Battle of the Bamboo showcases Filipino culture

Student group performing traditional dance

Members of UIC’s Filipinos in Alliance perform at Battle of the Bamboo. Photo: Timothy Nguyen

 

Rhythmic dancing and battle cries echoed throughout the UIC Forum Feb. 21.

For the 12th year in a row, the Battle of the Bamboo put on a magnificent competition and exhibition showcasing Filipino cultural dances.

Dances such as the Yakan Suite, Imunan and the Karatong drew loud cheers from the more than 950 audience members. The crowd was composed of UIC students as well as students from other universities who came out to cheer on their friends in the competition.

Student group performing traditional dance

The dances drew loud cheers from the audience. Photo: Timothy Nguyen

Nine Filipino student groups from universities and high schools in the Midwest competed during the event. “There was a big show of support,” said Abby Bentain, a freshman in biology. “People enjoyed the performances.”

The bright clothing and makeup grabbed the audience’s attention.

“It was wonderful. I learned a lot of Filipino cultural events tonight,” said Mark Gonzales, a junior at Saint Louis University who came to UIC for the show.

Battle of the Bamboo’s competition was fierce. Three schools took home trophies: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign took first, Loyola University Chicago placed second and Saint Louis University won third place.

UIC’s Filipinos in Alliance group hosted but did not compete in the event. UIC students from Filipinos in Alliance, EVO Dance Troupe and the Elite Kontent Crew performed during an exhibition, which was not judged.

“It was more than I could imagine — it was amazing,” said Maralea Hill, a senior at Loyola University Chicago.