Adora Lily Svitak, an American child prodigy and internationally published author, in her book Flying Fingers states that “Any good teacher knows how important it is to connect with students and understand our culture.” This is what happened on May 17, 2014 at Roger Egger Park, Coronado, San Diego. The Philippine Faire 2014, dubbed as the Festival of Festivals, sponsored by the Council of Pilipino American Organizations (COPAO) headed by its President Dr. Reynaldo Monzon and the Council for Teaching Filipino Language and Culture (CTFLC) headed by Ms. Mary Rose Peralta open a portal for teachers as well as school administrators to build a bridge for students to understand and enjoy Filipino culture.
At 8:00 a.m. students, with their respective teachers converge at the park in order to start a short parade where they display and make a brief presentation/performance of different festivals in their colorful costumes. Below is the complete program for the day.
- Parade of Schools & Assembly
- Marching of Flags & Colors:
- Mar Vista High School Color Guard
- National Anthems:
- Star-Spangled Banner by Mariah Fulinara, Olympian High School
- Lupang Hinirang by Cathrina Sumaoang, Eastlake High School
- Welcome & Introductions:
- Dr. Reynaldo Monzon, COPAO President
- Ms. Mary Rose Peralta, CTFLC President
- School Presentations of Festivals
- Emcees: Mr. Lee Romero, Principal, Southwest High School
- Ms. Mary Rose Peralta, Principal, Chula Vista High School
Led by Ms. Virginia Ferrer and Ms. Miguelita Candelaria
The Sunduan depicts the act of a man fetching the object of his affection from the woman’s home to bring her to church or the town plaza. To impress his lady love and her folks, the gentleman brings with him a marching band that accompanies their walk along the community and towards the church.
The Sunduan is certainly not new. The tradition dates back to the Spanish colonial period when the very first Sunduan was recorded in 1876. According to the book “Palanyag to Parañaque – A History”, the community leaders of San Dionisio chose a prominent woman from the barrio in 1890 to become the next hermana mayor for their next fiesta but the woman was hesitant so the town elders paid her a visit in her home, complete with colorful parasols and accompanied by marching bands and the image of their patron saint, and the woman had no choice but to accept the assignment.
Rancho Del Rey Middle School: Teacher – Ms. Jeanette Fiorica
Ati-Atihan. Date: January 16-22 (Location: Kalibo, Aklan)
One of the most popular of the Philippine festivals, Ati-Atihan is a celebration in honor of the Santo Nino. Revelers don colorful costumes, paint their bodies black, and dance to the distinctive beat of “Hala bira!” around the town.
Bell Middle School: Teacher – Ms. Jacquilin Magat-Lapid
Sinulog Festival. Date: Every third weekend of January (Location: Cebu City, Cebu)
The feast of the Santo Niño is celebrated in Cebu with a procession, street dancing, competition, and a fluvial parade. Much like the Ati-Atihan, the Sinulog Festival is marked by frenzied revelry to the chant of “Pit Señor!”
Olympian High School: Teacher – Ms. Grace Almazar
Panagbenga. Date: Every February - whole month (Location: Baguio City)
Also known as the Baguio Flower Festival, Panagbenga showcases floral floats, street dancing, band competitions, street food, and other activities participated in by local residents and institutions. It is also a celebration of the re-establishment of the city as a premier tourist destination after the devastating 1990 earthquake.
Morse High School: Teacher – Ms. Gloria Guilas
Caracol Festival. Date: Third Sunday of February (Location: Makati City)
Caracol Festival started in 1986 to promote the importance of preserving and conserving the Earth’s natural resources. The festivity starts with a parade along the main streets of Makati participated in by city officials, barangay organizations, and students from different schools who are dressed as animals, plants, or sea creatures. Other activities such as street dancing and performances related to environmental issues are also featured
Challenger Middle School: Teacher – Ms. Myrna Ablana
Pahiyas sa Quezon. Date: May 15 (Location: Sariaya, Lucban, and Tayabas, Quezon Province)
During the Pahiyas festival, homes are decked with kiping (multi-colored, paper thin, leaf-shaped rice kropeck) and harvested vegetables. Trade fairs, civic parades, procession, and other activities mark the celebration for a bountiful harvest and to honor the patron saint of farmers, San Isidro de Labrador.
Sweetwater High School: Teacher – Ms. Blancaflor Villanueva
Obando Fertility Rites. Date: May 17-19 (Location: Obando, Bulacan)
Obando Fertility rites is a three-day fiesta celebration in honor of San Pascual, Baylon, Santa Clara, and Nuestra Señora de Salambao. Childless couples, thankful parents, and grateful farmers and fishermen dance along the streets together with colorfully costumed women to pray for children and a good harvest.
Eastlake High School: Teacher – Ms. Corazon Simpson
Santacruzan. Date: Last weekend of May (Location: Nationwide)
The Santacruzan is a procession commemorating St. Helena’s finding of the “True Cross,” preceded by a nine-day Novena in honor of the Holy Cross. On the ninth day, usually on a weekend, the Santacruzan is held. The Reina Elena, accompanied by a little boy representing King Constantine, and other sagalas representing biblical characters and the attributes of the Blessed Virgin, walk a processional route under gaily decorated arches.
Southwest High School: Teacher – Mr. Romando Reyes
Flores De Mayo. Date: Month of May (Location: Nationwide)
The May Flower Festival is celebrated throughout the month in honor of the Virgin Mary in different parts of the Philippines. Its religious significance started during the latter part of the Spanish period when the meditations honoring Mary was translated into Tagalog and many Filipinos took on the devotion. On most days during May, little children sing before the image of Mary as they offer flowers.
Montgomery High School: Teacher – Ms. Salvacion De Vera
Pintados Festival. Date: June 29 (Location: Tacloban City)
Street pageantry and a contest focusing on the Leyteños’ old custom of tattooing that signifies courage and status in the community are highlights of this festival. Participants in the street dancing and other performances paint themselves with dark colors and designs that appear like tattoos.
Otay Ranch High School: Teacher - Ms. Rizalyn Cruz
Kadayawan Festival. Date: Third Week of August (Location: Davao City)
This is a celebration of the bountiful harvest of fruits and orchids during the season. Activities include fruit and flower shows, trade fairs, a tribal/civic/military parade, traditional sports activities, horse fight, the search for B’yaneng Kadayawan, and street dancing.
Morse High School: Teacher - Ms. Julita Biares
Feast of Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia. Date: Third Saturday of September (Location: Naga City, Camarines Sur)
A religious festival held in honor of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, Bicol’s most revered patroness, highlighted by the fluvial procession of the Lady’s image down the Bicol River. The week-long celebration includes a civic-military parade, sportsfests, exhibits, cultural shows, beauty pageants, and colorful competitions.
Zamorano Fine Arts Academy: Teacher - Ms. Margarita Idos
Masskara. Date: Third Weekend of October nearest October 19 (Location: Bacolod)
The word "Masskara" is a portmanteau, coined by the late artist Ely Santiago from mass (a multitude of people), and the Spanish word cara (face), thus forming Masskara (a multitude of faces). The word is also a pun on maskara (Filipino for "mask"), since a prominent feature of the festival are the masks worn by participants, which are always adorned with smiling faces. The festival features a street dance competition where people from all walks of life troop to the streets to see colorfully masked dancers gyrating to the rhythm of Latin musical beats in a display of mastery, gaiety, coordination, and stamina. Major activities include the Masskara Queen beauty pageant, carnivals, drum and bugle corps competitions, food festivals, sports events, musical concerts, agriculture-trade fairs, garden shows, and other special events.
Mar Vista High School: Teacher - Ms. Marilin Escalante
Rice Planting Festival. Date: All year (Location: Nationwide)
The festival depicts the different phases that go into the tedious process of rice cultivation. The Philippine lifestyle is closely intertwined with the cultivation of rice so that it is no wonder that several traditions and rituals go into the planting and harvesting of rice. Focal point of the celebration is the re-enactment of the process of growing rice. The first stage shown is the planting of rice in the muddy fields. After the planting, the people harvest the grains manually. The Mar Vista group will also depict the stage where the grains are gathered and then pounded using a mortar and pestle. Native bilaos are used to separate chaff from grain. At times, people use mats where they lay out the grains to dry. At other places in the country, people use their feet as they separate the outer covering of the palay. Some of these steps are highlighted in the festival. All throughout the difficult backbreaking process, though, Filipinos are shown to find some fun because the work is often done with some music and food and of course, in the company of friends and family.
- Song by Cathrina Sumaoang, Eastlake High School
- Otay Ranch High Pangkat Sayaw Dance Club - Sakuting
- Bell Middle School Gawad Kalinga Club
- Song by Darynne Casim & Juliene Labaria, Otay Ranch High School
- Otay Ranch High Pangkat Sayaw Dance Club - Maglalatik
- Pan-Asian Club of Mar Vista High School (instrumental rendition using Anklung or Surinay)
- Morse High School Kaisahan Dancers
- Otay Ranch High Pangkat Sayaw Dance Club - Tinikling
- Hosted By: Mr. Salvador Idos
- Games: Garter Race, Sack Race, Tug of War, Bali-Baling Katawan
Closing & Acknowledgements:
- Ms. Mary Rose Peralta, CTFLC President
MARAMING-MARAMING SALAMAT SA LAHAT