By Mudassir Raja
Women from different cultures and countries got together to learn new things at an event organised by the International Ladies Potluck Group (ILPG) recently. ILPQ members from the Philippines presented traditional dances, cultural costumes and local foods of their country at the event that was held on Wednesday at the group’s usual venue, Al Jazi Garden 4 Clubhouse.
The event was co-ordinated by Ruth Sabry, a group member from Philippine, with her team, displaying some fabulous dances that delighted the audience.
With the co-operation of the Philippine embassy, Alliance of Filipino Artists in Qatar, another community group, and ILPG, the Filipino members took the opportunity to highlight their culture. The theme of the event was “One Nation, One Heart”. Lovielyn Fjallstrom and Rosemie Schaab choreographed the performances and Alita Ben Othman was the emcee.
ILPG President Shriani Burlehy told Community, “One of the dances, called the T’boli, is a ritual dance of the T’Bolis of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato in the country. It is used to solicit good harvest, to seek deliverance from pestilence, to mark births, weddings and deaths, to prepare for war and to celebrate victories; today it was performed by Ruth Serene Sabry, Rosemie Schaab, Jenefer Malinao, Yolanda Fernandez Tacsay and Marizel Kovacs.” The costumes for the T’boli dance were provided by Alex Alamares of the Banyuhay Group, she said.
The president added that Rosemie Schaab and her son, Luke Perry, led the performance of the bamboo dance, tinkling and mimicking the movements of a bird in the Philippines.
She said that another kind of dance called Maglalatik was also presented. It is an indigenous dance in which coconut shell halves are secured onto the dancers’ hands and vests and are struck together. The dance was performed by Chit Regondola, Jane Daly, Jenefer Malinao and Merry Jo Na.
Burlehy further said that the finale was a fashion show that highlighted the ethnic costumes of the annual Ati Atihan Festival of Kalibo, Aklan in Central Luzon in the Philippines. The costumes were paraded by Ruth Serene Sabry and Rosemie Schaab, Marizel Kovacs, and Chit Regondola.
The president noted that the second part of the finale depicted the evolution of the Filipina dress from the late 1800s to the present. An array of colourful costumes were paraded by Ehva Khalid, Luke Perry Schaab, Matthew Daly, Jenefer Malinao, Yolanda Fernandez Tacsay, Jane Daly, Ruth Ashley, Merlyn Longitsch, Lailani Farman and Jeanette Ocampo.
She said that the guests and members of the ILPG were served with traditional Filipino food and cuisines.
The president also thanked the sponsors of the event, which included Music House, Michael Daly, Lailani Farman, Jenefer Malinao, Jeanette Ocampo, Marizel Kovacs, and Paul Michael Schaab.
Tracy Marriott, a UK national living in Qatar and member of the ILPG, said, “It was amazing and fantastic to be there to see the Filipino cultural show. Before the show, I knew nothing about the country. Today, I learnt a lot of new things about the country, its people, and its culture.”
Tracy who has been associated with the ILPG for two years added, “The cloths, the food, and the dances all were very beautiful and informative. I enjoy the events organised by the group. I get a chance to meet women from different countries and various cultures. I learnt a lot of new things. This is very special about living in Doha.”
Chandni Bahri, an Indian national and member of the ILPG, said, “It was a wonderful programme. The Filipino members presented their culture and traditions in a lovely way. I really enjoyed their food and dances.”
She said, “I have been associated with the ladies’ group for 12 years and have been enjoying the events organised by the group. The unique thing about the group is that the members get chances to present their cultures and traditions from their perspective and they get a kind of global audience.”
Sahar Mahmood, an Egyptian member of the ILPG, noted, “The programme was very colourful, diverse, and beautiful. I liked the traditional wedding costumes and their dances. It was really fun to attend.”
“I have long been associated with the group in Doha and have got many chances to socialise and meet more and more new people thanks to it,” she added.
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