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A Photo Essay

Tagulaylay

Tagulaylay/The Presidio : A Requiem for Lives Lost during the Philippine American War is a choreographic work conceptualized and performed in open space on grounds redolent with military tension. David Bacon, photographer, captured the community-based, site-specific work created and performed at El Polin Spring in the San Francisco Presidio, which is part of Tennessee Hollow. So called “volunteers” from across the United States were encamped and trained throughout the Tennessee Hollow area before embarking to fight in the Philippine American War. In this creatively inspired choreographic piece by Pearl Ubungen, the dancers move through the audience, in a natural outdoor environment.

Melding the creative forces of two artistic efforts, David Bacon captured on film a choreographic Requiem performed in October 2000 to bring to generations with his images the art of cultural activism that is the hallmark of Pearl Ubungen’s vision.

Tagulaylay/The Presidio was a collaborative work among the Pearl Ubungen Dancers and Musicians and the La Peña Cultural Center in partnership with Filipinos for Affirmative Action. It featured music by Philippine Composer Joey Ayala.

The significance of this work and its documentation in photographic images has paved the way for Philippine American history to be lived, “fleshed-out” so to speak, for audiences then and generations hence. Solidarity in suffering the memories of a forgotten war was articulated by a community of ethnically diverse performers thus bringing to light a war whose memories have been conveniently sanitized for posterity.

The story it tells is the age-old perversion of man’s quest for power to conquer. How one nation’s insatiable dream of conquest of people and property propels man’s misguided altruism: Killing in the name of what is Good for All. In Tagulaylay/The Presidio,a village is pillaged when visited by those who wished to impose a “better life”. The politico-military hypocrisy and gall justified its motives for mass murder by labeling their actions as suppressing an insurrection.

The Programme

t a g u l a y l a y

procession 1
shakiri
yayoi
clairemonica

t a g u l a y l a y

procession 2
naomi

t a g u l a y l a y

procession 3
charles

t a g u l a y l a y

village 1
terry

t a g u l a y l a y

village 2
naomi
wailana
lisa
clairemonica

t a g u l a y l a y

procession 4
yayoi

t a g u l a y l a y

village 3
yayoi
wailana
clairemonica

t a g u l a y l a y

village 4
wailana
yayoi
clairemonica

t a g u l a y l a y

sabong (cockfight) 1
naomi
yayoi
lenny

t a g u l a y l a y

sabong (cockfight) 2

t a g u l a y l a y

sabong (cockfight) 3

wailana
frances s.
clairemonica
naomi

 

t a g u l a y l a y

sabong (cockfight) 4
terry
yayoi
lenny
naomi

t a g u l a y l a y

sabong (cockfight) 5
yayoi
naomi
lenny
frances c.

t a g u l a y l a y

sabong (cockfight) 6
lenny
yayoi
naomi

t a g u l a y l a y

joey ayala

t a g u l a y l a y

war/occupation 1
lenny
franz

t a g u l a y l a y

war/occupation 2
tample
wailana
naomi

t a g u l a y l a y

war/occupation 3
terry
yayoi
lenny

t a g u l a y l a y

war/occupation 4
frances s.
jada
yayoi

t a g u l a y l a y

war/occupation 5
yayoi

t a g u l a y l a y

harvest 1
clairemonica
jada
franz
pearl
wailana

t a g u l a y l a y

harvest 2
frances c.
terry
yayoi
naomi
jada
franz
lisa
lenny
shakiri
pearl

t a g u l a y l a y

THE DANCERS

naomi bragin
frances cachapero
temple crocker
clairemonica dixon
shakiri
lisa juachon
franz jundis
yayoi kambara
jada odom
terry petty
frances sedayao
wailana simcock
lenny trinh
charles torres
pearl ubungen

MUSICIANS, DESIGNERS and OTHERS

tara agtarap
derek bianchi
caroline cabading
kevin camia
cecily chow
gloria galang
alex henison
shoko kambara
madeline lim
kevin mckereghan
hafez modirzadeh
mark schmitz
dana nunez tonge
will waghorn
andrea walls
nadine whitfield

© David Bacon

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