoy from a distance was Kaba. A cultural organization that has provides a space to learn more about Pilipinx culture. I’ve appreciated the space to share my own experiences, and the more the learn, the more proud I am to be who I am as a Pilipinx-American.

And, actually performing in PACN, who would’ve known!

PACN43 got me riled up about our traditional dances, and learning about growing up in the Philippines unlocked memories I had, and memories I’ve heard of when I visited the homeland. Writing the idea into existence, but maybe I’ll try to be apart of PACN next year!

A theme that resonates with me as I age is: identity. And Kaba has provided me an amazing support system of people who I can rely on. Ates and Kuyas who make me feel welcomed and comfortable in my own skin.

Shoutout to my first-fam, my cinna-fam (cinnamoroll family). For having a group to bond with, to have fun with, to learn with. For having people who want to look out for us. In some way, we all have these shared experiences. Whether it be from our culture and heritage, or even just our majors. Words cannot explain the immense appriciation I have for everyone.

A simple warm feeling. I guess in some way, this is a love letter to my Kababayan. A love letter to my Tahanan.