All Filipino American students are standing on the stage to celebrate the awards together.
For Filipino American students in universities, presenting traditional folkdance is an important way to maintain their heritage and to fully understand the Filipino culture. Throughout the presentations, students display their ability to meld traditions of Filipino folkdance into modern dance. The history and culture of the Filipino people in these folkdances are passed down from generation to generation.
The annual Battle of the Bamboo 2013 was special because it has been a decade since Filipino American students started celebrating and showcasing Filipino cultural dance. The schools that competed in Battle of the Bamboo are the following: Niles North High School, Northwestern University, Northern Illinois University, Loyola University Chicago, Northside College Prep, Depaul University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and University of Illinois at Chicago. There were three judges: Maria Isip-Carlos, who has been constantly engaged with Filipino dance, MaryAnne Reyes, who has been an active member of the Filipino community, and Louella Cabalona, who is the lead singer and founder of the Chicago-based Filipino folk fusion band, SamaSama Project.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign took first place by performing the Subanen dance, a representation of the tribal rituals of the Subanen people that live in the mountains of Southern Mindinao. Loyola University Chicago took second place by performing the Bangibang Funeral Dance, in which the Ifugao community proceeds to the house of the deceased on the occasion of a violent death. Lastly, Northside College Prep was awarded third place for performing Los Pintados, a tribal festival dance that depicts the daily lives of the Negritos, the indigenous people in Tacloban of Eastern Visayas.
Joo Won Yun