Hiyas Ng Pilipinas

ANN ARBOR – The officers and members of Philippine Arts and Culture Ensemble of Michigan (PACE-MI), assisted by volunteers, are now earnestly preparing for this year’s Philippine cultural presentation dubbed “Hiyas ng Pilipinas (gems of the Philippines).”

The event will be held on Saturday, June 30, 2018, in the Bethlehem United Church of Christ at 423 S 4th Avenue, Ann Arbor. It will start at 7 p.m.

It will be a community affair that celebrates Philippine traditional dances, music and songs and features members of PACE-MI and local Filipino-American artists.

Performing in this year’s program will be PACE-MI’s Kulintang, Rondalla and Folk Dance ensembles. Indigenous music and dances from the Southern Philippines, such as Binalig Amamayug, Tidtu, Pangalay and Saggayan, will be performed by the Kulintang ensemble.

In Hiyas ng Pilipinas, the rondalla and folk dance ensembles will present together traditional folk songs and dances that highlight the life of Filipinos in the countryside.

Songs and dances such as Magtanim Ay Di Biro and Gaway-gaway mimic the planting and harvesting lifestyle, whereas Ang Dalagang Pilipina, Sayaw Sa Cuyo, and O Naranyag A Bulan showcase gentler romantic theme. Pandango Sa Ilaw, Tinikling, and Karatong/Subli will cap the presentation with an air of celebration to be long remembered.

Featured Filipino-American artists will include: Dr. Christi-Anne Castro, associate professor of ethnomusicology and director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) at the University of Michigan (UM); Roy Coloma, concert pianist and long-time piano teacher, who will perform Inday and Variations on Atin Cu Pung Singsing; Elizabeth Ordinario Weil, lyric soprano and Kulintang program director, will conduct the Kulintang ensemble and will sing Sa Kabukiran; Patricia Sorra Cabuena, cantor and choir member at St. Francis church, will render a vocal solo of Sa Libis Ng Nayon; her daughter, Sophia Cabuena, will sing Ang Pipit; and Philip Villanueva, orthoptic student at UM Kellogg Eye Center, will perform Ang Dalagang Pilipina.

Hiyas ng Pilipinas will be PACE-MI’s third major concert since its founding in 2014. PACE-MI held its maiden concert entitled “Ugnayan ng Ating Kultura” (Linkages of our Culture) in 2015. Former Philippine Consul General Generoso D. G. Calonge, who came all the way from Chicago to grace the evening event and deliver the concluding remarks, said that the presentation was “one of the best I have seen.”

In 2016, PACE-MI hosted a fundraising dinner and concert dubbed as “Barrio Fiesta sa PACE-MI Village” which Rev. Jose Malayang described as “festive and fun, colorful and culturally educational. All the performers were as gifted as they were lovely.”

PACE-MI is a tax-exempt, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in Ann Arbor. Its mission is to formulate programs and provide resources on Philippine arts and culture to the community. Its main focus is on learning and teaching Philippine arts and culture using string and gong instruments that accompany Philippine folk dances and songs.

The number of active PACE-MI participants has grown from 15 families to about 40 families and from four core instructors to 10.  Its community engagements have also increased. These now include co-sponsorship of talks and workshops by visiting Philippine scholars, and partnerships with UM departments and other nonprofit organizations have widened.

For further information about this cultural event or about PACE-MI, interested individuals are asked to visit www.pace-mi.org, email pacemi-admin[at]umich.edu or call Joet Reoma at (734) 972-8875.