Pinoy Show 2019 ‘Kaivengers’ to highlight student activism


Source: Tina Shehata

Northwestern students will take the stage in Ryan Family Auditorium next weekend for Pinoy Show 2019 “Kaivengers,” an annual show to promote Filipino history and culture.

Vy Duong, Asssistant Arts & Entertainment Editor

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has captured the hearts of superhero fans worldwide, especially when “Avengers: Endgame” dropped this past weekend. But for the Philippine Student Association, Kaibigan, the MCU is not just a series of must-watch movies — it’s the inspiration to assemble the “Kaivengers” for Pinoy Show 2019.

Weinberg junior Anisa Codamon, co-president of Kaibigan, said Pinoy Show is an annual celebration of Filipino culture and heritage at Northwestern. Taking place in the Ryan Family Auditorium on Saturday, May 11, Codamon said “Kaivengers” shines a spotlight on student leaders who held demonstrations against the Philippine government during the first quarter of 1970. She said that similar to the Avengers, these historical figures all came together to fight for a common goal — in this case, democracy.

“The show interweaves a historical narrative with the modern lens of the Marvel’s Avengers to highlight the heroism of Philippine’s student activists during the brutal regime of President Ferdinand Marcos,” Codamon said.

The junior added the audience can expect a “dramatic” showcase with a wide range of acts such as skits, parody videos, acting scenes and cultural dances. Describing the group as her family, Codamon said everyone gets involved in multiple aspects of the event planning process and bonds over their shared work.

Ever since her first Pinoy performance during her first year at NU, Codamon said every show has been a valuable learning experience. She said Pinoy not only strengthens her sense of community at NU but also helps her connect with her identity.

“I became a lot closer with my Asian side, being an Asian American, which is really meaningful for me,” Codamon said. “I started to learn more about our history.”

Weinberg first-year Christian Tam, who will be playing Iron Man in the show, said he looks forward to seeing people “get hyped” and enjoying the showcase. As “a huge comedian at heart,” Tam said he tries to incorporate humorous elements into his acting while remaining respectful to the historical narrative.

“I hate memorizing lines, but it’s fun to put emotions into acting, move my body and act like Iron Man — pretending I have a laser,” Tam said. “That’s one of the best parts.”

Being part of Pinoy Show 2019, Tam said, has also allowed him to get in touch with his Filipino roots — something he couldn’t do in high school. Tam added that he’s especially excited about the traditional dances where he’ll be wearing “barong,” a traditional Filipino embroidered shirt.

A fourth-time performer, Tina Shehata is the co-producer and a choreographer for Pinoy Show 2019. The Weinberg senior said she looks forward to seeing her family, other students, and “Kai-lumni” gather in the same space to watch “Kaivengers.”

“I’m pretty sad that this is my last Pinoy Show, but I’m really excited to show off everything that we’ve been working on so far,” Shehata said.

Shehata said she hopes “Kaivengers” gives the audience an opportunity to learn “a thing or two” about Filipino traditions through the dances and the stories.

Although Kaibigan is a small group on campus, Codamon said they will continue spreading Filipino’s history and culture across campus.

Codamon added that no matter what causes they are working toward, she hopes NU students can resonate with the student leaders from the show.

“The spirit of student activism is super important, and to show that this is a real, lived experience of the students that we’re portraying is very powerful,” Codamon said. “(The Philippines in the 1970s) was very violent and scary, and they were very brave to do this work.”

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