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Oct 27 13, 3:16 pm

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UAE’s Filipino students showcase cultural talent

by | Uncategorized

Oct. 27, 13 | 3:16 pm

DUBAI- More than 80 Filipino students from four schools in the UAE completed a multi-arts workshop intended to help them appreciate their Filipino cultural heritage and strengthen their national identity.

The students on October 24 presented what they learned from the workshop through song, drama and dance numbers at a recital program attended by key Philippine consulate officials in Dubai led by Consul-General Frank Cimafranca, faculty members, parents, and guests.

“This is the first time that such an activity has been done in the UAE or anywhere in the world in an overseas Philippine school. This is a pioneering event,” Lucila Cimafranca, chief organiser of the event and wife of the Consul-General, told The Filipino Times.

The students underwent a rigorous 10-day drama, dance, and music workshop under the direction of Lutgardo Labad, a multi-awarded theatre and musical director; Alma Taldo, the musical director and conductor of the internationally renowned Loboc Children’s Choir; and Raymund “Rama” Marcaida, an indigenous dance artist.

Officials of participating schools and other stakeholders of the event believe that the workshop is an activity that should be done on a regular basis, possibly making it an annual affair.

“This is a program that should be able to nurture the growing minds, imagination, and talents of our Filipino youth. You cannot do this [workshop] in a one-shot deal and I think like any other curriculum in the usual academic level, this should also be part of an on-going, sustaining, developing, and cumulative curriculum,” Labad told The Filipino Times.

The schools that participated in the program were Far Eastern Private School, The New Filipino Private School, The Philippine School Dubai, and United International Private School. The Filipino Times and Philippine carrier Cebu Pacific Air acted as sponsors for the workshop that was held in collaboration with National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in partnership with four Philippine Schools in Dubai and Northern Emirates.

The program started with a powerful rendition by the Choir workshop class, who performed Praise and Thanksgiving, followed by Doon Po Sa Amin, which gained loud applause from the audience.

This was followed by Marcaida performing Pangalay, the traditional fingernail dance of the Tausug.

Short skits like Mga Tagpo Sa Aming Bayan, Mga Tagpo Sa UAE, and Ako At Ang Paligid, gained wows and woohs from the audience for the excellent portrayals of the students.

Lively production numbers Leron-Leron Sinta and Da Coconut Nut rocked the stage even as Look At The World, Ako’y Pilipino, and Pilipinas Kong Mahal were some of the most anticipated numbers.

“At first, I was a bit nervous but our coach told us just smile, be yourself on the stage and just go with the flow,” said Sara Heshmat, from the theatre workshop class.

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 2.5 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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