February 21, 2014 marked the 10th Gabi ng Pasasalamat at Siena College Taytay, Rizal. This has become a yearly event for Night High Scholars and parents to show their gratitude and appreciation to their sponsors for supporting them through school.
With this year’s theme: “Sayaw, Saya at Kultura”, the parents of the Night High Scholars of Siena College, Taytay, Rizal prepared narrative dance numbers featuring different Filipino traditions and cultural practices accompanied by Original Pilipino Music.
It was evident right from the start of the opening number that everyone did their best to prepare for this event. The participants’ costumes included traditional “Filipiniana” Saya, Barong Tagalog and Camisa de Chino.
There were five presentations during the program, which corresponded with the 5 Night High School classes. Each performance was judged by the panel of judges: Engr. Norberto Inlayo III, Mrs. Mary Ann de Jesus and Mr. June Zapanta.
Along with Chairman Lew Edwards and the staff of ABC Foundation, special guests for the evening included Mr. Robert and Mrs. Beverley Sellar from Pleasanton, California U.S.A., Ms. Gina Tuazon from Springboard Foundation and Mr. Dondon Pagdagdagan.
The parents of the 5th Year Night High scholars were the first to present. Their dance number showcased the City of Manila, tourist sites such as Intramuros and Luneta Park, Filipino modes of transportation such as jeepneys and kalesa, and unique Filipino street food like Balut, Penoy, Sorbetes and the like.
The next presentation came from the parents of the 7th Grade Night High scholars. It featured Filipino traditions on courtship, such as the harana and kasunduan. Harana is an old Filipino courtship tradition of serenading women. In their presentation, the man, represented by Mr. Lew Edwards, goes to the house of the woman he is courting and plays music and sings love songs to her.
The third presenters were the parents of the 4th Year Night High scholars. They showcased the traditional Filipino family belief systems, such as women wanting to have children dancing at the Obando Fertility Rites, and offering eggs during the Sta. Clara Festival in Bulacan.
The parents of the 3rd Year Night High scholars presented the traditional fiesta and bayanihan spirit of Filipinos communities. Bayanihan is an old tradition of neighbors helping a relocating family by volunteering to carry the whole house and literally moving it to its new location. At the end of the day the moving family expresses their gratitude by hosting a small fiesta for everyone.
Lastly, the parents of the 8th Grade Night High scholars showcased the traditional paninilbihan where a suitor performs daunting chores for his bride’s family to show his worth and fortitude. Tasks like pagsibak ng kahoy (firewood chopping) or pag-igib ng tubig (water fetching) come to mind. The pamanhikan is often hosted by the bride’s family as the groom and his folks visit them to formally ask for their daughter’s hand in marriage and to discuss plans for the upcoming wedding over lunch or dinner. The wedding party, composed of relatives and close friends, would go with the bride to the church from her house and a priest would conduct a Mass for their union of marriage.
Nearing the end of the program, Sr. Caroline Capili O.P. and Sr. Susana Bravante O.P., Principal of Siena College, Taytay, Rizal acknowledged Chairman Lewis Edwards for his untiring support and exceptional dedication in providing scholarships to deserving students.
To end the program, the winners of the event were announced and awarded. “Best Performances” were awarded to Mr. Erwin Vera and Mrs. Rea Vera, parents from the 8thgrade class, for their performances in the paninilbihan, pamamanhikan, and wedding traditions.
Consolation prizes were awarded to the 5th and 4th runner-ups, which were the parents of the 7th Grade Night High Scholars and 3rd Year Night High scholars.
The three most outstanding performances were awarded trophies and cash prizes. 3rdplace was awarded to the parents of the 4th Year Night High scholars, while 2nd Place was awarded to the parents of the 5th Year Night High scholars. The 1st Place winner and champion of the night were the parents of the 8th Grade Night High scholars
It was indeed a night to be remembered. Everyone from the performers to the audience and special guest enjoyed the outstanding performances of all the parents. The event would not have been a success without the help of Mr. Renato Logatoc and Ms. Lea Caseres of the Siena Christian Community Development Center, the staff and administrators of Siena College, Taytay, Rizal and all the parents of the scholars.
Mabuhay kayong lahat!