Friday, August 29, 2008

Never a Dull Moment

Last Sunday, I dressed wearily for the gala performance of the Bayanihan, the Philippine National Folk Dance Company, at the Luce Auditorium. I would have loved nothing more than just stay at home and curl up in front of the TV after our long hot day at the beach. (You know how it is going to the beach. You come home feeling dry, sticky and exhausted to the bone although you did nothing but sit all day.) Besides, I had reservations about my daughter, Abby, being able to stay awake during the performance, having swam and played all afternoon long.

But the thought of our two season passes sitting unused and gathering dust in the drawer, and to quiet down that tiny voice inside my head persistently reminding me to “think of how much each pass cost! Think of how much each pass cost!!” … firmed up my resolve. We’re going! Abby can curl up in her seat and snore to her heart’s content, but we’re using those tickets!

So there I was, facing my closet, trying to decide which one of my three good slacks I would wear that night (which, incidentally, were all colored brown, so there was actually no justifiable cause for my indecision) and still fighting the urge to return to the bedroom and just be my usual couch potato self.

But then, I thought of my reason for getting the two season passes for Abby and myself in the first place. I thought that at eight years of age, it was time for her to get introduced to Dumaguete’s cultural life. I didn’t want her to grow up thinking that the only forms of entertainment available are the television, the movies and the occasional Tayada sa Plaza events.

Dumaguete offers so much more and being a native, Abby should realize that she is very fortunate that we have Silliman University at the center of this city’s rich cultural life.

My apprehensions proved to be unfounded. My daughter was hooked from the very beginning. She leaned forward in her seat practically all throughout the performance, small fingers tapping to the beat of the music, her small face transfixed by that cacophony of movement and color on the stage, and barely sparing me a glance whenever I’d say something to her. I sustained her interest by whispering snippets of information like pointing out that Filipino girls wore those long gowns during Spanish time. I was rewarded by “Whoa!!! No pants or shorts?”

Thus, our evening at Luce turned out to be an invaluable learning experience, not only for Abby but also for myself. Take this for instance. When I told her to look at the musicians, particularly at that girl playing that “drum thingy”, she quickly told me that, it’s not a drum Mama, it’s the Kulintang! What??? How did you know that? From Makabayan, where else? (She said that in a tone which seemed to ask, “Hello??? Where have you been lately?”)

She also immediately recognized Tinikling and Singkil although she had not seen these dances performed before. This was an added bonus to my original intent of merely exposing her to cultural shows.

My investment of one thousand five hundred per season pass, which I thought, would merely entertain us, had become an extension of my daughter’s education. For Abby to actually see the pictures from her books come to life is priceless! The money spent for her season pass was money well spent indeed!

On top of that, the Bayanihan dancers gave us a very entertaining and highly enjoyable evening. From the controlled grace and elegance of the dances portraying four centuries of Spanish influence, to the explosion of colors, movements and sounds celebrating the joyous Filipino spirit, we sat enraptured and spellbound, our palms stinging as we gave one deafening applause after another, never holding back as we showered the Bayanihan dancers and musicians with our sincere appreciation.

Now, as I think back of that night, only one thought keeps coming back … there was never a dull moment indeed!

(For inquiries and ticket reservations, please contact the Silliman University Cultural Affairs Committee Secretariat at (035) 422-6002 local 520 or 0917-300-0783.)

1 comment:

teng said...

Hi Olga! Musta?

This is what I miss most about Silliman...that very obvious cultural vibe.

I'm glad to say I didn't take it for granted when I was there and made the most of my season pass.

I've seen Bayanihan perform before and it's a spiritual experience.

It's great that you're exposing your daughter early on.