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F.U.S.I.O.N. ‘Kamayan Night’ celebrates Filipino culture with food and dance

Wendy He | The TickerAs part of Filipino American History Month, students showcase their original dancing.

Baruch College’s Filipinos Uniting Students in Other Nations, or F.U.S.I.O.N., celebrated Filipino-American History Month by hosting “Kamayan Night” on Oct. 22 in the Multipurpose Room.

F.U.S.I.O.N. President Erika Dioquino said October is Filipino-American History Month, and that not everyone is aware of it, so F.U.S.I.O.N has been doing a series of events to raise awareness on it.

“The fact that everyone came together to celebrate Filipino culture was so heartwarming,” said Dioquino. “At the end of the night we celebrated Filipino-American History Month through ‘Kamayan Night’ and that’s all I could ever ask for.”

“With people becoming more Americanized and adapting to this culture, I don’t want people to feel bad about losing their culture. I want them to take the right steps in educating themselves like really trying to honor the past and their family traditions just so they can keep it alive in the future,” Dioquino added.

“Kamayan Night” means a table full of feast with authentic Filipino cuisine. Filipinos use banana leaves instead of utensils and their hands to eat as part of their tradition. F.U.S.I.O.N. served Filipino cuisine to attendees from the banana leaves and most of the attendees were comfortable enough to eat using it.

The night started off with the Filipino national anthem, sung by Kristin Villafuerte, the internal public relations for F.U.S.I.O.N.

“‘Kamayan Night’ is our first introduction to what F.U.S.I.O.N. can offer to people as a cultural club that celebrates Filipino culture,” said Villafuerte. “We really want to share this experience — this is our culture, we don’t care what other people say about it because we grew up in it.”

“I wanted to sing [the] national anthem because we are a Filipino cultural club and it is nice to acknowledge [a] more traditional salute to our country,” continued Villafuerte. “And to give people an authentic experience of Filipino culture.”

The Filipino national anthem was followed by an acoustic guitar and vocal performance of J.D. Pacamarra who sang both Filipino and English songs and later was joined by Villafuerte for a surprise duet.

The Dance Club at Baruch performed right after and left the audience cheering and shouting with excitement.

The authentic Filipino food was served to the audience as a part of intermission where rice, lumpia, pancit canton, sitaw and kalabasa and chicken adobo — also known as spring rolls, noodles and vegetable stew, respectively — were served on banana leaves to the audience.

“It was really fun, especially since we are not Filipino but we definitely got a taste of what the Filipino culture is through ‘Kamayan Night.’ I’ve always wanted to try it and I am thankful that Baruch offers these opportunities for us,” freshman Tomson Zhang said.

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