Mikey Tupaz ’25 biked previous a gaggle of tinikling dancers on Wilbur Area in his freshman 12 months; the dancers invited him to hitch. A 12 months later, Tupaz remains to be coming again, and the membership has grow to be an integral a part of his Stanford expertise.
The dancers had been a part of Kayumanggi, the humanities department of the Pilipinx American Pupil Union (PASU). Nicknamed “Kayu,” the group performs dances, skits and musical performances at their annual Pilipinx Tradition Evening (PCN) and different campus arts occasions.
Although Kayu is most well-known for its performances of tinikling — a dance from the central Philippines carried out with wood poles moved in coordination with its dancers — they purpose to focus on dance types from all through the nation.
“The Philippines is such a various place. Not each area has the identical practices,” mentioned Kiara Fufunan ’25, a Kayu co-chair. “I attempt to keep as genuine as potential, so I do a variety of analysis.”
Pilipinx dances are historically categorized into 5 suites, every with totally different cultural and geographic origins. Annually, Kayu tries to show dances from throughout the suites, whereas additionally making their choreography accessible to these new to the types. The membership additionally opens historically gendered roles to all and embraces non-Pilipinx college students.
The membership’s sense of inclusion and neighborhood is what retains many coming again. Mikaela Salvador ’23 has been part of Kayumanggi since her freshman 12 months, and she or he has seen the membership multiply.
“Probably the most noticeable change is that it has grown a lot,” Salvador mentioned. “I believe that simply says lots in regards to the neighborhood that we’ve cultivated.”
“I believe my favourite a part of the membership is having the ability to have an area the place I might be Pilipinx, as a result of I by no means actually had these kinds of areas in highschool,” mentioned Tupaz. “I’m in a position to focus on with my friends in regards to the ethics of varied issues in Pilipinx tradition or discuss in regards to the significance of preserving our traditions by means of dance and music.”
Tupaz is now a co-chair of the membership, additionally main the revival of Kayumanggi’s a cappella department, which has been defunct for a number of years.
“I heard from one of many co-chairs that there was once this group referred to as PASUpella. And I needed to deliver it again,’” Tupaz mentioned.
Renamed Bonggapella, the group carried out most just lately at Simbang Gabi, a “Pilipinx conventional Christmas occasion,” Tupaz mentioned. It has carried out from a various repertoire together with the Nationwide Anthem of the Philippines, a Pilipinx revolutionary track and a Pilipinx hit from the ’80s. Bonggapella is placing collectively a brand new set for the upcoming PCN, together with some fashionable Pilipinx songs that Tupaz hopes will get listeners excited. The group sings primarily in Tagalog however is contemplating increasing to different Philippine languages, based on Tupaz.
“By way of doing our conventional dances and with conventional music, we’re making a press release that we’re right here and we’re not going away, even after 500 years of colonization,” Tupaz mentioned. “Our dances are nonetheless right here, our traditions are nonetheless right here. And so I believe we’re making a kind of political assertion that we’re Pilipinx and we’re proud.”
“We simply hope that Kayu will live on and can proceed to protect Pilipinx tradition for generations to come back,” Tupaz added.