WASHINGTON—Each year GW’s Philippine Cultural Society puts on a culture show at the Jack Morton Auditorium. This year’s show, Tandaan XVII: A Shot for the Crown took place on April 15th, and showcased the political scene in the Philippines as well as how the 2015 Miss Philippines pageants affect young Filipina women.
“(When) Pia Wurtzbach won Miss Universe. This was inspirational for many Filipinos and Filipino-Americans. It was a magic moment for a lot of us,” said Juliana Curry, the co-culture coordinator for the Philippine Culture Society. Robin Rodolfo and Curry coordinate and plan the entire Tandaan showcase along with other executive board members.
In past years, the annual show focused on Filipino history. “We wanted to take that, and look into how a young Filipina woman would be effected by it, especially in the current political environment, because of President Rodrigo Duterte. We also wanted to make sure we showed both sides of the argument, because many Filipinos are split on the issue,” she added. Curry is a sophomore at GW studying electrical engineering with a minor in mathematics.
“We wrote the script ourselves…we split the job, so Robin directed the show, and I was in charge of the dances. We contacted our choreographers…and I determined who would be in each dance based on their availability and how many people were needed for each dance,” Curry said. She also scheduled practice rooms every day in the spring semester except on Saturdays. Curry led all of the practices, choreographing one dance entirely from scratch. She and Rodolfo design, organize, and oversee all cultural events that the organization puts on during the year.
“It is important to us to showcase our culture because many people don’t know much about our culture, and it is beautiful,” Curry added.
The word “Tandaan” translates to “to remember,” Curry said. “We take this time every year to reconnect with our roots, and remember all that our parents and our ancestors have done for us. We want to make sure Filipinos and Filipino-Americans get recognition. (Tandaan) is our way of making sure that our culture doesn’t get lost, even though we are all assimilated into the US culture,” said Curry.