Mabuhay! Welcome to all who have travelled near and far to The Ford as we, Kayamanan Ng Lahi (KNL), present “SimuLA – A New Beginning.” We thank The Ford for inviting us to share our story on this historic stage for their 2022 season and to kick off their LA Soundscapes series.
As we begin, we acknowledge the Gabrielino Tongva, Gabrieleño Kizh, and Fernandeño Tataviam Nations as the traditional stewards of the land where this venue stands. We honor and respect the many indigenous peoples connected to this land - past, present, and future.
The title of our family-friendly performance is translated as "beginning". We explore the idea of a new beginning represented by the universal symbol of the butterfly. Through this perspective, the butterfly grows and transforms through the different stages of life as presented in the natural world, and we are along for the journey, finding connections with our own identity as Filipino Americans in the diaspora. Each stage is a tapestry of dance, music, and poetry, woven in classic KNL style and storytelling.
Narrators guide us through each stage with a gentle ambahan, a poetic style native to Hanunó'o Mangyan people of Mindoro, Philippines. The ambahan is the inner dialogue of our butterfly with nature. On its journey, the butterfly's growth is manifested through different dance styles that are traditional evolving into contemporary, and always inspired by nature, as is apparent in the movements, materials, and instrumentation.
A traditional form of poetry native to Hanunó'o Mangyan people of Mindoro, Philippines. Each line of the amabahan features seven syllables.
Organic and abundant growth transform these pieces into new, original, and exciting representations and reinterpretations of our Filipino American experience. Nurtured by mother nature and finding common bonds with all of nature’s children, as the butterfly discovers more about itself, it is able to transform and find community, a new beginning.
PROTECTED – EGG
The life of a butterfly starts with the egg, enclosed within the ecosystem, with different elements of nature providing guidance, protection, and shelter at the dawn of its life. A New Beginning, Binaylan, and Turayen present the connection of the Filipino people to the vast network of the natural world that is both nurturing and harsh.
DIWA: Galing sa'ting bulaklak
LUPA: Coming from our flower
Na sumasayaw sa hangin
Dancing freely through the wind
Mayroong Kang Pamilya
Here you have a family
Kahit ka nag-iisa
Even if you are alone
Nandito kaming lagi
Here now and eternity
Honor, Adventure and Joy
Lumipad ka sa langit
Follower of the Divine
Find flight and soar to heaven
Tin-Tin, Atin Paru-paru
Our butterfly Kristine Grace
Pangalay / A New Beginning - A meditative traditional dance of the southern Philippines performed with contemporized rhythms. This dance is a KNL creation choreographed by Barbara Ele, with original music composed by Justin Ramos.
Binaylan - A dance from the Higaonon people depicting baby chicks coming together as a collective despite chaos in the natural world.
Turayen - A dance from the Apayao people of the cordillera showing the flight of high flying baby birds.
DISCOVERY – CATERPILLAR
From a static egg comes forth the mobile caterpillar, driven and hungry to discover the environment with new experiences, such as the wonder and beauty of flowers blooming. The caterpillar discovers new experiences through beloved KNL original choreography, Polka de las Bandurrias/Mariposas, Higad, and Usahay, to show that with play and exploration, innovation takes place and new potentials and wonderment are unearthed.
DIWA: Gumagapang sa Mundo
LUPA: Crawling through the earth
Sa Halaman at Lupa
With nature and land
Gutom sa Kaalaman
Hungry for Knowledge
Uhow ang Kaluluwa
Thirsty for spirit
Saya sa paligiran
Joy in surrounding
Polka de Las Bandurrias/Mariposas - This dance is a KNL creation depicting the coming of age and the discovery of one's self accompanied by an original musical composition and lyrics written by Bayanihan maestro, Juanito "Nitoy" Gonzales.
Higad - A collective effort to depict the Filipino folk-dance style of displaying different movements of the caterpillar through a medley of familiar Filipino songs for children.
Usahay - Another KNL creation with contemporary movements choreographed by Barbara Ele to music and lyrics composed by Nitoy Gonzales. The kundiman is about love, and for us, love is love.
STILLNESS - COCOON
Within the chrysalis, there is tranquility and yet an abundance of maturation that happens. Often, what is inside the cocoon is magic. The dances Pangalay, Kapagapair, and Ani Ng Sining represent the magic revealed within the stillness and the growth that is necessary to become a butterfly.
DIWA: Anong nakikita mo?
LUPA: What are you witnessing?
Anak kong nahihiya
My shy child
Bagong Buhay, Magsama
New life, together.
Umunlad ka sa loob
Malakas ang 'yong diwa
Your spirit is strong
Pangalay - From the Tausug, pangalay means "to dance" and is performed with an inner intensity and flowing movements of the arms, accentuated by the curling of the fingers dressed in extended metal nails, while continuously shifting body weight - all combined to exemplify the uniqueness of the dance.
Kapagapir - A dance from the Maranao people showing off the graceful communication and expression through the fans and kini-kini walk of Maranao women.
Ani Ng Sining - This piece is inspired by the original song of the same name by Joey Ayala that celebrates a bountiful harvest. The dance showcases a cumulative of different indigenous cultures of the Philippines prior to Spanish colonization.
KALEIDOSCOPE - BUTTERFLY
A kaleidoscope is known as a group of butterflies. The vulnerable egg turning into the magnificent, beautiful butterfly exhibits growth and transformation, and involves many elements. The butterfly starts on a new journey of discovery with flight, and its purpose to spread love and hope emerges through the multi-colored dances Gabay, Bagani, and Paru-Parong Bukid.
DIWA: Lumilipad sa langit
LUPA: Flying in the sky
The Rainbow appears
Tayo ay magkasama
We are together
Kapwa tayo umunlad
Fellow people thriving
Gabay - Gabay means "guide." A KNL dance creation to accompany western basic movements of Filipino folk-dance in a contemporized presentation set to the song of the same name originally performed by KZ Tandingan.
Bagani - Bagani is a Manobo word meaning "warrior" and "leader" and "hero" in Tagalog. This piece is another KNL dance creation to highlight indigenous movements and roots of Filipino folk-dance set to the song of the same name, music and lyrics by Roel Rostata. According to the National Quincentennial Committee in the Philippines who chose Rostata's composition, “The song celebrates the heritage of nobleness and compassion in a Filipino, driving him or her to do great things for his or her people and the world as always."
Paru-Parong Bukid - A children's song with the same name, the contemporized music, arranged by Yeng Constantino, is set to dance with original choreography by KNL's dance director and choreographer, Barbara Ele. Barbs was inspired to create the dance from a dream she had of a beautiful butterfly, fluttering in the breeze, resting on her hand, in awe of its splendor and the new beginnings it represents. In her dream, the butterfly had a name, but only now do we know her name. SimuLA is in dedication of Barb's lovely niece, Kristine Grace, who is in her heavenly new beginning.
STAGE LEADS AND CHOREOGRAPHERS
Stage 1: Renee Balboa Canullas
Stage 2: Tinette Sumiller
Stage 3: Jed David
Stage 4: Robert Almanzor
with overall direction by Barbara Ele
SIMULA SPIRITS (NARRATORS)
Diwa - Giovanni Ortega
Lupa - Brandon English
Written and translated by Giovanni Ortega
SAYAWIT - ADULTS
Alex Macayan, April Dulu, Ave Jacinto, Barbara Ele, Carmina Portea, Cassie Stephenson, Chelsea Gatmaitan, Christine Cadiz, Clemence Castillo, Flordeliza "Pia" Harris, Frances Borgona Chacon, Frank Lozier, Jaana Baker, Jed David, Joei Sumiller, Joel Jacinto, Joshua Valerio, Kevin Sulla, Lea DeMarco, Melanie Alcala, Melissa Veluz, Renee Balboa Canullas, Rhian Advincula, Robert Almanzor, Sean Canullas, Tinette Sumiller, Toni Pasion
JUNIOR SAYAWIT - TEENS
Aspen Aragon, Avery Fuqua, Jadyn Fournier, Lilah Stephenson, Lucca Salazar
PAMANA - CHILDREN
Abigail Canullas, Alison Stacy Damaso, Asante Veluz-Abraham, Corina Stephenson, Dominie Apeles, Elinor Munesaleum, Evelyn Canullas, Everette Fuqua, Imogen Baker, Jaxon Oliver Damaso, Melody Maurer, Samantha Munesaleum, Samantha Saldana
Bryson Cateil, Camille Ramirez, Christian Homer Dulu, Joel Jacinto, Josiah Timbol, Jojo Ramirez, Justin Ramos, Marlo Campos, Patrick Tanega, Dr. Peter Green, Tagumpay de Leon, Trisha Perez
with overall musical direction by Joel Jacinto
"Sun" by Jaana Baker
Jaana Baker is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Southern California. She works primarily as a painter and photographer, but her work also delves into installation and soft sculpture. She earned her B.F.A. in Drawing and Painting from California State University Fullerton. In 2021, she won the coveted solo show spot at the Brea Gallery’s “Made in California” exhibit, where she exhibited “Poppies and Sampaguitas” a body of work which focused on exploring her identity as a Filipino-American woman.
Brandon English is thrilled to join Kayamanan ng Lahi. He is a Filipinx-American Multidisciplinary Artist located in Los Angeles, CA. Brandon is the in-house Casting Director & Producer for Roundabout Entertainment, and has worked on many dubbing projects for Disney+ and Amazon Studios. Founder of Morenx Media, he is most known for his critically acclaimed short film "Bakla," which was screened at NewFilmmakers Los Angeles, Vancouver Queer Film Festival, CinemQ, and many more! Most recently he starred in "Consent" directed by Andrew Cervantes, and the short film won the Grand Jury Award at Outfest. He advocates strongly for Diverse & Representative Media, both in-front and behind the camera. BrandonEnglish.net | IG: BrandonUniverse
Giovanni Ortega is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and cultural organizer who believes in creating an accepting and inclusive relationship with artists and international communities. In 2016, Ortega started The Body Series at the Haque Centre of Acting and Creativity in Singapore. The devised plays include Creation of My Body, Words of My Body, Thoughts of My Body and Map of My Body. They have also been workshopped at the National Theatre of Parramatta (Sydney) and East West Players (LA). Written commissions include The Butterfly of Chula Vista (San Diego Rep), Poetry Festival Singapore plays Benches, Palindromes and films Belonging Atlas and Nomads
(July 2022) as well as East West Players' Criers for Hire & ALLOS, The Story of Carlos, Bulosan. Giovanni is currently the Artistic Director for FilAm Arts Teatro and is completely honoured to continue working with Kayamanan Ng Lahi since Salin Lahi.
Josiah Timbol - Josiah started violin lessons at the age of 5. In his early years of violin education, he was introduced to the Suzuki Violin Method and gradually to traditional classical violin training. Every year, he would participate in an evaluation and receive musical assessment to determine his current level in performance and music theory conducted by the Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC). He passed the panel division and he is in the Advanced Level Panel. He was a member of various orchestras such as the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Claremont Youth Orchestra.
He was a member of various orchestras such as the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Claremont Youth Orchestra. He performed at numerous events and various non-profit organizations such as the Knights of Columbus and facilities for the elderly and the developmentally disabled. He has even performed as a front act for popular singers from the Philippines such as Zsa Zsa Padilla, Nina, and Jo Awayan. He is currently a member of the St. Dominic Church Choir and the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra.
Justin Ramos is a music director, composer, and pianist from Los Angeles who currently resides in New York City. He is happy to be rejoining KNL for this amazing event! Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen (sub conductor/keys), Moulin Rouge!, Girl From The North Country, On Your Feet!, Motown (rehearsal pianist). He is a Broadway audition pianist for Roundabout Theatre Company, Carnahan Casting, and Tara Rubin Casting, and he teaches at the Institute For American Musical Theatre (IAMT). He is music director for CO/LAB Theatre Group, R.Evolución Latina, Main Street Theater and Dance Alliance (MSTDA) in New York, and head music producer at Studio Collective for Performing Arts in California. @justramos | Thanks Auntie Cita & Uncle Joel!
Dr. Peter Green was born in Newfoundland, Canada's most easterly province. He received his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees with full scholarship from the University of Southern California under the direction of Stewart Gordon, where he also served as Assistant Lecturer of Piano. In July 1989, he received first prize in the national piano competition of the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers Associations in Edmonton, Alberta.
Dr. Green currently serves as Chair of the Visual & Performing Arts Division at Glendale College.
Dr. Green is also director of the Glendale College Concert Singers. In addition to his duties at the College, Dr. Green is Director of Music at San Marino Community Church, California. Dr. Green is on the board of directors of NACM (National Association of Church Musicians), Glendale Arts, and the Mark Thallander Foundation.
Dr. Green has recorded a CD of music for piano, horn, and flute, released in May 2008, that was nominated for a Grammy Award. Just recently Dr. Green recorded a piano/organ CD with organist Mark Thallander that was released in Spring, 2017. He was asked to conduct the Mark Thallander Foundation Chorus at the International Haydn Festival in Vienna, Austria in July 2009 and was conductor of the Mark Thallander Foundation Chorus in Maui, Hawaii in April, 2016.
Dr. Green is also a frequent recitalist, adjudicator, and clinician in both piano and choral music throughout Canada and & the USA. Dr. Green was the featured soloist on the Beethoven 4th piano concerto in August 2017 with the Los Angeles International Conducting Institute. Dr. Green also directed the Glendale College Concert Singers at a performance with Los Angeles based Filipino dance group, Kayamanan Ng Lahi, in September 2017 at the Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood.
Rondalla Club of Los Angeles was formed in 1991 by Nitoy Gonzales, renowned rondalla maestro of Bayanihan, the National Dance Company of the Philippines, his son Leonilo “Boy” Angos and Tagumpay “Pi” M. de Leon, son of Philippine National Artist for Music, Felipe Padilla de Leon.
For over three decades, RCLA has had the honor of performing at festivals, social and civic functions as well as cultural events throughout California and beyond. In doing so, RCLA continuously shapes the Filipino-American rondalla music movement through an applied historical perspective combined with entertainingly immersive instruction. The Alliance for California Traditional Arts has recognized RCLA’s contributions and has bestowed both the Apprenticeship (2002) and Living Cultures (2012) grants to the group.
In 2021, RCLA founding member Tagumpay M. de Leon was chosen as a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) National Heritage Fellow—the United States' highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.
Ajani Veluz-Abraham, Angela Macias, Arianne Navidad, Ave Jacinto, Frances Fuqua, Kai Jacinto, Kathleen Vincent, Keianu Jacinto, Maria Dungca, May Sanicolas, Sean Canullas, Teena Apeles, Theresa Damaso
Our parents and families for their continued love and support
Our cultural bearers and ancestors for instilling our pride of culture and heritage
Our performers and volunteers living KNL's core values and mission
Marketing and Promo
Overall Direction by April Dulu
Photography by Josh Valerio
Program notes by Frances Borgona Chacon
Script by Ave Jacinto
Glendale Community College
Dr. Peter Green
The Ford and LA Phil Staff
The Craig Family
Tagpuan / Bellevue Terrace
San & Wolves Bakeshop for the delicious pastries
In loving memory of
Kristine Grace Hildawa
KAYAMANAN NG LAHI PHILIPPINE FOLK ARTS
TREASURES OF OUR PEOPLE
Our mission at Kayamanan Ng Lahi is to inspire transformation through cultural understanding and artistic expression so that we empower ourselves, our families and communities, and enrich society.
On the cusp of celebrating our 33rd year, we are a family-oriented, multigenerational folk arts organization that strives to create meaningful experiences for our members and audiences everywhere, with the hopes of deepening our connection between our Filipino heritage and “operating system”, and with our Filipino American identity in the diaspora. Through education and entertainment, we provide opportunities to learn and experience the richness and diversity of Philippine culture through dance, music, and song. We hold four primary core values which we instill in our teachings and presentations always, and in all ways: These are Katiwala (stewardship), Kalinangan (culture), Kapwa (shared-identity), and Galang (respect).
ARAW (SUN) - EXECUTIVE STAFF
Barbs Ele - Artistic Director / Choreographer
Joel Jacinto - Program Director
Ave Jacinto - Administrative Director
Robert Almanzor - Associate Dance Director
Tinette Sumiller - Associate Dance Director
Jed David - Associate Program Director
ULAN (RAIN) - MANAGEMENT STAFF
Frank Lozier - Internal Communications and Operations
April Dulu - External Communications and Marketing
HANGIN AT LAOT (WIND & SEA) - COORDINATING STAFF
Melissa Veluz, Renee Viray, Renee Balboa Canullas, Frances Borgona Chacon, Justin Manalang
If you would like to learn more about our dance workshops and classes, the link below contains more information.
If you enjoyed today's performance, give us a follow on our social media channels. Tag us @knlfolkarts and you may be featured on our story!
If you choose to contribute a donation, know that your generosity is appreciated and helps us continue to develop educational workshops and programs for the community.
ABOUT THE FORD
This concert is a part of The Ford's LA Soundscapes. A celebration and discovery inspired by LA’s culturally rich neighborhoods and communities. Each unique family event features artmaking, dancing, or listening with artists. Best for ages 3–11.
A list of other concerts in this series can be found here.