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  • Founded in 2000 by the Richmond couple Nes and Tonette Gatus who acts as its artistic directors, it strives to pro­mote Filipino art, culture and values through music and dance. It reaches out to Filipino youth to raise awareness and instill pride in their identity and heritage, and to create a positive experience through personal development, leader­ship and discipline.

    Artistic Director Tonette Gatus
    The couple was honoured last May as one of the six winners of the City of Richmond’s Arts Awards. A dedicated crew of dancers, parents, and volunteers have laboured all these years to make the society what it is today – Rosario Strings and Salve Dayao. Complementing the Maria Clara se­ries in the show is the violin rendition of “El Canto Patriotico de Maria Clara” by Kimwell and Grace del Rosario of Rosario Strings. Salve Dayao will perform “Historia De Un Amor” and one of the famous folk song “Balitaw Medley” backed up by husband, Ed in guitar.

    “Philippine Panorama” is sure to high­light many more rarely staged numbers, with awe-inspiring costumes and music. From the tribal music and dances of the indigenous people of the Cordillera mountains, to the fiesta spirit of the ru­ral lowlands and the captivitating Muslim dances of the southern Mindanao and Sulu Islands, Philippine folk dance is a representation of the regional, ethnic, religious and ceremonial practices of the Filipino people.

    As well, the rich European influence of its Spanish “conquestadores” is promi­nently featured in the Maria Clara suite (so named after the heroine of José Rizal’s Noli me Tangere). These dances were hugely popular in the urban areas and reached its peak at about the turn of the century. Among the popular and more famil­iar Filipino dances featured in Panorama are the tribal “Igorot” dances such as Idaw, Among, Pinayegpeg and Banawol; Tinikling, Maglalatik, Subli, and Kalapati from the Central rural region; and the epic Muslim dances of Sagayan, Inda­rapatra, Kappa Malong-Malong and Vin­ta/Singkil. Hispanic-influenced dances include Polkabal, Mariposa, Danza and Jota Espanola.

    In a Press Release, PhilCAS says it is “very active in most community and charitable events, and has been recog­nized for its outreach art programs and for contributing to Richmond’s cultural development. It endeavors to promote ties with other mulit-cultural groups through cultural exchanges and work­shops throughout British Columbia and across Canada.

    World renowned and ever popular among its audiences, PhilCAS brings an immense visual experience to its performances, and because of this, it is regularly invited to represent British Columbia and Canada to major international folk dance festivals. This is a well-deserved honour, having been highly acclaimed at these international events, harnessing the respect and admiration of the international folk dance community and audiences. Comprising of mostly young Filipino-Ca­nadians, PhilCAS members act as cultural ambassadors, fostering camaraderie with their counterparts from all over the world, and building a strong bond with other eth­nic communities. They are truly excellent role models, not only for the Filipino community but for Canada as well.”

    Tickets are available to purchase online:https://tickets.gatewaytheatre.com/The­atreManager/1/tmEvent/tmEvent1045.html or through Gateway’s box office at 604-270-1812 or by calling AJ Fines at 604-379-9112. Note that an additional $3.00 service fee will apply if you purchase online or at Gateway Theatre.

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