Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Persevering for the Ones We Love at Barrio

As attendees set forth to celebrate Barrio in the Campion Ballroom on March 5, they had better come equipped with tissues and Advil, because this year’s event is going to have emotional weight. Logan Paracuelles, a sophomore social work major and one of the co-chairs of Barrio hopes to incite a strong response from the audience.

“My ultimate goal is for students to cry so to gain a new aspect as to what the Filipino culture could offer as for education purposes,” Paracuelles said.

The theme of this year’s Barrio will be, “Pagtitis para da mga minamahal,” which means, “Persevering for the ones we love.” The event will focus mainly on the story of Mariel Bautista, a single mother of two who leaves the Philippines to build a better life in the United States. But Bautista’s path proves a difficult one to trod and she has to make her way through hardships that showcase the harsh realities that many Overseas Filipino Workers face in real life.

“We just wanted to portray the different struggles an OFW faces while being away from their family for such a long time,” said Julio Dizon, junior marketing major and co-chair of Barrio.

Germe Ambion, a senior nursing major and president of the United Filipino Club, explained the history of UFC and how its story is linked to the creation of Barrio.

“We started as the Pinoy Club, where a bunch of Filipino Americans that lived around the area and attended Seattle U decided to start an organization, uniting those students of color on campus,” Ambion said.

The club grew into the UFC, which takes on at least several events a year and provides a space where Filipino American students and those interested in the Filipino culture can learn more through workshops, meetings and other activities the club plans. To ensure UFCs success, team officers are put in charge of different parts of the club, such as community service fundraising, Barrio chairs and other events.

This year will mark the 22nd anniversary of Barrio and the 22nd time the club has put on this entirely student-led production. From music to decoration, all work is solely executed by members of the UFC. With the members in control, Dizon helped clarify the reason for making OFWs the event’s central theme for 2016.

“I think the beauty of Barrio this year is definitely addressing controversial issues that will do invisible communities justice, because the OFW subject is something that is really pertinent in our community, but isn’t something that is always talked about,” Dizon said. “It’s one thing to act on our culture but it’s another thing to be an ally while acting. I think that this production really solidifies being an ally for those that we normally do not talk about or normally do not recognize.”

Paracuelles shared a similar insight, further emphasizing the necessity of educating people about OFW.

“It’s not something that is often talked about in our culture so we’re trying to bring some light onto that issue,” Paracuelles said.

In efforts to put the Barrio production together, UFC has reached out to students and other culture clubs to get volunteers to be a part of the Barrio experience. This outreach to others not only helps bring awareness to the event, but also allows others to feel as if they are contributing to the club in a positive way.

“My favorite part of the whole Barrio experience is seeing all of these people work together and try to put this whole production together. They build relationships with each other and have big friendships that follow even past Barrios,” Paracuelles said.

If people are interested in learning more about Barrio and how to get involved, they may check out the UFC Barrio Fiesta Facebook page to get more information. Tickets for students are discounted at $15 and general admission for non-Seattle U students is $20.

Shelby may be reached at [email protected]

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