A night of folk dance and classical music, but first a virtual dive

Soprano Brittany Palmer; Baritone John Andrews Fernandez

Soprano Brittany Palmer; Baritone John Andrews Fernandez

What to do at Explore Islands Philippines in Grand Central Terminal?

New Yorkers and tourists alike will stop in their tracks at the sight of blue waters of the Philippines, chocolate hills of Bohol, green terraces of the Mountain Provinces on a gigantic LED screen in the Vanderbilt Hall.

From Wednesday, May 9 through Saturday May 12, one can take a dive – well, a virtual dive — in the best dive destinations in the world, check out a bamboo bike, and take a selfie with the iconic Jeepney at the Philippine expo. Take a stroll through the exhibition, designed to present the major regions of the Philippines, Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao. There are various panel discussions and presentations addressing business, tourism and culture in the Philippines. Sign up to win a trip to the Philippines!

Virtual dive tours will be available at Explore Islands Philippines. Viewers will have to opportunity to experience diving in the water and see thresher sharks, manta rays, rich marine life and fantastic underwater landscapes.

The Bambike will be on display in Grand Central. It is handmade eco-friendly bicycle made from bamboo. The Bambike is very light and has passed international standards for impact, durability and fatigue testing. The fame is strong yet flexible – perfect for cycling. And remember – bamboo is the greenest building material on earth!

Originally made from US military jeeps left over from World War II, jeepneys are a popular means of public transportation in the Philippines. Known for its flamboyant decoration with vibrant colors and ornate ornaments and crowded seating, the Jeepney with “license plate # 7641” is on display.

The Exhibition is a canyon of tall colorful towers representing the major regions of the Philippines. Take a photo in your favorite region and sign up for a free trip to Manila. Philippine Airlines and the Department of Tourism with the Tourism Promotions Board share information

The eco-friendly Bamboo Bike

The eco-friendly Bamboo Bike

On May 12, the Friends of the Philippines Society USA presents Padayon, a Night of Philippine folk dance and classical music. It will be held at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis HS Theater at 120 West 46 Street. Parangal Dance Company, Soprano Brittany Palmer and Baritone John Andrews Fernandez will be featured in Padayon.

Parangal means “tribute.” Parangal Dance Company is a Filipino folk dance group from the San Francisco Bay area. It was founded to “give tribute to Philippine heritage” by preserving and promoting dance, music and ethnic attire. Parangal has partnered with 16 Philippine indigenous groups presenting performances, workshops and research enabling awareness and appreciation of the unique array of Philippine culture. Its repertoire encompasses the dance from Spanish Philippines to indigenous peoples of the Luzon to the Visayas island chain to Mindanao in southern Philippines.

Founder and president of Parangal, Eric Solano has vast experience in researching and performing traditional dances and music from the Philippines including the Bayanihan Dance Company, Ramon Obusan, PNU’s Kislap Sining Dance Troupe and Maguindanaoan and Ifugao experts.

Soprano Brittany Palmer, resides in New York City where she performs as a soloist, choral soprano, and chamber music collaborator. Trained at Florida State University and the Eastman School of Music, her performing career has included solo performances with Opera North, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Western New York Chamber Orchestra, Columbia Collegium, Opera Gaya, University of North Florida, and the Trinity Church at Wall Street, among other companies. Palmer was praised in the Washington Post for her performance in Noli Me Tangere at the Kennedy Center.

Baritone John-Andrew Fernandez is an exciting, young singer, whose colorful voice, athletic stage presence and artistic performances are garnering acclaim from critics and audiences alike. He is very active on the concert stage. Last season, he performed as Padre Damaso in Felipe de Leon’s Noli Me Tangere at the National Theater in Manila, playing the same role at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Committed to empowering diversity and integrating multiculturalism, the Friends of the Philippines Society aims to promote understanding and cross-cultural collaboration in the global milieu. Its programs are designed to provide meaningful exchange of opportunities, connections and information in educational, cultural, business and social context enhancing appreciation of the Philippines and United States and strengthening national and international alliances.

(C) The FilAm 2018

Parangal Dance Company

Parangal Dance Company

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