pics from barrio fiesta

Super Barrio World: over and done! And the mixture of relief, exhaustion and melancholic withdrawal begins in earnest for all of the amazing USF students who put together and performed in this year’s Barrio Fiesta. I took so many photos Saturday night that I ran out of space on my card, and found myself frantically deleting older images during the perfomance in order to make space to take more.

The show was spectacular, and consistently lively. The audience was enthusiastic and rowdy: a fun mix of family, friends, and Barrio/USF/Kasamahan alumni all there to support, cheerlead, and catcall. The glitches were minor-to-invisible, which is something of a testament to how resilient the students were, given that they weren’t able to even rehearse in the theatre the two nights before the show! And Barrio was unusually, pleasantly economical as PCNs go (USF’s started on time at 7 and ended at 10, including intermission and opening act): often, these can become sprawling marathon affairs, stretching to 4 and even 5 hours.

I’m incredibly proud and awed by how dedicated these undergrads were: it reminds me of how so much extra-curricular work students do remains invisible to their professors, and how deep their sense of community, creativity and tradition goes. (Hell, I went to art school for my own BFA. While there was certainly creativity there, there was not much diversity, even less a sense of community, and nothing even close to resembling a PCN…) And while a number of students were doing this for some degree of credit with me, for the large majority of them, this credit was either absolutely useless for their major, or they weren’t even doing it for credit at all. They were doing it for other, deeper reasons. Mad props and infinite amounts of respect to all of them.

So, on to some pics.
singkil rehearsal:

skit rehearsal:
the pep talk before the performance:
And the show begins!
As is traditional, the show opened with the singing of the US and Philippine national anthems:
And then on to all of the fun dances and skits:

And then boom: it’s done!
Everyone took their bow,friends and family rushed the stage. I sat in the front row, in awe.
If you missed USF’s 35th Annual PCN, c’est la vie, as we say in Manila: you can always come to next year’s. And other local schools have yet to put theirs on for 2008, so you can still catch UC Berkeley’s 32nd Annual PCN on April 20, and SF State’s 40th Annual PCN on May 3.

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