Celebrating Communities “Around the World”

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The Filipino Student Association (FSA)’s Pagkakaisa Dance Troupe (PDT) will host a cultural celebration at the Porter/Kresge dining hall to dissolve boundaries and highlight diversity this Saturday from 6-9 p.m. UC Santa Cruz’s 2016 Unity Showcase, themed “Around the World,” will deliver a packed lineup of performers hoping to spread cultural awareness and encourage audience members to engage with different communities.

“We’re aiming to bring together all of our ethnic communities on campus to promote diversity and unity,” said student co-organizer Jasmin Morgia, who is on the Unity Showcase planning team along with two other planners, Arleah Aguilar and Jemerson Macalino. “[We want to] provide a space where all of these communities can showcase their talent and share the spotlight.”

The event aims to provide a celebratory space for education about Filipino culture and other cultures as well. The event will feature performances from campus organizations including Haluan, Isang Himig, The Israeli Dance Team, Kasama, Los Mejicas, People of the Islands, Alay and Rainbotz. Surprise guest performers from Parangal Dance Company, a professional Filipino dance company from the Bay Area, will also take the stage. A variety of multicultural food will also be available, including shanghai meat and veggie lumpia, veggie samosas, spam musubi, macaroni salad, sweet and sour chicken and falafel.

“We’re trying to educate the community on and off campus, since it is an open event to not just UCSC students but also off campus,” Aguilar said. “When performers are announced, we’re reaching out to [them] and having emcees announce who they are and what their organization is.”

This will provide more educational context than a typical performance where only a name is given for information. Aguilar added that the emcees for the night will be UCSC alumni.

“The first recorded showcase was in 2011, but the first showcase actually took place years before,” Aguilar said. It has been on and off throughout the past few years.

Morgia said she is excited to have the Israeli Dance Team at the showcase. She said the event will be special given that many of the other performing organizations are like family to FSA. 

“We’re really excited to be able to have these communities meet each other,” Morgia said. “There aren’t a lot of spaces or times that these communities get to meet and intermingle.”

 Morgia said she would like Unity Showcase attendees to take away a sense of community from the event. “We should all be able to be one and celebrate diversity, not through just this event, but all year long.”

Unity Showcase will take place March 5 from 6-9 p.m. at UCSC’s Porter /Kresge Dining Hall. Doors open at 5:40 p.m. and performances start at 6 p.m. The event is free, but donations will be accepted.