Last night, I attended a Grupong Pendong concert in American Canyon with Venus, Frances, Lizae, Kriya, Ron, Alexis, Grace, Junice.
I didn't realize how much American Canyon has "grown up"...their high school theater was mah-velous!
The theater was almost full and the audience was enthusiastic and high spirited. I didn't realize that AGP had a huge following in American Canyon and Vallejo (or maybe folks drove up from the Bay Area).
It was good to be reintroduced to their folk and indigenous Filipino music fused with a bit of rock. Their songs stir the audience to appreciate their cultural roots, become aware of environmental issues, and heed the call for political awareness. They provided English sub-titles to their songs so the non-Filipino speakers in the audience understood what the songs were about.
They also introduced indigenous instruments to the audience: kulintang, kubing, gongs, faglong (two-stringed lute from B'laan tribe). A medley of folksongs was appreciated as the audience was asked to identify with the regional origins.
Frances danced to the Apo Sandawa song and it was palpable that the audience was deeply moved. A very young girl even came up to Frances after the concert to share her admiration for Frances' dance and her parents quickly took photos of both of them.
At some point, when Frances was back in the audience, she couldn't resist the temptation to dance and she pulled Lizae and Alexis to dance with her. The body just needs to dance....
What a great service AGP is doing to promote our indigenous cultures through their music!
I look forward to hearing more...