Category Archives: Uncategorized

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Articles about Filipinos in New Mexico

Category : Uncategorized

The Filipino American National Historical Society maintains historical records through past publications.  See list below for quick reference.


Pamana 2015 Souvenir Program Final


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FANHS National Conference 2018

Category : Uncategorized

Join Filipino Americans from all over the US (34 chapters) to the 17th National Conference of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) on:

July 11, Wed – 2:00 pm, Tour of Chicago and Registration

July 12 to 14, Thurs to Sat. – All Day

Hyatt Regency O’Hare, Rosemont, Illinois

To register, click on FANHS Conference Registration

To join tour on Wed July 11, click on tour.

Hosted by FANHS Midwest chapters

Pearl and Dely with Dr. Dorothy Cordova, FANHS co-founder in New York (2016).


Pearl with Kevin Nadal (her right) and FANHS members in 2016.

2012 FANHS Conference in Albuquerque with Johnny Itliong.

FANHS Chicago – host of 2018 conference: Click 2018 Conference. 

Tel. 630-969-2971 (phone taken from FB)

NOTE:  Registration Form will be posted later.

To inquire about booking a room:  Hyatt Regency O’Hare

Visit:  FANHS National

Visit our Rio Grande Chapter information and membership:  FANHS RG and membership form.

You can also email Pearl at



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2018 in Review

Category : Uncategorized

This page chronicles events that have occurred already.  For upcoming activities, click on:  Events.

NOTE:  Click on photo for larger image.


Seniors Jan 28 2018

Happy Birthday to our Seniors who jointly celebrated their Jan and February birthdays on Jan. 28 hosted by Myrna Samson.  Photo shows, from left: Vicky Adaoag, Myrna, Celia Wheeles, Bonnie Rogers, Pete Noriega, Armeli Quezon, FAFNM President Gloria Kauz, and Annie Bondoc.



Black Students in Sue Cleveland HS with our very own, Miracle McCastle (first from left, foreground).

If you have any news or information you want to share, please email web administrator,


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Simbang Gabi

Category : Uncategorized

You Are Cordially Invited To the

Simbang Gabi

(evening Mass Celebration)


Sangre de Cristo Church

8901 Candelaria Road NE

Albuquerque, NM 87112

(Between Wyoming and Moon )


Evenings at 6:00 pm

PLEASE: invite your entire family, relatives, and friends to joyfully celebrate and experience one of the most and best Filipino Christmas traditions.


(Fr. Joel really appreciates your presence and any traditional food for the potluck following the Mass in the Parish Hall)

Donations are appreciated.


Simbang Gabi is a Filipino Christmas tradition. Simbang Gabi is also known by its popular Spanish name as the Misa de Gallo, or Mass of the rooster. Simbang Gabi is also recognized by Filipino communities who are living elsewhere in the world.  No matter how or when this celebration takes place, Simbang Gabi provides a strong indication of the depth of Catholicism among the Filipino people.

We encouraged all BODs to come out and participate on this tradition.

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2017 in Review

Category : Uncategorized


The Cultural Dance Group of the Filipino American Foundation of New Mexico was dissolved to give different groups more autonomy.  The following groups were formed:  Ethan Sabay Folkloric Dance Group and the Filipino Performing Arts Group.




3. Independence Day Picnic and FAFNM Membership Drive.


21. Wyndham Hotel. 8th Pamana Awards and Filipino American History Month sponsored by FANHS RG in cooperation with FACC. Click on Pamana 2017.


  • 10, Sunday – Christmas Party, Induction of 2018 FAFNM Board of Directors, National Hispanic Cultural Center (Grand Hall).  Project of FAFNM.
  • Simbang Gabi at the Sangre de Cristo Church:  Dec. 6, 14, and 21.  Project of FAFNM.


FANHS RG has started recognizing the graduates from 2016 to 2017 at the Pamana Awards ceremony.  We will soon create a Graduation Page for our youth in the future.  Click on:  The Graduates (see bottom of the page on Pamana).

  • December 2017:  Lyle Leonen, UNM, Physical Therapy.

Deaths (of Members, Relatives, and/or Friends of the Filipino community)

Anastasia with daughter, Gloria Kauz.

Anastasia Patino-Guerra (June 14, 1929 – August 23, 2017).  We said goodbye to Nanay (we also call her Mamang), 88, who passed away in Rio Rancho.  She’s the mother of Gloria Kauz, Pearl King and Lydia Diaz, grandmother of Princeton, Michael, Clovis and great great grandmother of Miracle.

Anna Karina Adaoag (1974-Aug. 29, 2017) passed away in Baguio Philippines.  She is the daughter of Vicky Adaoag and sister of Dale Leonen and Marita Racca.

Patrick F. Tyrell (Dec. 18, 1951 – Sept. 1, 2017) passed away in Rio Rancho.  Patrick and his wife, Maiya, are friends of the Filipino community, especially in Rio Rancho.

Patrick Tyrrell

Trebor Divero (Sept. 2017) passed away in the Philippines.  He is the father of Robert Divero, one of our DJs.

Florante Ayap, 44, passed away in the Philippines.  He is the nephew of Cris Underwood.

Teresa Macagba, 87, Myrna Samson’s Mom (Maricar’s grandma) passed away in California on Nov. 17, 2017.

Teresa Macagba

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.  May they rest in peace, Amen.


Art Egrubay, in the Philippines (Christmas Eve).  He is the father of Edna Garcia and grandfather of Angelo Egrubay.

Bido Agustin, in the Philippines (Dec.).  He is the father of Mayette Luena.

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Pamana 2017 & Fil-Am History Month

Category : Awards , Uncategorized

2017 Pamana awardees, Manoa Youth, graduates

Pamana organizers

8th Pamana Heritage Awards

in conjunction with the

Filipino American History Month




We want to thank those who came to the Pamana/Fil-Am History Month event on Oct. 21, 2017, Saturday at Wyndham Hotel.  It was sponsored by the Filipino American National Historical Society Rio Grande (FANHS RG) in cooperation with the Filipino American Community Council (FACC). The event was FREE, through the auspices of the two organizations, donors and advertisers.

(NOTE:  Double-click on photos to get larger images.)

Dely gave the welcome address about Pamana and Pearl gave a glimpse of history on the coming of Filipinos to the US and NM.  October is designated as the Filipino American History Month when the first Filipinos landed in Morro Bay (San Luis Obispo county, California) in October 1587.

Anthems by the Salazar

The event was attended by around 106 people including former Rio Rancho Mayor Tom Swisstack who assisted Pearl in handing the awards.  Some graduates who were not able to come were those attending universities out of state.  Others who are going to UNM or CNM were either working, having exams, or out of town.  They were represented by relatives or friends who received their souvenir t-shirts.

Thanks to emcees/presenters: Mirinisa and Bianca, invocation leader – Heddy, presenters – Nita, Gloria, & Ted.  The awardees gave their acceptance speeches.

Acknowledgements:  Keanna and Kim for singing the National Anthems (US & Philippines), Filipino Performing Arts Group: Sean, Angelo, Malaya, Mary, Gloria, Ashley, Miracle, Jasmine Q, Franz and John.  Videographers: Scott & Rod, Photographers:  Yssa, Elvie & Jennylou. Soundman: Jimmy. Copy editor – Rand, Ushers: Ednalyn, Vilma, Elvie, & Lee.

Special thanks to Mary Ann Lacida of Print Stop who donated part of the printing cost of the souvenir program.

To the Wyndham Staff:  Dominick Gutierrez and Clarissa Baca and the staff for making extra food and for the efficient handling of the event.

Pamana Awardees:

The awardees (given to adults) received a plaque from FANHS RG.

  • Perla King – Personal Achievement/Historical Contribution.  Pearl (as she’s known to us), our humble FANHS RG president, has chaired many Pamana Award events during her tenure (2009 to present) and has represented New Mexico in many FANHS National Conferences. This year, the FANHS RG Executive Committee salutes her achievements – a recognition long overdue for a leader who always wanted to be in the background.  It was during her presidency that we accomplished two major projects we thought would be impossible to achieve:  Our Rio Grande Chapter hosted the 2012 FANHS National Conference in Albuquerque attended by Filipinos from 30 FANHS chapters all over the US and the publication of the first book about Filipinos in New Mexico (The Filipino American Experience in New Mexico) which was dormant for eight years and finally printed in 2014. She is also a board of director of the Filipino American Foundation of New Mexico and chairperson of its Scholarship Committee. At 65, she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, among her many degrees.
  • Maj. Richard Luena, USAF (Ret) – Community Service – Veterans Affairs.  Richard has been a board of director of FAFNM and the liaison officer to the veterans, particularly Bataan veterans, for many years.  He is also a member of the Bataan Corregidor Memorial Foundation of New Mexico and was the vice-president when he spearheaded the 75th Anniversary of the Surrender of Bataan in Albuquerque which was attended by veterans nationwide.  It was a significant event because most of our Bataan veterans have passed away and this might had been the last event when the remaining veterans from other states came together, a gift of time and comaraderie – the best gift Richard (and other volunteers) could give our heroes. His passion in helping our veterans constantly reminds us that we should never forget those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.
  • Jennylou Pangilinan-Riel – Educational Contribution.  Who would have thought that this Filipina Math and Robotics teacher would come to New Mexico and help her robotics team, in a predominantly minority high school in Bernalillo, win first place at the state level in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest?  In the US, we have a shortage of Math and Science majors in college but before we can motivate our students to fill this need, we must have teachers like Jennylou who can inspire and make this happen.  Read more from an article in Albuquerque Journal HERE.

Manoa Youth Awardee/Honorable Mention:

Manoa Alcantara Jojola (1982-2000)


The Manoa Youth Award is an integral part of the Pamana Award event and is given to a Filipino American HIGH SCHOOL student in New Mexico. The award is given in the spirit of the late Manoa Alcantara Jojola, son of Dr. Dely Alcantara and Dr. Ted Jojola of the Manoa Foundation.  The awardee must have excelled in academics, community service and/or participated in activities to promote Filipino culture and who demonstrates pride in their culture through expressive and creative arts. The awardee received $500  from the scholarship fund of the Manoa Foundation and a plaque from FANHS RG. The runners up (honorable mentions) received $200 scholarships and certificates of achievement from the Manoa Foundation.


This year (2017), the Manoa Foundation recognizes the contribution of five Filipino high school students who have been active members of the Filipino performing groups for four to seven years (averaging 40  to 50 hours per year of practices and performances).  They were members of the Filipino American Foundation of New Mexico (FAFNM) Cultural Dance Group until it was dissolved in February 2017. They are now either with the: Ethan Sabay Philippine Folkloric Group (ESPFG) and/or the Filipino Performing Arts Group (FPAG). As performers, they have helped in raising funds for FAFNM, including college scholarship funds, and for disaster relief funds in the Philippines. They have been ambassadors of our Filipino community in many cultural events in New Mexico and are role models for the community.


Miracle McCastle

Miracle McCastle – Awardee. Miracle (16, 11th Grade) has been dancing for more than seven years.  She has also participated at the Santacruzan almost every year.  This year, she was the Reyna Elena. For 3 years (from 2013 to mid-2016), she was not only a dancer but also the lead kulintang (an indigenous musical instrument from Southern Philippines) musician for the group.  During that time, she was the youngest (started when she was 12 years old) of the only 5 kulintang musicians (all 4 adults) in New Mexico.  (She is now joined by three new young musicians.)  She was the first and only Filipino to hold a kulintang recital in New Mexico (through the New Mexico Arts Apprenticeship program, see video links) which introduced this indigenous music to elementary students in Rio Rancho. She is a member of both FPAG and ESPFG.  She is also recognized for her leadership (student government) and creative and athletic talents (choir and cheerleading).  She volunteered in distributing care packages for the veterans in the past.

Watch the 2015 Kulintang Recital (Miracle) from youtube by clicking on the links:

Honorable Mention:            

(NOTE:  We are not including schools and family information for existing students on social media postings.)

  • Angelo Egrubay (17, 12th Grade) has been dancing for six years (now with FPAG).  He was always willing to teach new members the dances he had learned.  He is the assistant choreographer who took over the choreography for male dances when the main choreographer was undergoing medical treatment for months.  He volunteered distributing care packages for the veterans in the past.  He loves boxing.
  • Mary Josephine Hollins (17, 12th Grade) has been dancing for four years (now with FPAG).  She is a co-founder of the Black Student Union at her school. She is a member of the Students without Border Club that discusses world events and raises funds. Last May-June, she was one of the 10 students picked to travel to France.  She loves to run and is a member of the Track Team.
  • Ashley Ysabelle A. Leonen (18, 12th Grade) has been dancing for four years (now with FPAG).  While still in high school, she has been taking college classes at the Central New Mexico (CNM) Community College to advance and get ahead with her college credits.  As an aspiring dentist, she is currently taking prerequisites at CNM for dentist classes at UNM.  In her school, she is the co-founder of the Asian American Club.  This year, they plan on hosting events, partnering with community, opening for cultural awareness and much more.  She is a writer and creates music as well as poetry and is also a guitar player and a singer.
  • Francisco (Franz) Soriano (19 as of Oct 17, 12th Grade) has been dancing for six years (now with FPAG).  He was one of the few Filipino teens in Albuquerque who took part in organizing fund raising projects for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda (which happened in November 2013 in the Visayas, Philippines), on their own (aside from the Benefit Show by FAFNM).

Filipino Graduates of Spring 2016/Spring & Summer 2017

To emphasize the value of education, we recognized our recent graduates from high school and higher education.  We gave them souvenir t-shirts “Proud Filipino American graduate”.

Our proud Fil-Am graduates:


Ronadel Ronquillo, Doctorate of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities campus), May 2017, (Manoa Youth Awardee, 2005).  Represented by Mom, Edna.

Masters & College

  • Princeton Earl King:   College (May 2016), UNM Business Administration in Financial Management, summa cum laude and Masters (May 2017) – Business Administration in Financial Management, UNM Anderson School of Management, graduated with high honors (4.07 GPA). Now in Texas. Represented by Mom, Pearl.


  • Michael Natanauan-Lopez – Highland University of NM, Masters in Special Education (Dec. 2016)


  • Louis (Ace) Leonen – UNM, Biology – CUM LAUDE (MAY 2016). Represented by Mom, Dale.
  • Ezekiel (Zeke) Racca – UNM, Engineering – CUM LAUDE (May 2017). Represented by Aunt Dale.
  • Shaine Sagisi – UNM, Dental Hygiene (now in Texas) (May 2017). Represented by friend Keanna.
  • Sharmaine Sagisi, UNM, Nursing (May 2017). Represented by friend Keanna.
  • Keanna Salazar – UNM, Nursing (May 2017)  (NOTE:  She passed the NCLEX Nursing Board Exam on Sept. 19 in one take!!!). Keanna sang the US Anthem (Her Mom, Kim, sang the Philippine anthem).
  • Mirinisa Stewart-Tengco – Mount Holyoke (Massachusetts), Mathematics (May 2017) (NOTE: Manoa Youth, Honorable Mention 2011).  Miri was the co-emcee with Bianca.
  • Jeric Hombria Tan – New Mexico Tech, Civil Engineering (now in California) (May 2017). Represented by Dad, Jesse.

High School

  • Catie Cheshire, Eldorado HS (now in Colorado) (May 2016). Represented by Grandma, Heddy.
  • Sean Delica, Academy for Technology & Classic (May 2017)
  • Angelica Fasano, Bernalillo HS (now in Virginia) (May 2016). Represented by Grandma, Cindy.
  • Sophia Gonzales, Rio Rancho HS (May 2017). Represented by friend, Hillary.
  • Sandy Guamos, West Side HS (May 2017). Represented by friend, Jasmine Q.
  • Jasmine Herrera, V. Sue Cleveland HS (May 2017). Represented by friend, Hillary.
  • Justin Carl Hontanosas, Rio Rancho HS (now in Colorado) (May 2017). Represented by Mom’s friend, Stephanie.
  • Yoko Kentilitisca, St. Pius X HS (May 2017)
  • Latrell Racca, Eldorado HS (May 2017).  Represented by Aunt Dale.
  • Hillary Ramoso, V. Sue Cleveland HS (May 2017)
  • Sarah Shibuya, Bosque Preparatory School (now in California) (May 2017).  Represented by Mom’s friend, Heddy.
  • John Soriano, Del Norte HS (July 2017)
  • Gabriela Velez, Albuquerque Academy (now in California) (May 2016) (Manoa Youth, Honorable Mention 2015).  Represented by Tessie.
  • Sonja Ventura, V. Sue Cleveland HS (May 2017) (now in Illinois). Represented by Dad, Rod.
  • Bianca White, Eldorado HS (May 2017) (NOTE: Manoa Youth Awardee 2015).  Co-emcee.

For past Pamana events, click on Pamana.

NOTE:  This 2017 Pamana page will be integrated in the Pamana page (past events) in 2019 when the next Pamana will be held.

Press Releases:

Back to HOME.



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Filipino Week at UNM Gallup

Category : History , Uncategorized

The Filipino American National Historical Society Rio Grande (FANHS RG) participated at the first Filipino Culture Week (April 10-13, 2017) at the University of New Mexico Gallup on April 11, 2017.   FANHS RG members were guest speakers:  Pearl King who discussed about Migration of Filipinos to the US and ultimately to NM, Tessie Greenfield talked about the Philippine – New Mexico Connection and played the kulintang with some student volunteers, Cris Underwood about his journey as an adopted child, and Al David, author of The End of the Trail, a 96-year old Bataan veteran.  Mr. David was honored by some veterans before his speech.

Thanks to Dr. Shirley Heying, Karla and Jonathan for inviting us.  Also to Agaton, a trained Filipino chef from Arizona for serving a variety of Filipino food.

Back to HOME.

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Santacruzan 2017

(To view full images, double click on the photo and click again for bigger image.)

Santacruzan (40 years of celebration)

Around 250-300 people (including 100 sagalas, performers and volunteers) attended the annual  Santacruzan on May 20, 2017 at the Old Town Plaza which started with the Holy Mass at the San Felipe de Neri Church at 4 pm and followed by the procession and Cultural Show that lasted until 8 pm. This annual free event which is sponsored by the Filipino American Foundation of New Mexico (FAFNM) was introduced by Consuelo (Chito) Zafra, see top photo, (who celebrated her 95th birthday at this event) and her late husband, Eugene Zafra in 1977.  Other FAFNM members who have made this event possible for 40 years are: Heddy Long, Cora Romillo, Myrna Samson, Betsy Custodio and members of the Filipino community.)  The welcome speaker was Dr. Dely Alcantara, president of FAFNM and the Filipino American Community Council (co-sponsor of this year’s event).  The Cultural Show (by the Ethan Sabay Philippine Folkloric Group and the Filipino Performing Arts Group) was also co-sponsored by the City of Albuquerque City Council and Cultural Services.  The event is usually scheduled on the third Saturday of May.  We hope to see you at the next Santacruzan on May 19, 2018!!! (Check our EVENTS page.)


Rey and Reynas with Sagalas

“Santacruzan” is the word that Filipinos use to refer to “Santa Cruz de Mayo,” a celebration in honor of our Blessed Mother.  The celebration commemorates Queen Helen’s finding the Holy Cross during the reign of her young son, King Constantino.  It is believed that “Reyna Elena,” “Rey Constantino,” and their subjects asked for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary to help them find the Holy Cross which had been taken away from the Christians by the infidels.  The “Santa Cruz de Mayo” is celebrated by a procession commemorating this historic event.  Throughout the procession, the song “Dios de Salve” is sung.

During the month of May in the Philippines, every evening, there is a town somewhere celebrating the “Santa Cruz de Mayo.”  A town usually does it for nine consecutive evenings, like a novena.  On the ninth evening, the whole town has a fiesta.  Nine consecutive evenings are not practical here in Albuquerque. So, on Saturday, May 20th, we will celebrate the 9th evening.

“Santa Cruz de Mayo” is also referred to as “Flores de Mayo.”  May is the month when flowers of all kinds are blooming in the Philippines, so the procession is adorned with colorful gay flowers.  For this reason, one of the queens in the procession is called, “Reyna de las Flores.”

Angels at the procession

The participants in the procession are called “sagalas.”  They represent the important individuals during the expedition and the angels and saints that were called upon to intercede for them.  The main characters in the procession are:  Reyna Elena, Reyna de las Flores, Reyna Sheba,” and “Reyna Esther.”

Back to HOME.

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Ethan Sabay Philippine Folkloric Group (ESPFG)


ESPFG at Santacruzan 2017


Members of ESPFG 2017

To view, double click on the photos or brochure.





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Filipino Performing Arts Group



Singkil princess, Miracle (2018)

The Filipino Performing Arts Group (FPAG) aims to share Philippine history, language and/or culture through performing arts specifically music and dances.  It also focuses on the importance of appreciating and understanding multicultures in New Mexico. (We welcome members of other nationalities who are interested in our culture.)

NOTE:  To view full images, double click on the photo and click again for large image.  (Photos at Santacruzan – courtesy of Kathy B. and Norma D.)


In addition, we are Filipino Americans living in the US, a nation of immigrants.  As such, it is important for the next generations to know their identity from both cultures, American and Filipino. If we don’t share our Filipino culture and heritage to our children, especially those who were born here, they will slowly fade away and be forgotten.

Although most of our dances are from Southern Philippines plus Cebu (Arnis) and Aklan (Ati Atihan), we are starting to bridge the gap between the past and the present Filipino cultures by including more contemporary dances such as Samba Song (Pinoy Samba Dance) and Pinoy Ako (Hip Hop) with music composed by Filipinos or are in Tagalog or any Philippine language.   Our goal is to attract the teens and young adults to our events by presenting numbers that they can relate to.

FPAG was established in February 2017 as an independent group.  Majority of the members have been performing with the Filipino American Foundation of New Mexico Cultural Dance Group for more than five years.  (The Cultural Group was dissolved in February 2017 to give autonomy to different groups.)  You can view recitals and performances (both kulintang and dances) from

2017 Pamana awardees, Manoa Youth, graduates

Pamana Awards/Filipino American History Month:  Congratulations to our 2017 Manoa Youth:  Awardee:  Miracle; Honorable Mentions: Angelo, Mary, Ashley and Franz.  Graduates: College – Zeke (cum laude); high school:  Sandy, Latrell, & John.  See press release: Alb Journal Manoa Youth 2017  Left photo shows awardees, Manoa Youth, & graduates. The two rows of photos below were taken at the event on Oct. 21 at the Wyndham Hotel. Check:  Pamana 2017.  (We congratulate Lyle Leonen who graduated in Dec. 2017 at UNM, Physical Therapy.)



To view full images, double click on the photos (and double click again for enlarged images).  (Photos courtesy of Maricar.)

Kulintang Music

Kulintang musicians (from left): Miracle, Malaya, Jasmine & Justine with instructor, Tessie.

Kulintang, an indigenous (percussion) instrument from Southern Philippines, is the main instrument in a kulintang ensemble.  It is composed of 8 gongs in graduated sizes.  The other instruments are:  agong, dabakan (drum), and babandil (see second photo below). (We also use the bamboos and will be using the gandingan, 4-gong set, in the future.)  Special thanks to a) Dr. Dely Alcantara and Dr. Ted Jojola who got the grant in 2004 to bring kulintang to New Mexico Filipinos;   b) New Mexico Arts Apprenticeship Program for training Miracle (2014-2015), c) Filipino American Foundation of New Mexico Cultural Dance Group coordinator in 2016, Maricar Castro, for purchasing a kulintang set that the FPAG is using now (although majority of students have their own sets), d) Filipino American Community Council (and City of Albuquerque City Council) for the grant that extended instructions to our three youth, Malaya, Jasmine & Justine (2016-2017).



Mindanao including Sulu Archipelago

Southern Philippine (Mindanao) Dances

  • Singkil (sometimes with Maiden Dance)
  • Janggay
  • Kini Kini
  • Maiden Dance (part of Singkil but also performed separately)
  • Sagayan

Ethnic or Martial Arts Dances

  • Ati Atihan
  • Sayaw Arnis

Contemporary Dances (to honor contemporary Filipino musicians)

  • Pinoy Samba dance – Samba Song (by Bong Panera)
  • Hip Hop with Bamboos – Pinoy Ako (Orange and Lemon)
  • NOTE:  More information will follow to be provided in May.

Plus Instrumental piece:

Sinulog A Kamamatuan

Choreographer:  Tessie



More information and photos will be provided in May.


Kulintang Music:  Pangalay Ha Janggay (Composed by Tessie), Origin of dance: Sulu Archipelago

At Cesar Chavez Day 2017. From left: Justine, Gloria, Miracle, Krystal, Mary, Jasmine Q and Sandy.

Janggay dancers at FAFNM Xmas 2016

Janggay (also called Igal Janggay or Pangalay) is a set of extended metal fingernails worn by female dancers from the Sama-Badjao tribe and Tausug people in the Sulu Archipelago. To showcase the long nails’ beauty, the hand movements include flicking, flipping and cupping of fingers. The janggay also represents the claws of the Sarimanok, a mythical bird and the headdresses represent its expanded wings.  Sarimanok, from the words sari (cloth) and manok (chicken) is a reincarnation of a goddess that loved a mortal man.

About the People:  The Sama-Badjao or just Badjao (man of the seas) is a tribe also known as sea gypsies because they live in small houseboats called vintas and they seldom stay in one place.  They are usually fishermen and sea divers.  They inhabit the shores in Sulu Archipelago in Southern Philippines.  Some dance movements mimic the rolling waves as oceans play an


essential part in the lives of sea fearing people.   Tausug (people of the current) which stands for tau (people) and sug (sea current) is the numerically dominant group of Sulu Archipelago.  The Tausug people who are land-based are mostly sailors, pearl divers and traders.  Jolo Island strategically located near the heart of the archipelago constitutes the cultural and political center of Tausug society.

Kini Kini

Kulintang Music:  Kanditagaonan, Origin of dance:  Maranao province (LANAO)

Kini Kini dancers 2017

Kini Kini from the word kini (the royal walk) shows the elite upbringing of the Maranao women in Mindanao.  Using decorative umbrellas and scarves (two items in a hot weather), they walk gracefully to a wedding.  This version of the dance is a combination of Kini Kini (scarf) and Kinakulangan (umbrella), without the male attendants.  The music is called Kanditagaonan which means I cannot go to a wedding because I have no malong (a tube skirt).

Maranao means the “people of the lake” referring to Lake Lanao (principal town is Marawi City) in the province of Lanao del Sur and has its own language. The other Maranao provinces are:  Basilan, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi Tawi and cities of Marawi and Lamitan (see map).

Maiden Dance from Singkil

Kulintang Music:  Kasayaw sa Singkil, Origin of dance: Maranao province (Lanao)

Maiden Dancers at Cesar Chavez 2017

The Maiden Dance is performed by the maidens that accompany the princess in the dance called Singkil, name of the anklet worn by a princess.  This version does not include the princess.  Singkil originated from the Maranao people.  It recounts a 14th century epic, Darangen, about a princess caught in the forest during an earthquake caused by the fairies of the forest.  The fans represent the ferocious winds during a scene in the epic.




Music:  a fusion of two kulintang pieces: Tagonggo and Adongkodongkogakit, Origin of dance:  Maranao and Maguindanao

Sagayan dancers from left: John, Angelo, Franz, Marc, Zeke, Latrell & Sean (2016)

Sagayan is a warrior/healing dance that is performed by both Maranao and Maguindanao male dancers.  It depicts the steps of their war hero, Prince Bantugan.  The kasity (headdress), kampilan (sword), klong (shield) and the three-layered skirts are inspired from the hero’s attire.  The male dancers are projected as fierce warriors ready to defend their master as they dance and pray before going to war.  Another version of Sagayan is a healing dance, showing trance-like movements believed to banish the evil spirits (or negative energy) while welcoming good fortune or omens.  (Assistant choreographers: Angelo and Zeke.)


Instrumental Piece (No Dance):

The late Danongan Kalanduyan came to Albuquerque to introduce kulintang music in 2004.

Sinulog A Kamamatuan (Sinulog old style), Version 1. Sinulog is from the Maranao word sulug or people of Sulu. (NOTE: Sinulog as in Sinulog Festival in Cebu means sulug or current in Visayan language.)  A Kamamatuan means older, traditional style derived from the word “matua” meaning old.  The musical notation of Version 1 was from the late Danongan Kalanduyan, kulintang master from Cotabato who lived in San Francisco, CA.  He came to Albuquerque in 2004 to teach kulintang through a grant obtained by Dr. Dely Alcantara for the Filipino community.  This piece is a tribute to him for his contribution in bringing this indigenous music to the Filipinos in New Mexico.


Dances from Visayan Island

Visayan map


Origin: Kalibo, Aklan in the island of Panay

Ati Atihan means pretending to be Ati, one of the first people that inhabited the Philippines.  Long before Spaniards came to the Philippines in the 17th century, light skinned immigrants from Borneo and Indonesia arrived in the island of Panay.  The dark-skinned inhabitants of Panay called the Ati, lived in the upland part of the mountains where they planted rice.  The Atis sold to the immigrants small pieces of land and allowed them to settle down in the lowlands.  One day, heavy rains ruined the Atis’s crops.  They starved.  They came down to the lowlands and were fed by the people.  As a gesture of gratitude, the Atis danced for joy in the streets.


As a gesture of unity, the lowland people covered their faces with soot or wore black masks to look like the Atis and celebrated with them in the streets. When the Spaniards settled in the Philippines, the Ati Atihan festival, which is also a celebration of rice and unity, became part of the celebration honoring Santo Nino (Little Jesus).  After several centuries, the festival is still celebrated in Aklan every January. (Choreographer: Tessie; Assistant choreographers: Angelo and Zeke.)

Arnis: Lester, Lyle, Franz, Zeke, Angelo & John

Sayaw Arnis (Arnis Dance)

Music:  Over 7000 Planets (Ron Quesada, Kulintronica based in San Francisco), Origin of Arnis:  Cebu

Arnis, also called Eskrima (fencing) or Kali (KA from the Visayan words KAmot or hand and LI from the word LIhog or motion) is the national sport and Martial Arts of the Philippines. It is a stick (made of rattan), knife or sword fighting art.  It includes hand-to-hand combat, joint locks, grappling and weapon disarming techniques.

Arnis at Cesar Chavez

The dance movements focus on rhythmic calisthenics of basic strikes and blocks for beginners using one stick.

Ron Quesada, kulintang musician, from Kulintronica composed “Over 7000 Planets”, the music used in the Arnis dance.

Arnis, (from “arnes,” an old Spanish word for armor) was founded by the Indonesian inhabitants of the Srivijayan Empire that ruled most of Southeast Asia in the 13th century.  They were overthrown by the Majapahit Empire from Eastern Java, Indonesia.  Forced to flee, the Srivi refugees settled in Cebu, central part of Visayas, where they introduced Arnis.  During the Spanish colonization that lasted more than three centuries, the practice of Arnis was forbidden but practitioners trained underground with sticks and bolos.  When the Americans colonized the Philippines, the practice was allowed openly and Arnis flourished. Arnis, which has big tournaments all over the Philippines, is also offered as a PE class in some universities.  (Choreographer:  Tessie, Assistant choreographers: Angelo and Zeke.)

Pinoy Samba

This is our first contemporary dance that showcases the Filipino Jazz musician, Bong Penera who composed the song A Samba Song (1974).  We are starting to feature not just our past cultures (Southern Philippine, ethnic, martial arts dances) but also present Filipino cultures to attract young audience to our events.  This is our first piece.  (Our second piece is “Pinoy Ako” by Orange and Lemon Group which we will use for our hip hop bamboo dance).

Children’s Group

Children lined up with salakot

Paru Parung Bukid: Joshua, Jordyn, Kai, & Mia.

Many of the small children are on break in 2017.  Children’s Dances such as Paru Parung Bukid will be revived. (Choreographer:  Maricar)



Contact artistic directors/choreographers:  Tessie at or Maricar at  Group leaders:  Krystal and Zeke.

We welcome new members by September or February when we teach new dances.   We only request members to commit their time since choreographers are also committing their time to teach you (plus costumes have to be set aside for you).  Usually, members put 40 to 50  hours a year of rehearsals and performances (usually Friday evenings and/or weekends).  Majority of performances are on Saturdays.

(For children, please contact Maricar.) Thank you.

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