by austin houlgate
UC Berkeley‘s Pilipino Cultural Night went down on Sunday April 17, 2011. The night, really the afternoon considering its 2pm start time, kicked off with a scorching musical performance by an in-house live-band. Friends, family, and community members gathered to celebrate the special occasion. The program presented a series of stories punctuated by musical and dance performances. The theme of the show was “Humble Beginnings,” and stories centered on struggles of transnational identity. The vignettes illuminated the various intersections of race, generation, class and citizenship that Pilipinos experience across different geographies. One of the strongest aspects of the production was the interweaving of traditional and modern stories and performance arts. Although I was sometimes confused by the flow of the plot, the emotional and historical richness of narratives such as “Nighthawks,” which depicted the story of a sojourning laborer and jazz pianist, overwhelmed any minor shortcomings. With all that, possibly the most important function of PCN was the tremendous sense of community and solidarity.