Legacy has been at the forefront of Bayanihan for the last 30 years. To honor Pilipino excellence and culture, Bayanihan released its annual Pilipino Cultural Celebration (PCC) production and a special project focused on its alumni.
Titled “PCC 30: Ano Ang Kwento Ko?,” the students working on the project released the three-act play on their YouTube channel on May 7, 15, and 21. In celebration of the anniversary, Bayanihan also created a ten episode video series focused on the organization’s alumni. It interviewed 22 alumni, ranging from the first PCC in 1991 all the way through 2020.
PCC co-chair Anfernee Lai is excited for the opportunity to uplift Pilipino voices.
“Our take on legacy for our production this year, primarily dives deeper into the stories and the main characters. This is a very character centric production,” said Lai. “It’s important to see your stories being told, and to appreciate that your perspective and voice is not unheard of. It’s not silenced and the stories of Filipino students on campus are heard.”
“Ano Ang Kwento Ko?”
Veronica Luz as Olivia
Andre Santiago as Jason
Joselyn Orihuela as Kathleen
Alex Lee as David
Luna Antazo as Andrea
Kai Linis as Marisol
Chelsea Linda Yen as Ate Christine
Puja Vasan as Selena
Shane Vidal as Ken
Chloe Lim as Lisa
Kora Fortun and Anfernee Lai as Interviewers
The title of this year’s production, “Ano Ang Kwento Ko?,” translates to “What is Your Story?” The play focuses on the lives of four college students over a decade and a half as they define their own versions of legacy and consider what it means to them.
Throughout the story, audiences watch the characters grow from college students, to graduates, to working adults.
With its annual production, Bayanihan creates an open space and conversation for its cast, faculty, and the rest of the UC Santa Cruz community to learn about Pilipino history and culture. For example, the first act explores Pilipino family dynamics.
The three-part play was written and directed by fourth-year Chloe Lim, who serves as the coordinator for People Power, the acting troupe under Bayanihan.
“When you’re tuning in to watching this show you’re not just watching one random show, you’re watching a collection of 30 years of culture and hard work,” said Lim. “It’s the legacy of all the people who came before us and strived and fought to make it possible for there to be a cultural space for Pilipino people to express their culture.”
Fourth-year Veronica Luz plays Olivia, one of the four main characters in the play. Olivia is interested in yoga, herbs, and environmental preservation. When reading through the character description, Luz said that she related to Olivia too much to not audition for the role.
Luz believes audiences will find something to enjoy and sympathize with in “Ano Ang Kwento Ko?”
“Seeing the characters’ growth and interactions can serve as a window to the future and past of being [in your 20s] and trying to figure out what your life will be like,” said Luz. “Everyone can relate to at least one character and the problems they face. Even though I’m reading lines from a script, the scenes always feel like I’m just having a regular call with some old friends.”
The PCC Alumni Project
The PCC Alumni Project is a ten-episode video series with clips curated from alumni interviews and PCC archival material, each one based around a different subject or theme. It focuses on Bayanihan alumni and considers how their legacy has influenced the organization.
Ethan Perlada, co-coordinator for the Tech Crew aspect, worked on alumni outreach recording interviews, and editing hours of footage into 9 to 12 minute videos. The entire process took over 6 months to complete.
“With the help of the rest of Bayanihan Core, we were able to find and reconnect with alumni throughout the 30 years since the first PCC,” Perlada said. “They’re the ones who have helped create and shape the Bayanihan space into what it is today, and they’ve all helped PCC get to its 30th year. ”
PCC student leaders hoped that by concentrating on the alumni who came before them, the project would serve as a source of inspiration for those who would follow them.
Following this key release, the organization will also release extended cuts of each alumni interview so that audiences can watch the whole exchange.
Here’s the link to the PCC YouTube channel, where the PCC Alumni Project and “Ano Ang Kwento Ko?” have been released.