WASHINGTON, D.C. – For the third consecutive year, the Philippine Embassy has partnered with the Rita M. Cacas Foundation (RMCF) Inc. and The Philippines on the Potomac Project (POPDC) for the annualIstorya-DC symposium held on 25 October 2018 at the Embassy’s Chancery Annex building. Istorya-DCis organized in celebration of Filipino-American History Month and Archives Month every October.
This year’s symposium brought together “Washington DC Filipinos in Theater” for a night of good conversation, great music, and sumptuous Filipino food.
“This is the third time that the Rita M. Cacas Foundation and The Philippines on the Potomac Project have partnered with the Embassy to host this annual symposium, which is fast becoming a tradition among the Filipino American communities in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area. Tonight is made even more special by the fact that this is the first time that our participation is conducted under the auspices of Sentro Rizal Washington DC,” said Philippine Embassy Public Diplomacy Officer and Sentro Rizal Administrator DarellArtates in her opening remarks.
“The focus on ‘Washington DC Filipinos in Theater’ will allow us to reflect on the contributions of Filipino-American artists in the performing arts. From Lea Salonga’s debut into the international theater scene, to the works of our guest speakers for tonight, the great talents, passion and discipline of Filipino performing artists have been a source of pride and inspiration, not only for fellow Filipinos but for other ethnic minorities,” Ms. Artates added.
Rita M. Cacas, the main proponent of Istorya-DC told the audience “What I love about Istoryais that it is a celebration of what we are doing as Filipinos here in Washington, DC.”
“Istoryais the Filipino word for story, and in this annual event we celebrate DC Filipino stories. This year we are highlighting DC Filipinos in theater,” Ms. Cacas added.
The program started with a tribute to Ms. Dawn Mabalon, a champion of Filipino-American history and board member of the Filipino American National Historical Society, followed by a brief presentation by Professor Erwin Tiongson of Georgetown University and The Philippines in the Potomac Project, entitled “Theater and the Philippine American experience in Washington, D.C.” that highlighted theater as a performance through four (4) points: pretense, poetry, protest, and pride.
Following Professor Tiongson’s presentation is a panel discussion featuring Washington DC local theater actors Regina Aquino Smith, Jose Llana, Don Michael Mendoza, and Rafael Sebastian.
An interesting and interactive conversation with the panel ensued, with the speakers’ sharing with the audience their dream and favorite roles, talking about their personal experiences and the challenges that they faced as actors, discussing available opportunities for actors in the DMV area, suggesting ideal roles for Filipino-Americans, and giving advice to aspiring actors.
A simple reception showcasing Filipino food were enjoyed by guests while being serenaded by the MIN: Flute and Guitar Duo of Dr. Sais Kamalidiin and Mr. Rick Peralta prior to the start of the formal program.
Mr. Jesse Johnston served as the official emcee of the program.
Istorya-DC 2018 will not be possible without the generous support of Lumpia, Pansit, Atbp., Manila Mart, and Auntie Mary & Uncle Jaime. ###