Alvin Gutierrez and Krisilda Pagaduan as Malakas at Maganda
Culture Philippines of Ontario (CPO) together with Dr. Victoria Santiago & Associates presented Malakas at Maganda (The Philippine Legend) at Living Arts Centre in Mississauga. The show was CPO’s community offering to celebrate its 25th year anniversary.
The legend tells of how the thousand islands in the Philippine archipelago were formed out from the battle between the god of the sky and the goddess of the seas. The Northeast Wind “Amihan” interfered to stop the fierce battle by taking the form of a bird.
Malakas and Maganda is conceptualized by CPO’s director and choreographer, Ms. Eno Mescallado - Kalash. Eno has brought CPO to participate in international dance festivals such as, Mondial des Culture Festival in Drummondville, Quebec and International Moerberke Festival in Belgium. CPO is asking the community to attend the Philippine Pavilion during Carassauga’s festival of Cultures from May 28-30.
Kalash was lead dancer with the Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company before coming to Canada. She joined CPO in 2002.
“Our 25th anniversary presentation will be an exciting dance and musical presentation that will showcase the birth of the Filipino people, from (their) inception to the present generation of Filipinos,” said event chair Luz del Rosario, before the show. And it was. The title of the show refers to the Filipino legend regarding the birth of its people. Malakas, or strong one, was the name of the man while Maganda, which translates to beautiful one, was the woman’s name.
According to del Rosario, together they possess the “two traits which make the Filipino unique among (their) Asian neighbours - their strength and resiliency despite a lot of adversity and trials which come their way, and their beauty, which is reflected in their surroundings.”
The show also gives Filipinos the opportunity to learn about their heritage, organizers say.
“The Filipino community has to know more about their country and its culture and to develop an appreciation of their people’s experiences, creativity and aspirations,” said CPO president Alex Coronel.
The show ended with dance numbers to the music of Michael Jackson’s two songs.