Kapatirang Pilipino (KP) club members and friends donned semi-formal wear and congregated in Lotte Lehmann Hall on Feb. 22 to enjoy the 10th annual Benefit Showcase, a two-hour program featuring the club’s talented singers, musicians, dancers, and spoken word artists, as well as popular Youtubers Albert Posis and CeeJ. This was the Filipino club’s biggest philanthropic event of the year, and KP donated all profit toward Typhoon Haiyan relief.
The show opened up with second-year film and media studies and theater major, Kenneth Mangune’s solo of the Phillipines’ national anthem, “Lupang Hinirang,” allowing the Filipino-American audience to revisit their ethnic roots.
Mangune’s piece was followed by a string of talented acts, such as second-year political science major Patrick Lo’s riveting spoken word piece, “I Never Knew What Suicide was Until a Boy I Knew Tried to Take His Own Life.” His deeply personal piece tugged on the audience’s heartstrings as they were immersed in his perfect rhythm, poetic language, and emotional intensity.
“It’s a topic that hits really close to home for me,” Lo said. “I’m trying to bring awareness through my spoken word, and it’s just a way to express myself.”
Another memorable performer was Andrea Delacruz, who enchanted the crowd with her acoustic guitar and soulful voice. She delivered her original piece, “No Worries,” with flowing melody and skillful vocalizing. The lyrics described her extremely relatable experience of deciding her future.
“For a lot of us college students, it’s hard to find out what we want to do,” Delacruz said. “And the only thing we can do is to let it rest in Fate’s hands.”
Delacruz followed up with Alicia Key’s “If I Ain’t Got You,” a performance so passionate that the whole crowd joined in full force, singing the chorus at the top of their lungs. The singer laughed as her audience’s voices echoed throughout the concert hall.
Another singer who charmed the crowd was the headline performer, CeeJ, a well-known YouTube singer and songwriter with an ethereal voice, outgoing personality, and dynamic charisma. Her six-piece performance featured the hits “Let’s Get it Started,” “Royals,” “Wrecking Ball,” as well as songs from her own album. In between songs, she jokingly made fun of the audience and engaged in light-hearted banter.
“I’ve never had such an enthusiastic crowd, so I just wanted to say thanks,” CeeJ said. “This is awesome, keep it up.”
The rest of the show included talented acts such as Patrick Facelo and Larissa Lorenzana’s acoustic duet of “Just a Dream,” the Urban Dance Company’s perfectly synchronized hip-hop pieces, Mark Meija’s cover of “Right There,” Seoul’d Out dance group’s medley of Kpop songs, and many more.
“I loved how interactive the performers were with the audience,” said third-year psychology and sociology double major and KP Co-chair Elle Quimpo. “Everybody was vibing off each other, and it was so fun.”
It’s no surprise that the audience was so animated through the show, for KP’s known for its welcoming atmosphere and friendly members. Similar to Greek organizations, the club has an adoptive family program through which one can adopt a “big” or little” sibling. It’s definitely fitting that this year’s motto is “One organization, one family.”
“KP’s one of the few clubs on campus where you feel welcome, no matter your ethnicity,” Dana Duong, a first-year anthropology major, said. “Everyone’s very friendly and you feel like you’re part of a big family.”
The success of the Benefit Showcase portrays KP’s dedication to expressing artistic energy and spotlighting talented members for the rest of the university. If you missed out on this performance, don’t fret, for there will be another one soon: their Pilipino Cultural Night, the club’s biggest annual production. Through a play, singing, and dancing, KP will put on a vivid night of celebration of Filipino culture and exploration of the Filipino-American identity. The showcase will be taking place at Campbell Hall on May 3 at 4 p.m.
For more information, check out KP UCSB’s Facebook group.