Philippine folkloric group to perform at Pagosa Catholic Community Picnic

Photo courtesy Roxanne Schick
The Ethan Sabay Folkloric Group will be the featured talent at the Pagosa Catholic Community Parish Picnics on Sept. 10 in Town Park. The group works to promote and educate people about Philippine culture through the art of dance.

By Roxanne Schick
Special to The PREVIEW

The Ethan Sabay Folkloric Group will be performing at the Pagosa Catholic Community Parish Picnic and Raffle on Sept. 10 in Town Park between noon and 2 p.m.

The group was created this year in Albuquerque, N.M., in memory of Ethan Sabay, to promote and educate people about Philippine culture through the art of dance. As a tribute to Sabay’s legacy, the group showcases Sabay’s cultural pride to audiences of future generations.

The group will perform folk dances that originated in the central and northern regions of the Philippines. These dances are done solo, in couples and in groups. They depict courtship, nature, work conditions and daily life in the Philippines. Some of the dances are influenced by Spanish colonial rule, while indigenous dances communicate stories of tribal warriors and the self-determination of Philippine indigenous people.

Teachers and choreographers Ligaya White and Evelio Sabay generously offer their time, knowledge and energy to create and transmit dances that are engaging while retaining their cultural and historical roots.

For Ligaya, dance is about sharing gifted talents from God and making other people happy. Her history of Filipino dance began in 1994 in Okinawa, Japan. She began teaching in Germany in 1996 and continues to teach in New Mexico today. Her specialties include Carinyosa, Jotabal, Kuratsa, Pandanggo sa ilaw, Subli and Ragragsakan.

Evelio Sabay continues his parent’s legacy through sharing Philippine folkloric group dancing with others. He began doing this in the early 1990s and now teaches in New Mexico. Each member of the Ethan Sabay Folkloric Group has a unique and personal connection to the dances.

At the picnic, the dancers will showcase folk dances that have been greatly influenced by Spain as a result of their colonization over 300 years ago. Other dances include the famous bamboo dance called “Tinikling” and selected barrio folk dances.

There will be a drawing for the main raffle that consists of a hot tub (retail $8,700), a whole beef processed and wrapped, and a whole lamb processed and wrapped.

Tickets are $10 each and are available at the John Paul II office, 353 S. Pagosa Blvd. Tickets are also available at selected retail locations in Pagosa Springs where posters are displayed.

Admission to the parish picnic is free and includes lunch. Other activities include music and entertainment by the Retro Cats, a brown bag raffle, snow cones, a beer garden and kids’ games.

For more information, call the parish office at 731-5744.

This story was posted on August 31, 2017.