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Dec 04th
Home Columns Noy (Bicol Column) New Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Extends Greetings for Philippine Independence and Jose Rizal’s 150th Birthday
New Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Extends Greetings for Philippine Independence and Jose Rizal’s 150th Birthday PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Noy (Bicol Column)
Friday, 24 June 2011 19:29



(© 2011 Journal Group Link International)


Bicol Regional Dance Shines at Independence Day Picnic


C HICAGO (jGLi) – It seems the Independence celebration in Chicago, Illinois was also bringing out the best of some of Filipinos’ regional cultures.


During a celebration of the Independence week last week at a picnic area, Evelyn R. Tolledo, president of Bikol U.S.A. of the Midwest, led an impromptu presentation of Bikol’s regional dance called Pantomina. Ms. Tolledo is also the PRO of "Chicago Juzz Danz."


A surprised crowd of Filipino Americans and their guests were treated to unique dance moves that have some snatches of Rigodon de Honor when male and female partners would walk back and forth to a lilting tune towards and away from their partners.  While women wave their arms after measured steps, men go to the opposite directions with their hands on their hips.


For the young ones, Pantomina is story of courtship. While for the young at heart it is story of their struggle to shed their inhibition by taking a few drinks before taking on the dance floor.


If Tinikling is considered a national dance that can only be performed by the young ones while most people can only watch, Pantomina is Bikolano folk dance for everybody.


Not only has Pantomina become a source of pride in the region, it has also become a symbol of unity when everybody holds a glass of drink and make a toast as they form in circle at the conclusion of the dance.


Although, there are four organizations leading the celebrations of the Independence Day in Chicago, they are united in holding motorcades and picnics in one area in what has come to be some sort of annual community reunion.


Different organizations put up their own booths and hold their own programs while the four organizations come up with their own activities as they hold separate dinner balls.


One community leader, Ved Diamante, believes that with the number of Filipino immigrants growing, participants may no longer be accommodated in a banquet gathering under one roof.


On the other hand, community leaders, Dr. Virgilio Jonson and Johnny Tablizo, suggested that if participants in the celebration would have semblance of unity, each of the four organization hosting Independence celebration may take their turn to host one celebration every four years like the Olympics in a round-robin sequence.


M eanwhile, the new mayor of Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel extended Sunday (June 19) his and the City’s “warmest greetings to Honorable Leo M. Herrera-Lim, Consul General of the Republic of the Philippines, the Filipino-American community and all those celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal on June 19, 2011.”


In a message, Mr. Emanuel said, “Chicago is the proud home of a dynamic Filipino-American community and on the Sesquicentennial Celebration of Dr. Jose Rizal’s birth, the City of Chicago is proud to honor efforts of Dr. Rizal that led to Filipino Independence on June 12, 1898.


“The various art exhibits, workshops, cultural presentations, film showings, children’s storytelling sessions and lecture series about Dr. Jose Rizal’s life and works are excellent testaments to him impact on the Filipino community.” # # #


Editor’s Note: To contact the author, please e-mail him at: (

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