Just like it’s ancient meaning, this month flashed by us like lightning in the sky. We are blessed to have been so busy! September is generally a month of hard work, preparation and excitement.
As we prepared for the months end festivities, we made some media appearances to promote the upcoming 25th Annual Pacific Islander Festival. We visited NBC 7 San Diego with Mari Payton & Steven Luke. The following week we joined Heather Myers on CBS 8. All three newscasters danced with us on their segments during live tv! That was a lot of fun & we’re so happy to share our baila lina’la with everyone!
A few days before PIFA, Saina Frank Rabon came from Guam with the Guam CHamoru Dance Academy and Guam Visitors Bureau. Uncle Frank held 2 days of workshops with dancers from all Southern California guma’ siha. It’s truly humbling to dance, sing, and chant the very standards and lyrics provided by Uncle Frank.
For those who aren’t aware, PIFA is a 2 day family fun festival. This event brings thousands to Ski Beach, where food, entertainment, shopping, and information booths are plentiful. To begin the celebration, there is an opening ceremony where each island is represented by performers and/or delegates. Along with the island representatives, city and county dignitaries are present, as well as PIFA scholarship recipients. The PIFA board members and chairs are also announced. There is a blessing and the color guard provides the USA & State flags for the pledge of allegiance. It seems like a lot, but its only the beginning! After the blessing and pledge, the stage is cleared & the day long entertainment starts!
During our workshops leading up to Saturday, Uncle Frank choreographed the entertainment for Saturdays closing number. This is always a rewarding culmination after hours of practice. Plus it’s really exciting to dance with others we do not see regularly.
Sunday was an early start for us, as we were the first entertainment scheduled after worship. Even with our stage time at 9:30am, the sun was bright and the crowd was growing. We brought love, passion, and energy to our performance.
Sunday evening was spent at the House of Pacific Relations, celebrating the House of Chamorros Construction. We joined the Chamorro Optimist Club San Diego and Uno Hit in a site blessing. This is an amazing place were locals and tourists can learn more about the culture and traditions.
Rounding out the month, a few members joined Uncle Frank at a workshop in Las Vegas. This workshop included Famagu’on Guahan of Las Vegas/Guam Liberation Committee and the new group of dancers who will make up Inafa’maolek. How lucky are we to be a part of something in its infancy and eagerly await its evolution. We made friends and look forward to dancing with them sooner rather than later!