Posted : 2012-11-27 18:27
Updated : 2012-11-27 18:27

Filipino community hosts multicultural contest

Winners pose during the Mr. and Ms. Pilipino Culture 2012 contest at the Tongsong High School auditorium in Seoul, Sunday. From left are Marlon Aguila (Mr. Kalinangang Pilipino 2012 2nd runner-up), Ayessa Carla Villanueva (Ms. Kalinangang Pilipino 2012 2nd runner-up), Nash And (Mr. Kalinangang Pilipino 2012), Liezel Mayuga (Ms. Kalinangang Pilipino 2012), Sheila Mae dela Cruz (Ms. Kalinangang Pilipino 2012 1st runner-up) and Mark Josef Yuzon (Mr. Kalinangang Pilipino 2012 1st runner-up).
/ Courtesy of Emely Abagat

By John Redmond

The Hyehwadong Filipino Catholic Community (HFCC), the Filipino organization under the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center for Filipino Migrants, and the biggest Filipino community in Korea held its fifth annual fundraising event showcasing Filipino culture, talent and beauty.

The Mr. and Ms. Pilipino Culture 2012 (Mr. and Ms. Kalinangang Pilipino) was held at the Tongsong High School auditorium, Hyehwadong, Seoul on Sunday.

This year's search highlighted the participation of spouses from other cultures. The organizers recognized the ever-increasing role that interracial families play in the promotion of Filipino culture in Korea.

In this year's search, 14 candidates, three of whom are from interracial families, vied for the title of Mr. and Ms. Kalinangang Pilipino. The female candidates were: Liezel Mayuga, Jessah Mae Rosales Kim, Josielyn Yoon, June Rose Perez Sinajon, Sheila Mae dela Cruz, Geraldine Persia and Ayessa Carla Villanueva.

The male candidates included Isidro Antiquiera, Mark Josef Yuzon, Kempee Eyas, Jake Rivera, Nash Ang, Ryan Urbina and Marlon Aguila.

Little Damayan Troupers, a group of Filipino-Korean children from multicultural families also perform the Tinikling, Philippines' traditional dance. Performing in the same event were talented singers and performers Shaddai Solidum, Mary Joy Lor Tungala, Anna Lopez Sta Ana and Peter Lloyd Sales Cabillo.

Every year, the HFCC organizes big events such as concerts and beauty pageants as a fund raising activity. This year, the formerly called Ginoo at Binibining Kalinangang Filipino was changed to Mr and Ms Kalinangang Pilipino to include candidates from interracial families, to fulfill the same goal.

As previously mentioned, this event is also a yearly fund raising activity of the HFCC to gather funds to help Filipinos in Korea who are in dire need of financial assistance in cases of hospitalization, emergency deportation, death, and other urgent needs and outreach activities of the Philippine Center such as relief services and scholarship.

Moreover, this is also a cultural venue where Koreans and other foreign nationals can discover more about the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines and its values through dances, songs, costumes and traditions.

The previous beauty pageants highlighted beauty, physical appearance, talent and intelligence. Though organizers consider these of importance, this event gives prime importance to how the Filipino culture and values are highlighted, lived, expressed and portrayed by the candidates.

Performances were themed on Filipino presentations showing cultural dances, songs and music, history, and culture. Regional traditional costumes were paraded and instead of the usual gown competition, there was a parade of the traditional Maria Clara and Barong Tagalong.

The questions asked of candidates provided responses that were reflective of the innate "Pinoy" values.

Specifically, the event had the following objectives.

To showcase the best of Filipino culture through dances, songs, language, costumes, beauty, values, and traditions. Also to highlight the best practices and characteristics of the Filipino migrants in Korea, provide a venue for cultural sharing and interaction between Koreans and Filipinos.

The focus was also to raise funds for the different programs and outreach activities of the community.

The candidates were carefully screened by the committee and the community was consulted by publishing their names, photos and personal information in the SAMBAYANAN, the official Newsletter of the community.

"To make sure that the candidates performed well on stage, they were given a sessions on basic public speaking skills, personality development, and testimonies from former titlists and contestants of similar pageants. It is the first time this is being offered to candidates since this event has been introduced to the community," said Emely Abagat, one of the organizers.

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