NU’s Filipino students raise $500 with 1st ‘Fil-Anthropy’

Kira Lerner

In a fusion of cultural expressions, students danced, played African drums and sang a cappella to raise money Saturday night to improve education in the Philippines.

Kaibigan, Northwestern’s Filipino student association, put on Fil-Anthropy 2008, its first ever philanthropic event, featuring performances by Boomshaka, Fusion, Brown Sugar, Graffiti Dancers, Tonik Tap and African Drum and Dance Ensemble . There was also a spoken word piece by Communication students Liezl Rivadelo and AJ Aguado.

Angela Chang, co-president of Kaibigan, said she was pleased with the show’s 90 attendees.

“It was kind of difficult publicizing because of all the snow,” the Medill senior said. “You can’t really flyer on the ground. So we thought it was a pretty good turnout, especially for the first year of a show.”

Tickets cost $5, and the money raised, about $500, will be donated to the Pagtinabangay Foundation, a Filipino organization aimed at improving education in the Philippines.

“One of the reasons we decided to do education this year was because we felt like we’re really lucky to go to Northwestern and we pay thousands of dollars to this school, and these kids don’t have enough money to even go to high school,” Chang said. “So we thought, how can we come here and pay so much money and not give back?”

The Pagtinabangay Foundation aims to lower the 100 percent drop-out rate among children in Ormoc City, Philippines. There are only three teachers serving Ormoc’s 110 villages. The money raised at the event will buy school supplies and snacks and fund new teachers.

The two-hour performance was an eclectic one, featuring myriad student groups, including Filipino students dressed in traditional clothing who danced on wooden benches, Boomshaka banging on trash cans and lids with chains, and Brown Sugar singing a cappella mixes of Indian songs combined with popular hits.

Weinberg freshman Rozmin Ajanee, who came to check out all the student groups, said she enjoyed the show. “I think the acts are kind of short, but the presentation at the beginning was really informative and I learned a lot about the foundation,” she said.

Food donated by Filipiniana Restaurant, in Niles, and Marie Gold Bakery, in Chicago, was sold during intermission and after the show to raise more money for the philanthropy. A raffle was held during intermission, with prizes of mancala, an African and Asian game, and books by a Filipino author.

Group co-President Anton Galang said he hopes to make Fil-Anthropy an annual event.

“There are a lot of different issues,” the Medill senior said. “Education is just one. Hopefully, our shows can help different causes each year.”

Reach Kira Lerner at [email protected]