In celebration of the Philippine Heritage month, GMA Pinoy TV, the flagship international channel of Filipino broadcast company GMA Network, lived up to its promise of bringing Filipinos closer to home at the Musika SamaSama: The Together Concert held last October 27 in Chicago.
Organized by the Tinley Park-Frankfort Rotary Club, the event celebrated the diversity and richness of the Filipino culture through an unforgettable concert event.
Around 700 attendees from across the Midwest including Philippine Consulate General, Honorable Leo Herrera-Lim joined the celebration to catch the performances of Chicago’s premiere Filipino Folk Fusion band, along with local dance troupes, martial artists, and the Rip Chords – an all-female group of singers from the University of Illinois.
Known for blending Filipino traditional folk music with contemporary songs, the SamaSama Project is a regular fixture at cultural festivals, museum shows, and commercial and private engagements in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa. The group, whose members include Baron Cabalona (drums), Ran Sevilla (guitar), Lee Maningas (bass), Louella Cabalona (vocals), Josue Torres (conga) and Ben Corpuz (keyboard), had the rare chance to perform at the Pope’s World Youth Day MacroFestival Concert in Madrid Spain last year.
Other performers during the SamaSama event were Girlie Pascual, James DC, Karrel Bernardo, Michael Baylon, 3JNR Rondalla, the Bolingbrook Park District Dance Force, the Philippine American Cultural Foundation (PACF) Performing Arts, the Illinois Rip Chords, the Kampilan Eskrima Team, the Philippine Dance Troupe of Eastern Iowa, the Philippine Dance Troupe of the Quad Cities and the Loyola Breakers.
As the show aimed to bring Filipinos together through music, the two-hour program featured songs highlighting the role of Filipino women in the course of history, Filipino songs performed by American artists (such as Nat King Cole and Eartha Kitt), Filipino classic hits during the ‘80s and from the prior decades, and the all time-favorite Original Pilipino Music (OPM).
In addition to the concert, spectators also had the chance to witness a mouth-watering display of Filipino food arranged by various Pinoy restaurants, as well as Filipino artefacts by Pinoy-owned businesses. Clothes by Filipino designer Jason Lee were also part of the display.
The Musika SamaSama: The Together Concert is a much-awaited event among Filipino-Americans in the area. It stemmed from the celebration of October as the Filipino American Heritage Month, which was proclaimed by five city mayors in the surrounding community. In California and Hawaii, where a large number of Filipino Americans reside, Filipino American History Month is widely celebrated as many Filipino American organizations in the US often initiate their own independent celebrations including those in the state of Illinois.
Highlights of the show can be seen on GMA Pinoy TV. Call your preferred pay TV operator to subscribe or visit www.gmanetwork.com/International