Anakbayan Seattle members travelled to Portland over Memorial Day weekend to watch Portland State Kaibigan’s 8th annual Pilipino Cultural Night (PCN), a play entitled “Our Story, Our Time”. PCNs are a yearly performance featuring dances and skits exploring issues around family, identity, culture, and history, often featuring stories untold by the media and left out of our history books. They have become an important and integral part of the traditions of Filipino-American student organizations across the country.
“Our Story, Our Time” followed the lives of 3 Filipino and Filipino-American youth whose stories interweave as they face similar issues around racism, classism, immigration, and poverty in their search for identity and community in U.S. and in the Philippines. The play highlighted the struggles of peasant farmers in the Philippines and their fight against militarization and their landlords to take back land that is rightfully theirs.
Members of the Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP), many of whom are alumni or current members of PSU Kaibigan, were instrumental and influential in putting the production on. For many that attended, the most powerful part of the entire night was watching PCHRP members perform a lively and dynamic adaptation of Carlos Bulosan’s poem “If You Want To Know Who We Are.”
PCHRP continues to work closely with PSU Kaibigan in providing political education around the injustices in the Philippines and now key leaders in rallying their communities together to fundraise for relief and rehabilitation to Typhoon Haiyan victims. PCHRP was able to activate potential new members to the organization, raise over $4,000 dollars, tap networks to organize events to raise funds and awareness about the typhoon, and begin broad-based alliance building with Filipino American organizations and multi-racial/multi-cultural allies in Portland. http://www.pdxrelief.wordpress.com
Learn more about PCHRP at http://www.portlandchrp.wordpress.com.