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Panubli-on

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Tears fell when nostalgia hit the audience during the performances of West Negros College’s Glee Club as they returned to their alma mater and performed on now STI West Negros University’s stage during the cultural show entitled, “Panubli-on” on October 16.

STI West Negros University’s Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Services, Caesar Pacalioga who is a Master in Music, was in his element that night, when he conducted a 26-member chorale composed of accomplished soloists, conductors, and many other musical talents who are all products of then WNC and WNU.  Pacalioga said returning to the stage and performing 4 years after the pandemic, was beyond nostalgic. He was a member of Silliman University’s Men’s Glee Club that was founded in 1963, and later on became the club’s director from 1986 until 1993.

The “Sanghimig” with Choir Conductor Angie Navarro, when the choral group performed in Manila in the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 1976.*
National Competition of Young Artists (NAMCYA) 1985 champion with Nimrod Tabang, choir conductor*

“It was really Manay Lily Cabahug who took care of the chorale.  How does it feel to perform again on that very stage where we taught and trained cultural performers that brought a lot of pride to the province? Nostalgia is an understatement. It was really something. Don’t you know that there were conductors there, so many soloists there. I was with really good singers and conductors that night who all have left a very good legacy to the university and to Bacolod City and Negros Occidental,” said a teary-eyed Pacalioga.

Many colleagues who were with me in the audience did not only get teary-eyed but shed real tears. A colleague in the College of Arts & Sciences, Christy Jones, said she couldn’t stop herself from crying as the songs and the old photos of the glee club and the many cultural endeavors of the alumni performers that flashed on the big screen just brought back a rush of memories.

Dr. Christine Presbitero Julom, who was among the prime movers of the cultural show cum reunion of cultural performers, joined fellow glee club members on stage and belted out Florante’s famous song, “Handog”, that got a lot of people in the crowd emotional.

“It’s been more than 15 years since we had our last production. The main objective of the production was to gather all cultural alumni for a grand reunion show as a way of paying back to our Alma Mater for the opportunities and scholarships we have been blessed with. All the favors that we got from this institution have been instrumental in our academic and professional success,” said Julom.

DANCING DEANS. College of Arts and Sciences Dean Sharon Medez, College of Hospitality and Tourism Management Dean Genevieve Tan, and College of Business Management and Accountancy Dean Mima Villanueva, with their faculty brought the house down in the finale that featured an OPM retro dance medley.*
Kaanyag Pilipinas Dance Company in a medley of rural folk dances from Luzon, Visayan and Mindanao.*
WNC Glee Club members reunited and sang Florante’s “Handog” with Maestro Caesar Pacalioga as conductor.*
The Rondalla provided live music during the Cultural Show.*

The glee club was champion in the 1985 National Music Competitions for Young Artists Foundation, Inc. (NAMCYA), has also performed a number of times in the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and was among the choral groups featured in the 1991 National Music Festival in Iloilo City. 

Meanwhile, the audience were treated to a visual and aural treat as members of the famous Kaanyag Pilipinas Dance Company gracefully and passionately performed a medley of rural folk dances from the three regions: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The costumes were so beautiful!

Dr. Lilybeth Eslabon, dean of the College of Education, felt the nerves once more when she performed alongside fellow dance scholars in a jam packed gymnasium filled with Gen Z students.

“The highlight maybe, as a dance scholar, dances were introduced in a way that when you dance it again, you still get to experience butterflies in your stomach, and once on stage, muscles indeed have memories that dance movements just came out naturally,” shared Eslabon.

I adore their Maria Clara ensemble and the different ethnic costumes were just gorgeous. Those were old costumes that were remodeled for the cultural show. It was a lovely visual and aural treat. Worth mentioning are the artistic directors of the performances Ismael “Maeng” Java and Mario Gabuya who obviously made sure every aspect of the dance production spoke of the brand of the Center for the Performing Arts & Culture of the former WNC is known for.

That evening was education for the young who are so into foreign trends nowadays. Kalingaw ang Teatro Hiligaynon and the Rondalla also performed some of their best pieces.

The finale featured a retro medley where professors and deans of the different colleges danced to retro songs of VST & Company.

Panubli-on or legacy, was a trip down memory lane for Baby Boomers and Gen X. For the Gen Y or millennials and the Gen Z, it was a subtle reminder that they have to know their roots, celebrate traditions and embrace their culture, because in doing so, they will see how beautiful and unique they are. Learning about your history and heritage does not only help you understand how you became who you are. It is only when you are rooted that you are able to stick to your own character, by honoring where you came from.*

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