Filipino Student Association holds concert for charity

UNF students perform a traditional Filipino dance, the Maglalatik.
Photo courtesy of Randy Rataj

In Tagalog, the language of the Philippines, “Gawad Kalinga” means “to give care.”

Gawad Kalinga is also a non-profit organization that aims to fight poverty in the Philippines. In coordination with GK, UNF’s Filipino Student Association put on their fourth annual charity concert with 11 separate performances.

Admission was free with a requested $10 donation, but Rodel asked that people give what they could.

UNF FSA Co-presidents Rodel Llanes, a public relations junior, and Patrick Lumang, a finance senior, said their goal was not only to raise $2,500, but also to shed light on poverty in the Philippines.

“GK is Philippine based, it’s kind of homage to our parents and grandparents, saying we want to give back and help them out, that’s where our roots are,” said Llanes.

Dr. Tes Tuason, a UNF associate professor in the mental health counseling program, has been advisor to UNF’s chapter of FSA for seven years.

Tuason was born in the Philippines and came to the United States to get her doctorate at age 26.

“[There is] so much poverty in the Philippines that what the FSA is doing is really wonderful in terms of using resources here,” said Tuason.

The UNF FSA chapter currently has about 100 members, but even if you do not attend UNF or are Filipino, anyone is welcome to join FSA with non-UNF students dubbed “honorary members”.

All the performers were volunteers. The University of Central Florida Magboys performed an all male Filipino dance called “Maglalatik”, a mock-war dance that looks like a battle between two groups.

Performer of a comedy skit Joey Deguino, a UNF athletic training freshman, said, “GK is doing a good thing raising money and spreading awareness around campus.

“People don’t always have what we have, so it’s good to help out.”

A crowd enjoys one of the 11 performances at the concert.
Photo courtesy of Randy Rataj

Janine Fajardo, a Paxon senior and part of the Gayle and Janine duo, likes the opportunity to perform and raise awareness. “As a Filipino, I like that we’re taking the time to help my home country.”

Reena Martinez, a nursing freshman at UF, spoke about her experience with Gawad Kalinga. She said her visit to a GK village in the Philippines two summers ago was a life changing experience.

“Being in poverty is also losing your human dignity,” said Martinez.

“I plan to make the most of my life by giving back… by going to events like this, you’re making a difference in other people’s lives.”

The FSA surpassed its goal of raising $2,500 but would not disclose the exact amount.

Email Kathleen Godfrey at reporter12@unfspinnaker.com

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