CSUN students held their annual showcase Thursday to bring their culture to other students and the community.
The Filipino American Student Association (FASA) hosted its 15th Students for Pilipino American History Month (SPAHM) showcase featuring comedian and magician Justin Rivera at the CSUN Northridge center.
Rivera, who appeared on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, performed several humorous magic tricks with the involvement of several students.
The event offered students several activities to celebrate the Filipino culture. This included the option to have the students name written in baybayin, tagalog script writing, a photo booth, Filipino food, Filipino American art, open mic and a variety of local acts.
They were nine acts in attendance, ranging from CSUN students to performers from the Los Angeles area.
The acts were FASA Cultural Dance Troupe, UCLA TBD, Rondalla Club of Los Angeles, 12 String Swing, Racella De Guia, Acasola, Fasmode and Vincent “EVMB” Bantasan.
Rondalla Club of Los Angeles is a non-profit organization that brought traditional Filipino music and Vincent “EVMB” Bantasan displayed his beatboxing by recreating “Gangnam Style.”
Rivera talked about there being a stigma amongst parents in the Filipino community regarding career paths for college students.
“They want us to do the traditional college career. To become a nurse, a doctor, a lawyer etc. A lot of Filipinos are, especially this generation, very talented in non-traditional career paths within entertainment and the arts,” Rivera said. “This is definitely a good showcase to show what we have as a community as far as talent wise.”
Nathaniel Yamamoto, 20, a junior communication studies major, believes Filipinos are no longer an invisible minority.
“We have our culture. Even after so many generations because we were the forgotten minority. When you think of a minority you don’t think of Filipino,” Yamamoto said. “But now, it shows we are here America and we’re focusing on our culture and we want to show it to everyone.”
Alaine Bagamaspad, 22, a senior radiologic science major, is the vice president of FASA and said the event will benefit students in learning about the Filipino culture.
“Filipinos have been called the invisible minority and we are not well known except for maybe being nurses,” Bagamaspad said. “This event is really important to show how Filipino Americans are out in the arts and in the media. They have talent other than being a nurse.”
Bagamaspad said it is important to spread their culture because a lot of American Filipinos do not really know their own culture.
“We see an age where we are going back and erasing it,” she said. “Today, compared to a lot of Asians, Filipino-Americans can’t speak their own language, Tagalog. So, a lot of people within FASA are swing shifting to embrace their culture.”