Kaibigan debuts ‘Toy Story’-inspired Filipino dance show


Zack Laurence/The Daily Northwestern

Harmony Arcilla and Raudel Cabral rehearse for Kaibigan’s “Pinoy Story.” The performance will combine traditional Filipino song and dance with moments from the movie “Toy Story.”

Amanda Svachula, Assistant A&E Editor


Filipino culture group Kaibigan will combine traditional Filipino song and dance with moments from the movie “Toy Story” in its show this weekend, called “Pinoy Story.”

Kaibigan’s annual Pinoy Show aims to bring the spirit of Filipino culture to campus.

“It’s a mashup of traditional and modern dances and songs and skits,” Kaibigan co-president Allison Naval said. “After, we eat delicious Filipino food. It’s a celebration of Filipino culture.”

Pinoy Show is a completely student-run production. This year, the skits in the show involve characters from “Toy Story” and serve as transitions between the various traditional dances.

“We’ve got some of our members acting as Woody and Buzz,” said Naval, a Weinberg junior. We’ve also tried to create new characters to reflect Filipino culture. Instead of Mr. Potato Head, we have Mr. Mango Head.”

Filipino culture is mainly showcased in the performance through the traditional dances. Each dance represents an era or characteristic of the culture. One piece is based on a dance performed by people in rural Filipino villages, and there is a hip-hop dance that pertains to more modern Filipino culture in the United States. Dancers wear traditional costumes and use traditional props, such as the bamboo, which is used in the show’s last dance, called “tinikling.”

“The show is mostly about the dances,” co-producer Augustine Santillan said. “The theme of the show is authenticity versus modernity, tradition and heritage versus youth and moving forward. “

Kaibigan began to plan the Pinoy Show at the end of Winter Quarter. Since then, the cast of about 30 has been rehearsing for the show’s performance on Saturday in Ryan Auditorium.

Santillan, a Weinberg senior, has worked on the show each of his four years at Northwestern and has made many friends in the process.

“It’s an excuse for us to spend a lot of time together,” Santillan said. “Preparation season is when everyone becomes really close.”

Anyone interested in Filipino culture can join Kaibigan, which means “friend” in the Tagalog language of the Philippines. The Pinoy Show allows some performers to explore their Filipino heritage, co-producer Julian Acasio said.

“It’s a part of my cultural identity, but also me and my friends just put on a great show,” the McCormick senior said. “I honestly don’t think there’s another event on campus like it.”

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Twitter: @amandasvachula