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|Photo Album: FAAP Dance Troupe at Fairview's Multicultural Night|
Message from FAAP President
Spring has finally arrived according to the calendar even though the weather can be quite deceptive. With spring, the FAAP becomes very busy preparing for the upcoming Pittsburgh Folk Festival. As noted in our news, the festival occurs earlier and once again a different venue, the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum in Oakland.
This festival also happens to be the second festival that I would have personally chaired. The last one was in 1989 when I was the president of the Samahang Pilipino ng Pittsburgh (SPNP). The festival was then held at the Pittsburgh Convention Center over the Memorial Day weekend. The Folk Festival then had a practice of highlighting two participating groups. This meant that the groups selected were given a half hour performance slot and a larger display area. We were one of the selected groups that year. That was almost twenty four years ago!
We had a much larger roster for the dance group since adults also performed. Evelyn and I danced during the performance. If my memory serves me right so did Jun and Cynthia Calejesan as well as Andy and Fely Ticzon. Perhaps, we should try to identify a few more adults who might be interested in joining our dance troupe. Just as today, we had the problems of the logistics regarding dance practices.
Lucille Guevarra was our choreographer and dance instructor that year. We normally practiced at what was then the community room at the Monroeville Mall, but we had to also use our then vacant home in Wilkins Township (we had just moved to our new home in Jefferson) for practices when the room at the mall was not available. We struggled with costumes and props. Then dancers had to provide or pay for their own costumes. Looking at some of the pictures posted on the FAAP’s Facebook Page facebook.com/theFAAP.org, I am amazed to realize how young our own children were then. Needless to say, we all looked younger then. I remember the headaches of the preparation and the excitement at the performance and our relief at the end of the performance. We played to larger crowds then. Hopefully the change in venue will bring back the numbers and the excitement.
The Cultural display was a big project which Evelyn and I put together. The display space alone was roughly sixty feet long and we dedicated the display to different Filipino festivals, including a typical fiesta with a pabitin and even a palo sebo (greased pole). We included a presentation on the ati-atihan (from the province of Aklan) and the Santa Cruzan (Spring festival on the Holy Cross) as well as more general information about the Philippines.
The food booth was no different than today, except we had to prepare food for more people. Preparations were no different with days spent preparing the lumpia and marinating the chicken. Putting up and taking down the booths were more elaborate projects then requiring quite a few pair of hands. But what I remember very clearly was eating at Primanti’s on the strip after setting up the booths at the president’s expense of course.
Writing these down brings back a rush of the emotions of that weekend and the nostalgia for friends many of whom have now gone their own ways. But a few of us are still here, some whom were children then, and then there are also newer faces to reminisce about in the future. But for now, we have a festival to prepare for and to attend. Hope to see you and your friends at Soldiers and Sailors Museum on the 19 or the 20 of April.
If you wish to provide me with feedback regarding the FAAP or just to say hello, please do not hesitate to email me at Jaime.Abola@theFAAP.org.
Again thank you for being part of our dynamic organization.
FAAP President 2013