Teaching and Touching Lives, a transformative program that aims to instill in today’s youth a sense of pride and love in their cultural heritage through music and dance, was conceptualized by the Bayanihan Folk Arts Foundation, in collaboration with the Ambassador Alfonso T. Yuchengco Foundation.
In their desire to share their craft to others, the Bayanihan artistic team, led by Ms. Suzie M. Benitez, artistic director Ms. Isabel Santos, dance director Mr. Ferdinand Jose, and music director Mr. Melito Vale Cruz went as far as Laguna, Marikina, Bohol and Ilocos Sur. Now, it is the province of Cavite’s turn, particularly the municipalities of Noveleta and General Trias to benefit from Bayanihan’s pursuit to further enhance in the minds of young people our rich customs and traditions. The Bayanihan artistic team, from directors, musicians and dancers readily impart their knowledge to the young people who eagerly took on the challenge, after all it is not everyday that you get to learn from the best.
Last December 11, 2009, in a culminating activity that was held at the General Trias Convention/Cultural Center, the student participants from various public schools in General Trias and Noveleta were able to show what they have learned during their one-year workshop with the Bayanihan artists. Tension gave way to excitement as the children watch their mentors perform on stage. The audience watched in awe as the Bayanihan performed “Kasilyo-Kasilyo” and “Kawayanan”, two dances created by Bayanihan as tribute to General Trias’ culture. The much-loved “Sayaw sa Bangko” drew thunderous applause as well. And when it was the student participants’ turn to perform, the Bayanihan artists have nothing but words of encouragement to say to their students. Pride etched on their faces, just like a proud parent. The student participants performed different folk dances, played instruments and sang to the delight of their audiences. In return, they were all given a well deserved round of applause. The show is not over, yet you could now hear a sigh of happiness backstage. Another surprise came in the performance given by the chosen teachers of General Trias Memorial Elementary School and the Municipal Employees of General Trias and Noveleta respectively. Truly, it was one wonderful night to remember.
This activity has been a great achievement for our community in promoting our rich Filipino culture and tradition by means of music and dance. This is one big proof that our heritage will live on in future generations as long as there are people who embrace what the past has to offer and share it to the youth of today.
All this would not have been possible if not for the support of Ms. Suzie M. Benitez, Ms. Isabel Santos, Mr. Ferdinand Jose, Mr. Melito Vale Cruz, Mayor Luis “Jon-Jon” A. Ferrer IV, Mayor Enrico Alvarez, the respective Sangguniang Bayan Members, our beloved Balikbayans of General Trias, our generous sponsors, parents, school principals, teachers and the hard-working employees of the two municipalities.
It was late in the evening when the show ended, and one by one the children starts heading home but you could see something different in their faces. Now they exude confidence, an air of self-respect and discipline that was not there before. After a one-year workshop, the Bayanihan Artistic Team was able to accomplish their objective, that is – to teach and touch the lives of the youth from General Trias and Noveleta the best way they know how, thru music and dance. The curtain closes and the lights dim, but the applause is deafening, for it is one that comes from the hearts of the children who shall be forever grateful for the time and knowledge that was unselfishly shared.