Battle of the Bamboo celebrates Filipino culture

Battle of the Bamboo banner


Watch traditional Filipino dances and learn how the culture is changing Saturday at Battle of the Bamboo, a competition between Filipino cultural clubs from universities across the Midwest.

Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and the show starts at 5:30 p.m. at the UIC Forum. Admission is free with i-card and $8 for the public.

The theme “Redefine Authenticity” was selected to reflect modern changes to the Filipino culture, according to members of the sponsoring organizations, Filipinos in Alliance and the Asian American Resource and Cultural Center.

“Culture doesn’t necessarily have to be what my parents say,” said Janella Manalang, a junior in pre-nursing and coordinator of the event. “Change isn’t always a necessarily a bad thing. It can be a positive thing.”

Dances the audience may see include the Magkaugnay, Ati-Atihan Festival dance and the Binasuan. “The quality is really good,” said Mark Jao, a junior in kinesiology and event coordinator.

UIC’s Filipinos in Alliance will not compete because the club is sponsoring the event. “We are the ones hosting the show,” Manalang said. “There would be some bias because we choose the judges and the rubric on how the judges would tally up the score. It’s a tradition.”

Spectators can expect to see the “wow factor” in theatrical stunts performed in the dances, Jao said.

“I just really want the crowd to feel like the show keeps getting better and better,” Manalang said. “We hope this helps the Filipino community grow stronger.”

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