Tula, Balagtasan at Kundiman: Literary and Artistic Celebration

Musica Singers (L-R)A. Median,O.Pantaleon,D.Aviso,J.Alcasabas,J.Luna,I.Alejo,A. Fernando,K. Torres

By: Dante Aviso

The month of August is popularly known in the Philippines as “Buwan ng Wika” (National Language Month) to promote the national language,” Filipino.

The Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba Inc. (PCCM) organized the first ever “Tula, Balagtasan at Kundiman” to celebrate Philippine language, arts and culture that was held last August 19 at PCCM hall. The event showcased not only the literary and artistic talents of the Filipino community in Winnipeg but also promoted local businesses and cultural displays.

Students from the Heritage Language Class from Keewatin Prairie Community School and Sargent Park School presented native dance, poems, and songs. Kudos to Winnipeg School Division teachers: Marilyn Gomez Malek, Michelle Feleciano, and Gemma Rose for bringing the grade school students.

The Musica Singers of PCCM under the artistic director, Dante Aviso, and Musical Director, Oscar Pantaleon Jr. mesmerized the audience with its nostalgic kundiman and Filipino folk songs. Musical Singers include: Marielle Cahigas, Jesse Alcasabas, Khristine Torres, Ira Alejo, Ashley Medina, Oscar Pantaleon Jr. Jeff Luna, Ariel Fernando, Dante Aviso, Julian Fuentespina, and Paolo Camus. Balagtasan, a lyrical debate was delivered on stage with the local poet and debaters namely: Gary Sanchez, Enrico Tiglao, Norlita Orbien, Emily de Guzman, Esther Pangilinan and Dante Aviso.

Other musical guests included Hazel Wallace, Elmer Aquino, Ferdinand Fave, Jett Panganiban, Jovelle Balani and her band. Shout out to our two Zumba groups: WinnipegZINsistarz and Groove Express as they opened the event with their energetic and captivating dance moves. We thank you all the supporters, volunteers, and attendees for this wonderful cultural celebration. This event was made possible through the generous support from the Province of Manitoba through its Art, Culture and Sports Community Fund.

Photo Credit: Michelle Felician /Gary Sanchez