Parangal Dance Company (PDC) turned 10 years old this past month. That means for the past 3661 days or so, I and many others have given ourselves to expressing our passion for our Philippine culture and traditions through music, attires and dance. Being one of the founders of Parangal, I’ve seen our best moments, hardest times, joyful memories, and even a few painful moments. As I think back on our numerous performances, there are so many things that I’ve remembered, learned, and celebrated.
I remember endless weekend performances ranging from private events like birthdays and weddings, to festivals such as Pistahan in San Francisco and Pista Sa Nayon in Vallejo, to stage productions such as the San Francisco Ethnic Festival, and televised appearances on TFC’s Adobo Nation and Kapamilya shows. Regardless of all the time, energy and money that were involved in every practice and performance, I saw myself joyfully committing a big part of my life to this company and its members, who I consider my second family.
Our commitment was to more than our performances -- Eric, our director, traveled back and forth every year to the Philippines, conducting immersions with members of PDC to work alongside different indigenous groups and strengthen our mission of educating and preserving our Philippine culture. We shared this education beyond our members by conducting workshops and helping out with Philippine Cultural Nights at numerous colleges and universities. I saw myself growing from being a dancer to a performer and then to a dance master in PDC. This commitment was driven by my love for dance, my joy of being with my friends, and my appreciation for my country’s rich culture.
I am very happy to see our growth as a company; we now have close to a hundred members and I am thankful for every member who commits to our mission. Our growth came with bigger opportunities and bigger accomplishments. I am grateful for our first U.S. tour in North Carolina with Folkmoot, performing in Carnegie Hall in New York, participating in the White House’s Filipino American History Month in Washington, DC, and our first international tour at Folkfaro in Portugal and Villablanca de Danzas in Spain. I am humbled to have presented at Merrie Monarch in Hawaii, toured and performed in Latium Festival in Italy, and most recently performed at Cipriani in New York. It was a pleasure to educate audiences and show the rich culture of our Philippine indigenous people. These trips also made it possible for our company to be acquainted with different cultures and groups from around the world. The best part is that we made friends who share the same passions and built relationships for future festival invitations, which will give Parangal more channels to educate a bigger audience and continue to preserve our Philippine culture.
As I am happy to have committed a decade of my life to Parangal and to celebrate this major milestone, I invite you to celebrate with us at our anniversary show on October 6 and witness the showcase of new pieces that we’ve been working on since the birth of our company. I commit to more years of educating and inspiring broader audience and thankful for every member who commit to our mission. Wishing all the members and friends of Parangal a happy 10th anniversary and looking forward to many more years together.