by Stacy Bender
“My hope is for the Filipino Community
to use this day as a landing to move our
community further towards being recognized and to find our way towards being of best
service to the Lincoln County community,” shared event organizer, Michael Bravo as this past Saturday evening’s festivities came to a close.
As has been tradition for decades, the
Filipino communities of Libby and Troy have gathered each Christmas to remain connected to their heritage. Yet this past year, due to pandemic restrictions, the community was unable to gather at that time.
Instead, these residents of Troy and Libby have been planning a celebration to top all celebrations thus far and invite members of their community to what many hope will now become tradition here in Lincoln County—a traditional Fil-Am Fiesta!
A roasted pig was served with a
delectable potluck spread as everyone
gathered beneath the Fred Brown Pavilion
on Saturday afternoon, August 7.
Then all were invited to relax as a
thoughtfully prepared journey in dance, song, and story was shared. “The Philippines
encompasses a total of 115,831 square miles,” shared MC and Libby Resident Don Wegner as his wife prepared to dance. “There are a total
of 7,641 islands, 2,000 are inhabited and more than 5,000 have not yet been given official names.”
The facts and history, the colors and upbeat rhythms of the islands kept those present entertained for over two hours time.
Three different regions were
introduced in a parade of the
Philippine Delegates led by Queens from each area—Mindanao, Luzon, and the Visayas.
Traditional dances then followed—The Maglalatic Dance, a mock-war dance which originated from the Spanish Regime depicted a fight between the Moros and Christians over the prized “latik,” or coconut meat residue.
The Pandanggo Sailaw (Dance with lights) demonstrated a balancing of candles which originated on the Lubang Island.
The most famous folk dance of the Philippines, the Tinikling Dance, was also demonstrated. Movements within imitate the tikling bird as it walks around through tall grass and between branches.
As the evening came to a close, each
member of the performance then came
forward to celebrate the number of years
they have now lived in the United States. Their pride for their Lincoln County communities emanated forth as richly as the joy they had shared from their native islands.