Wednesday, July 7, 2010

PAGDIRIWANG 2010: A Showcase of Our Filipino Culture

By Father Dennis Legaspi
Director- Filipino Ministry-Diocese of San Bernardino

This can be the biggest cultural presentation of the Filipino Catholics in the Inland Empire. The event is titled Pagdiriwang 2010: A Showcase of Our Filipino Culture.

Pagdiriwang is the Tagalog word for celebration. This event aims to show and tell Philippine history, culture and religiosity through music, songs and dances from an undated discovery by the first 10 datus (chieftains) from Borneo, followed by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 and thereafter, 300 years of Spanish colonization and 45 years under the Americans.

Participants in the showcase, numbering about 350, are Filipino Americans and non-Filipinos from various parishes in the Diocese of San Bernardino, composing of the very young kids, youth and young adults to the young at hearts seniors. The audience will be treated with songs and dances originating from the three main islands of the Philippines namely: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Among the objectives of the showcase are:

  1. To discover the Filipino roots (which is very important for the young generations of Filipinos who grew up here in the U.S.,
  2. To appreciate the richness and diversity of the Filipino people especially their spirituality and tradition,
  3. To provide educational entertainment, and
  4. To raise $35,000 for the 2011 Philippine Exposure Program: Discovering and Re-discovering the Filipino Root and Medical Mission.

The Medical mission as part of the Philippine Exposure Program is oriented towards giving medical care for the poor and marginalized in the Philippines. This is part of the International Solidarity work of the Filipino Ministry-Diocese of San Bernardino.

This will be the second outreach program to the Philippines sponsored by the Ministry. In January 2011, a group of doctors, nurses and volunteers organized by the Filipino Ministry-DSB will leave for the Philippines to participate in the Exposure and Medical Mission Program. They will go to Bacolod, Ilo-ilo in the Visayas and in Surigao in Mindanao. Aside from the Medical service, they will also be immersed themselves in the social realities of the Philippines by interacting with the lumads or natives and the residents of the dumpsite popularly known as Payatas. The trip is mainly not for touristic purposes but an attempt to have a good grasp of the realities of the Philippine society.

The showcase is also part of the Education and Evangelization Program of the Filipino Ministry-DSB and they are always grateful to Bishop Gerald Barnes for encouraging the ethnic communities in the Diocese of San Bernardino to continue preserving their cultural heritage and to remind their young generation of their roots. The Filipino catholic community is blessed to be in a diocese that recognizes and affirms the contributions and gifts of the different ethnic communities as stated in the IMPACT (Vision/ Mission) Statement of the Diocese:

"We will be a community of believers that remembers, affirms and celebrates that we are a Pentecost church of many languages, formed from different cultures, ethnic groups and experiences of church. We will not forget how immigrant populations enrich the diocese with new energy and talent.." (Unity in Diversity)

Pagdiriwang 2010: A Showcase of Our Filipino Culture will be held Saturday, July 10, at Highlander Auditorium, 850 N. San Antonio Ave. Upland, CA. There will be two presentations. A Matinee show will start at 3 p.m. and the Gala will be at 7 p.m. Bishop Gerald Barnes is expected to attend the Gala presentation.

For more information, contact the Filipino Ministry-DSB at 951-743-3545.

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