Why PCN?

It’s spring which means its a hectic time of the year for many Pilipinx-American student organizations.

A long-standing tradition for many Pilipinx-American students is the “Pilipino Cultural Night” (or “PCN” for short). Whatever you call it, the Pilpino Cultural Night has been around since the 1980s. It is a tradition that continues today across the nation. It brings together the past, present, and future to create a production that highlights the beauty of our culture while shedding light on contemporary issues that affect us today.

The PCN is an expressive cultural form that allows Pilipinx-Americans to freely share their stories that are often times hidden.

Growing up, there was a lack of representation in the media I was consuming and had no exposure to Philippine history in school. What I knew about my culture was from the food my Lola made me at home and picking up some Tagalog and Ilocano growing up. There was a huge void. I didn’t know what it truly meant to be Pinay until coming to college. I didn’t know what it meant until my first PCN PCC.

Schools all over the country prepare for this kind of production every year. PCNs are grandiose, needing months and months of preparation to put on this show. Hundreds of students come together to make up these big casts and crews for these productions. It is a completely student-run show, bringing individuals from all different backgrounds. Whether a first-time choreographer or seasoned thespian, PCNs welcome all talents. Each year, it is refreshing to see each show come together. Each PCN is unique to each campus, with a hand-picked selection of modern and cultural dances nestled in between a thought-out narrative. These staged narratives highlight contemporary Pilipinx and Pilipinx-American issues that affect us today. From highlighting the immigrant narrative that relates to many families to shedding light on issues that are often times seen as taboo, PCNs are platforms for us to be unapologetic and share our true stories.

I’ve been a part of my university’s Pilipino Cultural Night – or in this case, Pilipin@ Cultural Celebration – all four years of college. The PCC space is a special one to me.

It changes every year.

The cast and crew. The story. The songs. The dances. Nearly, everything.

However, although most things change every year, one thing remains:

the sense of community you feel.

It’s amazing to see something grow from the ground up. Translating a script to real life. Hearing lyrics and arrangements come together to create a beautiful piece of music. Seeing movements passed down from generations and generations of people to present our kultura. It’s simply amazing.

And to have it be a completely student-run production blows my mind. It makes me so proud to be a part of it all.

And so, “Why PCN?” “Why PCC?”

I do PCC for many reasons. PCC has allowed me to discover and explore a part of my identity that I haven’t known for so long. It has given me the chance to experience my culture through such a powerful artistic and political platform. This production speaks volumes on a college campus, shedding light on issues that I truly care about. Lastly, PCC has allowed me to truly experience community. We struggle together, we rise together.

“PCN” is a beautiful process and I invite you all to take part in it.

With that being said, I invite you all to experience PCC.

UC San Diego Kaibigang Pilipin@ presents


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