Three years I have been a part of this show and for three years I have been in love. Ever since my first year of college I have been performing with this crazy family of mine. It is crazy to think that soon, one day, I won’t be participating at all and just watching from the audience, admiring all its grandeur. When I came into college, I was so excited to be a part of this Filipino club. My first quarter I was not active, but when second quarter came around and they announced the Pilipino American Culture Night involving dancing, singing, and acting, I was stoked. Since joining I have assumed a number of roles contributing to the show: a dancer, a coordinator for Maria Clara & Rural/Tinikling, a supporting actor, a committee member, and now an acting director. PACN season is always my favorite time of the year. Going through the motions of practicing, learning, teaching, and witnessing everyone’s greatest moments.
There is a moment in time where these experiences end, but does it really end?
PACN is a learning experience, one I feel anyone at any age should experience at least once. When you experience it, the memories, the personal growth, and the fun definitely never end.
PACN was always a joyous time for me. This was the time of the year where I had the most fun with my friends and got to know them better. I met all of my closest friends through PACN. When I was a first year, these are the people I would walk to practices with, eat late night dinners with, learn tinikling with, and so much more that the fun never stopped. There would always be something to laugh at, something to smile about, and something to do. Celebrating small and big victories was always the highlight. Whether they be part of the show or in our personal lives, we celebrated. When we completed an 8-count or got through a scene without messing up, this was an achievement to be proud of. When one of us successfully completed a project or an assignment that we totally BS-ed the night before because we were too focused on the show that we blanked out or even those who made time for the project but put hella effort, we celebrated. When the actual show came around and we got through each scene successfully and stood on the stage as a family at the end, we realized that we just made something beautiful and left our mark. PACN is no easy feat that doing anything during this time, even just getting through school, is something to celebrate.
PACN does not always seem so glamorous, there are the bad times that come as well. You sleep late, you get cranky, things get pushed aside, your priorities alter, and sometimes for some people, you lack “a social life”. Sometimes there are extremes where PACN lands in a time where you can’t seem to find yourself. I know I had this. I was in an complicated relationship, I was stuck in a hole with my academics, and I was not happy with my life at that present moment. However moments like these is where you learn to know your priorities, who is your squad, who you wish would disappear, what you like, what you dislike, what you can do right now, and what you can do later.
You never say goodbye to PACN, it’s always with you. Sure one day, maybe next year or the year after, I won’t be going through the same motions of attending practice, trying to squeeze in homework before the second act starts, doing a late night food run to In N Out with friends, or being on stage with everyone at curtain call or the final bow, but I will still have my family and the memories with me. These experiences are always teaching me how to be me and what I am capable of doing. They remind me moments in life like this should be valued and kept forever for the future. These are moments that you can turn to your future family and say, this was one of the best times of my life. These are moments that define who are you are.
I’m going to miss being a part of the show.
However until that time comes, even after I’ll still enjoy the ride.
Enjoy your Sunday!