When I was growing up in Cavite province in the Philippines, I was exposed to many different types of Filipino traditional music.
When I was nine years old, I had the experience of playing music with our neighbor’s gardener Ti Ikong with his band of masterful rondalla players. I played guitar and octavina with them during the town’s fiesta playing jotas and fandangos. I was also fortunate to have met Mr. Trinidad, also a rondalla teacher, who taught me fingerstyle guitar renditions of classic haranas such as Hatinggabi and kundimans like Madaling Araw.
Only later in my adult life did I realize that those moments were indeed privileges. That these elderfolk kept me in their musical circle was indeed a profound experience that influenced many of the musical career choices I made later in life.
Having been educated at a conservatory, I became more fascinated with studying musical forms and I started placing more value on traditional Filipino music. I began to acknowledge influences and musical interconnectivity between the Spain, Mexico and the Philippines. Of course, this is not to say that traditional Philippine music is unoriginal. On the contrary, exchanges of ideas that result in adaptation by natives as their own has been the defacto evolutionary mechanism. As an example, the folk music of Spain owes great deal to the highly sophisticated music of the Moors who dominated parts of Spain for VIII centuries. Spanish music in turn influenced Argentina’s tangos, Mexico’s mariachi, Cuba’s son and Philippines’ harana.
Two years ago, when Chus Alonso proposed that we collaborate for his brainchild Fandango-Pandanggo – a music, dance and multimedia performance exploring musical interactions between the Philippines, Mexico, Cuba – I wholeheartedly agreed. Chus who hails from Spain is one of the best Latin music practitioners and teacher in the Bay Area. Chus and I have collaborated on previous occasions and have a shared passion for our respective country’s traditional music. It is a natural partnership and I very much look forward to performing with other wonderful artists in the show.
I am also premiering my new composition Cavite el Viejo (archaic name for my hometown of Kawit, Cavite – sample above). Written for my ensemble Fandangueros, it is a suite in 12 movements of which 5 will be performed and titled after the barrios of Poblacion, Marulas, Aplaya, Panamitan and Tabon.
On April 17, 2016, I will be running the Napa Valley Silverado Trail 10k Marathon as a means to supplement funding for the successful fruition of Fandango-Pandanggo. I have always been an avid runner and I see the marathon as a wonderful opportunity and an extension of a passion.
I am writing to ask for your sponsorship of my 10Krun, with all the proceeds directly benefiting Fandango-Pandanggo and KulArts. Your donation can be as low as $1 per kilometer or as great as $100 per kilometer.
All sponsorship/donations will receive a tax-deductible donation letter directly from KulArts, all donors/sponsors will be listed on the KulArts website. I am looking forward to being powered by your generosity and spirit on the actual race day. If you’d like to follow my training journey, feel free to visit or follow me on Instagram (@FloranteA).
Please help me reach my final goal of $2,500 by April 16, 2016 —a mere $250 per km (or $10 for every year that KulArts has existed).
Last but not the least, I would like to thank KulArts which has supported and nurtured many of my projects and in my view is the single most influential artistic organization in the Filipino community and the Bay Area. Thank you KulArts for giving voice and recognition to the visions of talented artists.
You can find out the details of the upcoming Fandango-Pandanggo performance here: http://www.sfiaf.org/potaje_fandangueros_cascada_de_flores
Check out the impressive list of musicians, dancers and multimedia artists.
artistic director, musical co-director, composer, flutist and “”laud”” player: Chus Alonso
musical co-director, composer and guitarist: Florante Aguilar
creative director: Alelluia Panis
multimedia artist: Wilfred Galila
singers: Charmaine Clamor, Arwen Lawrence
musicians: Jorge Liceaga, Kyla Danysh, Paula Dreyer, Greg Kehret, Sage Baggott and Robert Borrell
dancers: Roberto Borrell, Melissa Cruz, Ana Liceaga, Jay Loyola, Fides Enriquez
WAYS TO SUPPORT:
1. ONLINE: SPONSOR VIA PAYPAL HERE
*IN THE MEMO INCLUDE: CHUS FP or FLORANTE FP
2. SEND CHECK TO: Kularts 474 Faxon Avenue San Francisco, CA 94112
All sponsorship/donations will receive a tax-deductible donation letter directly from KulArts, all donors/sponsors will be listed on the KulArts website.
Your humble haranista,