PCC Bridges Generation Gap

June 20th, 2011 · No Comments

When the lights dimmed at the Waterview Convention Centre and the Rigodon de Honor was performed at the Philippine Community Council’s annual Philippine National Day Ball, the audience was charmed with the presence of a young chap in the midst of the adults. 

In his fully embroidered barong, with Philippine flag in hand, and his head barely peeping from the giants surrounding him, he stole the show. Though his arms were not as long as the adults, he glided through the intricate “kadena” step (the chain), touching his fingertips with the next dancer, and the next, and so on.  He was the youngest rigodon participant ever for PCC-NSW’s annual Rigodon de Honor performance and the sight of a mother and son partnered for the rigodon touched everyone’s hearts.

His name was Owen Anthony Rowe, the son of Dr. Cecile Rowe, the current president of the Philippine Australian Medical Association (PAMA) and an affiliate of PCC-NSW.

Over months of rigorous practices, young Owen took it all in. He took every step and every turn in perfect unison with the adults.  He thoroughly enjoyed himself and it showed.  He stretched his arms high, waved the flag from his little hand and beamed with pride, glowing with that perfect smile.  “It was excellent.  Great!” Owen quipped.  “Oh, and I would do it all again, if I could” he added.

A product of mixed marriage, with only a few Filipino words to get him by, he is quite familiar with the Philippines.  His mum, a doctor and a member of PAMA has taken him with her on past PAMA medical missions to the remote places in the Philippines.  Exposed to the poverty of remote places in the Philippines, he too helped by handing out numbers for the waiting to be served queue. PAMA’s next medical mission, their fifth, is scheduled for Aurora, Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur and young Owen will be tagging along too.

Now in year seven at Penrith Anglican College, Owen definitely wants to go back to the Philippines again. “The Philippines is a beautiful place.  I love the beaches,” he said.   “I also, love the pan de sal,” he adds.

Dr. Rowe, PAMA’s current President said:  “I want him to know my culture too.”  And by the looks of it, Owen, our youngest ‘rigodoner’ is not only learning it but living it and experiencing it first hand.

By the looks of it, the Philippine Community Council’s Rigodon de Honor has managed to bridge the generation gap with this mother-and-son participation as well as performances from the Cariñosa Youth Group too. 

The PCC-NSW’s Rigodon de Honor was first introduced during the term of then Consul General Libran Cabactulan who is now an Ambassador to the United Nations.


Tags: Features