Kaibigan sees record-breaking attendance at annual Pinoy Show


Kimberly Espinosa/Daily Senior Staffer

Northwestern’s Philippine-American Student Association, Kaibigan, hosts their 21st annual Pinoy Show, Every Kaibigan All At Once, at the Ryan Family Auditorium.

Kaavya Butaney, Diversity & Inclusion Chair

Kaibigan hosted its 21st annual Pinoy Show on Saturday in front of a crowd of over 300 attendees, the highest in the club’s history.

This year’s theme was “Every Kaibigan All At Once,” inspired by the Academy Award-winning movie “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” The mainstage performance pulled from the movie’s complex mother-daughter relationship and multiversal travel, depicting a young Filipina woman learning to accept her culture. She travels through different universes, meets Bruno Mars and Lea Salonga, eats chicken adobo and talks to iconic Filipino American activists.

Between scenes, Kaibigan played video skits like “Love Kailand,” a parody of “Love Island.” Students also performed songs like Mars’ “Talking to the Moon” and traditional Filipino dances like Pandanggo sa Ilaw and Tinikling.

“Our numbers have been larger than ever before,” said co-producer and Weinberg junior Abby Burt. “Before the pandemic, our record was 200 tickets, but now we’re past that. This year is bigger and better than ever before.”

Seniors typically produce the show, although not this year, according to co-producer and Medill senior Allison Arguezo. Last year, she said five seniors split the work, but she worked alongside two other students this year. 

“With a lot of seniors, it’s just their last time to be involved in campus things,” Arguezo said. “It’s just that last little thing that you do before you graduate.”

Weinberg sophomore and former Kaibigan secretary Francis Velasco rounded out the co-producer team.

Velasco said he picked up his role with only six or seven weeks before the show to ensure that the show would happen. He credited committee heads and members with making the show possible.

Especially because Kaibigan is relatively small, Arguezo said she’s proud everyone could pitch in and create a beautiful show.

Kaibigan’s place as a cultural group is important to many of its members, including Arguezo. She called it a “tight-knit community” where everyone is welcomed with open arms.

“Kaibigan helped me learn more about Filipino culture since I grew up in a place that there wasn’t a lot of Asian people,” she said. “The only other Filipino people that I knew were my own family … It really just helped me learn more about my roots.”

Weinberg freshman and costume and props committee head Donald Texeria recorded a music video for the show, showing Texeria rapping near The Rock and in Seafood City Supermarket.

He said the Pinoy Show hasn’t included a parody of a popular song in several years, so he wanted to bring the tradition back. Texeria performed a parody of Ice Spice’s song “Munch.”

“My favorite line is ‘I’m not a dog, I’m a f–king lechon,’” he said.

Kaibigan founder Joseph Graciosa (WCAS ’06) attended the show, eating with a group of Kaibigan alumni before the event.

Graciosa founded Kaibigan in 2001, when he was searching for a group of Filipino students at NU after he left his homogeneously white hometown in Wisconsin, he said.

“I brought every single Filipino I saw on campus, like, ‘Hey, let’s form a club,’” he said. “We’ll enrich our own culture and bring the culture to campus and educate others about it.”

Pinoy Show began when the club came together to bring the “Filipino flavor” into a cultural show for the campus, he said.

Graciosa said he loved putting the show together, from practices to late nights brainstorming to the cast afterparty.

“I’m just so proud, right, that the newer generations would keep it going,” he said.

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @kaavya_butaney

Related Stories:

Pinoy Show 2019 features historical Filipino student heroes 

In letter, APIDA groups demand material support 

Asian American groups release statement urging University support