Two students wandered to the Mainstage Theater, searching for a way in. With excitement in their eyes mixed with fear that they missed the show, they looked at their phones to double-check the time. 

“Oh, it’s next week!” they exclaimed with disappointment. 

After much anticipation amidst two years of being online, Bayanihan is bringing its 31st Pilipino Cultural Celebration (PCC) to Mainstage, on April 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m. The last time the show was in person was in spring 2019, with only remote versions of the celebration over the last two years.

The show is called ‘Subabayan,’ meaning “to look closely” in Tagalog. Based on a popular Pilipino television show, the story follows two characters in the show, Alunsina Martinez and Adonis San Juan, and the events that influenced their lives. Centered around the theme of identity, the story asks its audience to look closely at the experiences of the Pilipino community.  

‘Bayanihan,’ which directly translates to community, is an organization with over 200 members and it serves to highlight the Pilipino and Pilipino-American experience.

Woven into the story will be performances by People Power, Haluan, and Isang Himig. It will also feature performances from Kasama Ballroom Dance Troupe, a Pilipino ballroom dancing organization, and the Pagkakaisa Dance Troupe, who perform Pilipino folk dances. 

Mariah Peralta, one of the co-chairs at Bayanihan, expressed the immense support that PCC has received from the community. 

“We have a couple of aspects that haven’t been present this year, but we brought back specifically for PCC through the help of path committee members, like alumni and such – all because of members of our community that wanted to bring them back” said Peralta, referring to the resurrection of Kasama and the Pagkakaisa Dance Troupe. 

This 31st celebration is a testament to the necessity and significance of community. 

Peralta put it best.

“This PCC is not only the culmination of the work from this year, but the work from the last two years. We’ve worked so hard to make sure we got to this point,” Peralta said. “This is us saying thank you for helping us get to this point.”

Bayanihan is broken down into  12 “Aspects,” which each aspect focusing on specific interests of the organizations members. 

Performing Aspects (part of PCC)
People Power: Acting and improvisation troupe focused on culture and identity. People Power writes, casts, acts in and directs PCC every year. 
Haluan: Competitive hip-hop dance team open to all UCSC students. 
Isang Himig: Acapella group which brings awareness to Pilipino culture and foster community through music theory.
Kasama: Ballroom dance troupe which is built on the cultivation of a close knit, family-like community.
Pagkakaisa Cultural Dance Troupe:  Focuses on connecting folks to their cultural identity thorough learning cultural dances. This was the first aspect to be created within the organization. 

Non-Performing Aspects
Tech Crew: Work behind the scenes at PCC on set design, costumes, and stage management.
Pilipinx Historical Dialogue: Five-unit, student led, discussion based course. It explores different topics from Pilipino identity to American imperialism. The course is offered in Winter and Spring.
Alay: An annual art publication to for members and the wider community. 
Activities: Works to create awareness in the community through social, political, and cultural events.
Kuya-Ate Mentorship Program: Mentorship program which creates smaller “families” in the organization through a big brother/sister retention program.
HAM: Works on media, photography, and graphics for the organization.  
A Step Forward: Student outreach program to Pilipino high school students. Teaches about the importance of higher education and help students transition through workshops, networking, tours, and discussions.