Jeju World Culture & Travel Expo
The Kalilayan Folkloric Group (KFG), the multi – awarded folk dance group from Catanauan, Quezon, has once again made the Filipinos proud.
The group won the prestigious “Best Folklore Performance Award” at the World Culture and Travel Expo in celebration of the ASEAN – Korea Summit held in The Jeju World Cup Stadium, Jeju Island, Korea.
The group bested ten other participating groups in Asia.
“We really did not expect this award because there are other really great performances from other participants,” said Rommel Serrano, the group’s Artistic Director, upon receiving the award.
Serrano recounted the group’s preparation, which was tough and hectic.
“We had about two weeks to prepare for this event and we have so many things to do. Even I have to renew my passport and visa in such a little time, thanks to the Department of Tourism, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and The Korean Embassy,
I made it before our scheduled flight.”
The group wowed audiences by performing various songs and dances that reflect the Philippine culture and tradition at the world – famous Jeju World Cup Stadium. The beautiful rendition of folk songs as well as the awesome display of skill in Rural and Maria Clara dances earned their ticket to win the Best Folklore Performance Award.
“We would like to thank the people of Jeju for their wonderful hospitality and for appreciating our culture.” said Renato Castelo, the group’s Dance Director.
Before the win in Jeju, The KFG has won the Best Folklore Performance in the 11th Busan International Travel Fair in Busan, Korea last September 2008.
The Jeju World Culture & Travel EXPO successfully finished its four-day run during the ASEAN-Korea Summit at the Jeju World Cup Stadium Monday, June 1, 2009.
"We believe the EXPO was a great success, thanks to the Jeju citizens and participants from all over Asia. We hope the event will bring the tourism industry of Jeju to the next level and the overall tourism industry of Korea as well,'' said Shin Joong-mok, the chairman and CEO of the Korea Tourism Association.
by: Rev. Ricardo A. Sta. Cruz
The Philippines being a tropical archipelago has had its share in the presence of water in its life. Recently with the coming of the monsoon season and tropical depression, rainfall had reached its maximum, flooding majority of the major thoroughfare of the City of Manila. Being an archipelago comprised of thousand of islands the vastness of the seawater is seemingly endless. Throughout history this reality of the presence of water in the life of the Filipinos had honed them and influenced the very core of their being, penetrating through their hearts and becoming part of their lives.
Traditional Filipino nomadic tribe settle in places were water is abundant and start their living in places were there are running water. During the coming of the Spaniards the missionaries founded their reduccion or communities near the river and the sea, for purposes of easy access through the water. In contemporary properties near or overlooking bodies of water command a high real estate value.
The mystic of water is its ever fluidity and movement that glides with the environment. It is this fluidity that relates well with its surrounding, blending yet maintaining its character and never getting lost, only to integrate with whichever it touches and returns to itself as it moves on.
Various cultures in the Philippines had assimilated this in their way of life. In the northern tribe, water plays an important role in the maintenance of their rice terraces. Kalinga woman translated their affiliation with water as they balance water jugs in their heads. The proud Maranao of south call them people of the lake. Various tribal rituals of the Bagobo, Manobo, Talaandig and other lumad tribe focus on thanksgiving for the gift of water. The Bajaos, Tausogs and samals are expert seafarers. The Tagbanaua calls the diwata of the rivers and the sea for deliverance from sickness.
Nothing can best express the Filipino high regard for water than their expression of folk wisdom. This anecdote about a personal experience of such wisdom will show us how highly influential water is in the psyche of the Filipinos. “ One time as I was traveling in a small banca through the islands, I noticed the settlement by the beach of the islands. In my mind I told my self how unlucky this people, the body of water had separated them. Then suddenly the one steering the banca said, you know we are lucky here. The water is uniting us. I was humbled by his response, for I saw water as a moment of division but for them it was a moment of unity.”
It is this spirit that guides us in the Kalilayan Folkloric group, as we express the various culture of the Filipinos, like the water it creates the very locus of our stability as a people (just like early tribal settlement and reducciones), it allows us to blend with the culture of other people and still maintain the very substance of being a Filipino. And like water the Kalilayan aims to bridge unity to the world.
Masining Na Pagpapahayag...
The Kalilayan Folkloric Group embarks again into the next phase of its journey as one of the foremost folkloric group in the country. After celebrating its 10th year, full of hope and idealism it moves in a steadfast pace to showcase authentic filipino life and culture as it constantly create consciousness of the group's social relevance.
The Kalilayan Folkloric Group takes the image of the Manungul Jar, (a pre-historic clay jar discovered in the hinterlands of Palawan). The jar having two anthropomorphic representations riding on a banca, as if journeying into an ethereal world. For some scholars, it is a representation of the traverse of man into the afterlife. Kalilayan has transformed itself from just a performing arts group into a social conscience that through arts it aims to transform the filipino society into a more cohesive people rooted in the love for its country.
As its moves into its new phase of its life it strengthen itself through a constant integration into the various life of the different cultural and ethnic groups in the Philippines, traversing various boundaries and breaking through these boundaries to discover the real and authentic filipino spirit that lies beyond the heart of every filipino.
We therefore invite everyone to be part of this liberating experience of the performing arts.