Showing off the bright side of the Philippines

The Kumintang Folk Ensemble performs a traditional dance from the Philippines with fans and bamboo at Tapestrama on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

When the Kumintang Folk Ensemble leaves the stage after a performance, one of the most common questions they get is “where was that from?”

It’s something the traditional Filipino dance group from Saskatoon has gotten used to, and they’re always eager to give an answer.

“Before, people were just curious about it. They would see us dance a few times and wonder, ‘what culture are you from?’” explains Alejandro Lara, a dancer and one of three group managers. “We get that question a lot.”

In some ways, it’s easy to understand why the confusion exists. Lara and his fellow dancers say Filipino culture is incredibly varied, with a predominantly Spanish north and Muslim south. The differences aren’t always understood.

“The diversity in our culture is a big takeaway, because it’s not just one nation,” says Jonathan Cruz, whose uncle started the ensemble back in the ’90s. “It’s multiple cultures that are living on all these islands.”

On Saturday, Cruz, Lara and Kate Complido, the groups other manager, were working hard with the rest of the ensemble to bring that diverse culture to Prince Albert. The group was one of a number of acts at Tapestrama, the annual multicultural arts event at Plaza 88.

For the rest of this story, please see the Oct. 3 online or print edition of the Daily Herald.