Kapamilya Club introduces campus to Filipino culture


The Kapamilya Club (Kapa) plans on having a major impact at Eastern Michigan University by expanding knowledge of Filipino culture on campus.

Kapa discussed their upcoming events, volunteer work, and community involvement to spread Filipino American representation to EMU and neighboring campuses at their weekly meeting, Thursday, Feb. 16.

Samantha Tolentino, Bianca Villegas, Joshua Colina, and Naomi Caridad started Kapamilya Club. Being one of Eastern Michigan University’s many clubs, it is important to Tolentino and the rest of the E-Board that culture is a primary focus of their organization.

“We are definitely trying to see if we can create a PCN,” Samantha revealed after attending Wayne State’s PCN event. PCN stands for Philippine Culture Night, and is meant to present Pacific Island and Filipino culture.

“Other colleges take part in doing this event where they showcase different traditional stuff and modern dances they have to represent the country,” she continued.

During a presentation, Kapa spoke about their meeting with MAFA -- the Midwest Association of Filipino Americans -- and applying to be a part of the MAFA East, as opposed to MAFA West.

“What’s characteristic about Filipinos in MAFA East is that we are a little more disconnected from our culture than MAFA West,” said Kapamilya’s secretary Colina.

“Culture is something we really want to share so we can learn more about it, teach other people more about it, and we can show it to non-Filipinos also,” he continued.

EMU’s campus isn’t the only place Kapamilya wants to make an impact. Spreading awareness of Filipino culture is something the club strives to do through volunteering at local communities and other college campuses.

“Volunteering in the Filipino American community here, around Ypsilanti, and wherever we are needed is a goal of ours. And fundraising to give back to the communities, of course,” Colina said.

Kapamilya felt they had the potential to make a great impact on students the moment they held a “Tinikling” workshop – the practice of Filipino cultural dance.

Tolentino said a student came by during this workshop and was so interested in Tinikling, that he wanted to join.

“There’s a buzz about Kapa,” Vice President Kearny said. “It’s new, it’s fresh. We get turnouts always bigger than we expect and we can really create community fun for everyone.”

Kapamilya plans on taking part in “Colors in Harmony,” EMU’s biggest international cultural talent and fashion show, where they will perform a traditional Tinikling dance routine.

“Colors in Harmony,” hosted by the International Student Association takes place Saturday, March 11 from 7 to 9 p.m. at EMU’s Student Center Auditorium.

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