F.U.S.I.O.N. event ends semester with festivities

Filipinos Uniting Students in Other Nations of Baruch College hosted the event titled “Sinulog Festival 2017” on May 11, celebrating one of the most colorful festivals in the Philippines with dance, music and food.

Each table in the Multipurpose Room had different colored covers, and the room was decorated with streamers. Upon entering, attendees were given a lei and glow-in-the-dark bracelets to wear.

Danikha Catada, president of F.U.S.I.O.N., explained that the Sinulog-Santo Nino Festival is an annual religious festival. Catada added that they held this event for the past two years.

Michelle Kim, prospective vice president of F.US.I.O.N., said that the club wanted to create a fun and relaxing event.

“Fear Factor last semester drew a large crowd. There were so many things to plan. We wanted to get together and have fun one last time. This is a good way to enjoy ourselves and end a stressful year,” Kim stated.

Attendees were welcome to eat first. Dishes included rice and lumpia, a spring roll made of crepe pastry skin containing chopped vegetables and meat.

Catada then introduced the first performer, Baruch’s Miss Asia 2017 Janiza Gesmundo. She performed the Maglalatik, a Filipino cultural dance in which she slapped coconut shells in rhythm to the music. She then performed the Tinikling, or Bamboo Dance. As the music changed, Gesmundo performed Paseo De Iloilo, a dance similar to the Spanish flamenco. While dancing, she balanced three oil lamps. She finished with the folk dance Una Kaya.

“My favorite part about this event is the dancing. When you go to a Filipino party, there is always line dancing. Everyone gets involved and it is such a great time,” Catada said.

Julius Arroyo, a finance major, agreed that the dances were entertaining.

“I only joined F.U.S.I.O.N. a couple of months ago but I love it. I appreciate how everyone was so open and made me feel welcome. I am proud to be Filipino. There is more to us on the inside than what appears on the outside. It is hard to express my appreciation for this event in words because there is so much going on,” he said.

Arroyo elaborated that his favorite Filipino tradition is reading religious texts, or pabasa, during Holy Week. The pabasa typically begins after Palm Sunday mass.

“I enjoy it because it brings my family closer together each year,” he said.

After the dance, attendees were encouraged to participate in a game similar to musical chairs. The pair that won received two movie tickets. Catada then revealed F.U.S.I.O.N.’s e-board for the 2017 to 2018 academic year, explaining that the club likes to introduce the new e-board at the last event of the Spring semester.

The next string of performers was Kim and Josh Tusaneza. Kim and Tusaneza sang “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and “City of Stars” together. F.U.S.I.O.N.’s award-winning dance team, conFUSION, took the stage to perform an energetic hip-hop dance that was a mix of different songs.

“What I want students to take away from this event is that it is wonderful to celebrate any culture. It makes up who we are. F.U.S.I.O.N. is family oriented and brings us closer together,” Kim stressed.

“We welcome everyone who walks through our club doors. That is my favorite part of this club—how welcoming everyone is and how talented they are to pull off an event like this.”

Teddy Sung, a guitarist, entertained the crowd by singing “Love Yourself.” He invited Catada to sing a mash-up of “Catch Me” and “Shape of You.”

Catada concluded the event by saying thank you to the attendees for coming and acknowledged the hard work of the current e-board.

“This may seem redundant but we really are a family. We interact like one too. We are always working toward our goals,” Catada said.