Join NBN as we go behind the scenes of Northwestern University's record-breaking 22nd annual Pinoy Show, where Ilise Angel and Emmanuel Nidea discuss how the Kaibigan Club spreads Filipino culture to the community through traditional dances, comedic skits and a Bachelor-inspired theme.

Emmanuel Nidea: Tinikling is a traditional Filipino dance that involves two long bamboo sticks, and it involves a three-beat rhythm in which two dancers are dancing over the sticks as they’re clapping.

Chloe Que: That’s Emmanuel (MJ) Nidea. It’s one week before the big day, and for the last month, the fourth-year Northwestern student has been hard at work leading his team of dancers to put on the perfect Tinikling performance.

But it's not just these dancers putting in long hours. As the script writer, fourth-year Ilise Angel says her and writing partner Joel Reyes are tasked with weaving together cohesive, culturally relevant, yet funny skits.

Ilise Angel: Joel and I, the heads, are gonna sit down on Sunday and just go through the script scene by scene and, like, add to it to make sure it's like the right length and it has the content we want and we have the characters fleshed out.

But I think finding something that is, like, culturally relevant to people, and also something that can be applied, and kind of, like, “Filipino-fied” – that's the verb we've been using in our writing. Like, how can we “Filipino-fy”, like, this thing, like, so we've been thinking about that.

Chloe: But all the hard work is worth it for these two co-producers, to make this year’s 22nd annual Pinoy Show the best one yet.

Brought to you by Kaibigan Club at Northwestern, the Pinoy Show is a chance for Filipino students to embrace and celebrate their culture, and to share it with the community through skits, dances and musical performances. Last year, the show had a record-breaking attendance of over 300 people.

Emmanuel: It was just like a really sweet moment because I remember someone said, like during the show, or like after the show, that they overheard a little kid saying, like, "Oh, like, when's the next show? Like, can we go to the next one?" and, it was just a very touching moment, and it made us realize, like, not only has Pinoy Show impacted us in a positive way but it's impacted all of these other people as well.

Chloe: Angel and Nidea feel proud of how far the club has come since their first years.

Ilise: Before, I think it was a little more disjointed and kind of improvised as well, which, you know, is really funny and kind of wholesome but not as much on the scale that we have now.

Chloe: The formula to success?

Ilise: I think now, we put a lot more time and care into creating a story to showcase Filipino culture and heritage and all the stuff that we want to show, while also doing it in a lighthearted and funny way.

Chloe: More than that, the Pinoy Show has created lifelong bonds between Kaibigan.

Ilise: Having a show to put together and to see your club members every day and to put so much hard work into something, I think it really brings you together as a club. So, not even just for Northwestern, but also for the club itself. I think it really helps to keep us alive.

Chloe: This year’s theme consisted of a rose or two.

Emmanuel: Ultimately, I think we chose The Bachelor because, one, I think it was just like iconic.

Chloe: For North By Northwestern, I’m Chloe Que.

Thumbnail photo by Kimberly Espinoza