It’s Day 2 of the biggest gathering of Filipino restaurateurs in Qatar and they continue to attract more and more guests even from other expat communities. At around 6pm, the host announced that they have reached an approximate 2,500 gate attendance for that day alone.
The highlight of the day is the ZUMBA GLOW top billed by celebrity guest dancers from the Philippines (Joshua Zamora of Manuevers and Jopay Paguia of Sexbomb Dancers). The growing popularity of this dance fitness program for Filipinos here in Qatar drew a large crowd of fitness-savy kabayans and transformed the dining area into a fitness-dance floor. Even those who are at the dining side cant help but stomp their feet or sway their hips at every groove of the dancers.
After the heart-pumping energy brought by the zumba dance, a group of Filipino theater actors came up the stage. Even without hearing the introduction, the first few notes of their song came so familiar… and it almost brought a chill on me. While i’ve heard that they’ve been doing this on several Filipino events in past, it was my first time to hear them do it. One of my favorite classic Filipino play was about to be performed.
It was nostalgic… it brought me to the early years when i almost memorized the entire playlist of the album. ALIKABOK was an original Filipino musical by Maestero Ryan Cayabyab in 1995 with Rachel Alejandro leading the cast as Bising Vallejo. (Click HERE for more background and synopsis of ALIKABOK.) It was rather nationalistic and the lyrics have double meanings portraying the old house of the Vallejos in Bulacan to depict the social status of the Philippines – almost in the same tone as Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo but in a more subtle presentation.
Just a side-note: This original video (the only available in Youtube) is a scene from ALIKABOK The Musical produced by MUSICAT Philippines. Balikbayan newlyweds Greg (Roy Rolloda) and Anna (Anna Feleo) argue about whether to keep the ramshackle ancestral home inherited by Greg which Anna wants, or take the attractive sum of money priced on the house which Greg has originally arranged for. See that the music beautifully cooked up this witty play of words – Tahan na, tahanan na, kasintahan na mahal…
Surely, these side events of Kulinarya Qatar 2016 was a great way to feature the so many talents of OFWs and their families here in Qatar. Hashtag, #nakakaproud!