This weekend marks the Philippine Society of Boston College’s annual Friends and Family Weekend. PSBC is an organization on campus that emphasizes the idea of family. As an open group, they welcome any and everyone that is interested in celebrating the richness of Filipino culture here at BC.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “No’on at Ngayon” which translates to English as “Then and Now.” Lemuel Lim, CSOM '16, the external representative for PSBC said, “This weekend is a celebration of everything Filipino – from its past traditions that we still practice today to the modern, vibrant and evolving identity of this generation. By looking towards our cultural roots, we can all have a better grasp of what our culture actually is and we, as members of this modern society, can find ways keep those traditions alive and relevant for ourselves, and for others.”
All of the events are open to the public to experience various aspects of the Filipino culture and witness firsthand the hard work that PSBC has put into these four events. Lim explained, “For those who are of Filipino descent, they get to learn more about their cultural identity as they get exposure to things that their parents and ancestors were exposed to everyday growing up. And for the many that attend who are not Filipino, they get to acquaint themselves with something new and exciting, and in the process, they can also learn more about their own selves in relation to their own culture."
Events will kick off Thursday, March 20th with Iskwelahang BC. This roughly translates to “the BC School.” Lim says it is “ an arts and crafts workshop coordinated by our freshmen Executive Board members. There, attendees have the opportunity to craft their own souvenirs and to learn the traditions behind them.”
Friday night will feature the annual Friends and Family Banquet. This semiformal dinner will feature Filipino cuisine prepared by BC Dining in the Heights Room. Keynote speaker and Pulitzer Prize winner Cheryl Diaz Meyer will be in attendance and speak about her work as a photojournalist in Asia. Lim says Meyer is, “not only a symbol of how Filipinos have begun to branch out into different occupations with much success and worldwide recognition, but also a symbol of hope for future generations to venture out and find their passions, unrestrained by expectations.” Registration ahead of time is required to attend this event.
PSBC will also host their 22nd annual culture show: A Modern Day Harana (Serenade). The performance will feature traditional and modern Filipino dances from PSBC members and the Iskwelahang Pilipino Rondalla Ensemble as an outside performer. The show will begin at 6 p.m. in Gasson 100. The culture show is the highlight of the weekend and reiterates the theme of No’on at Ngayon by integrating both traditional and modern aspects of the Filipino culture into the performance.
The weekend will close with Filipino Mass in the STM Chapel on Brighton campus at 9 Lake Street. The mass will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday and is followed by a brunch reception. Lim says this will “bring us back to our cultural roots. Celebrating one’s faith is a quintessential Filipino practice that will never die out.”