114th Philippine Independence Day in Madison
A celebration of Filipino culture and history through fashion evolution
Story by Heidi M. Pascual
Photos by Jonathan Gramling

The Philippine American Association of Madison and Neighboring Areas (PAMANA) showcased
Filipino history and culture via fashion evolution during their celebration of the 114th Philippine
Independence Day at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison,
Wisconsin, on July 28. The gala event was a colorful educational vehicle that awed
(countrymen) as well as others who participated and/or attended the fabulous gathering.

Past PAMANA President Modesto “Jun” Gonzales was so happy for the turnout. He said the new
President, Janette Becker, took the helm of this project and credited her for a job well done. The
core group who helped Becker pull this through included Jacqueline Patricio, Al Gutierrez and
Gonzales himself.

“We thought of having a dinner dance, but went with this concept primarily because of time
constraints with members,” Gonzales said.  “Fashion requires less practice time for
participants.  The group also added some cultural dances to make the event more appealing to
the community.”

New PAMANA President Janette Becker said she wanted to do something different that PAMANA
has not done before.

“In collaboration with the creative mind of Jacqueline Patricio, PAMANA’s cultural director, we
started discussing about the concept of the fashion show as early as August 2011. Initially, we
wanted it to be simply a fashion show showcasing the evolution of Philippine fashion,” Becker
said. “The evolution of Philippine fashion has four eras: the pre-colonial era, the Spanish era,
the American era, and the Modern era. The more we discussed the concept, however, the more
we felt that to deliver a great show, we had to also interject dances/songs that match with each

The event attracted almost 200 attendees, and Jacqueline Patricio, who directed the fashion
event, was so glad it was a success. She narrated to Asian Wisconzine how she approached
the project.
“When Janette Becker approached me about doing a fashion show, I immediately thought of doing something much
more meaningful than just a simple fashion show,” Patricio began. “I wanted to connect our
to our proud heritage by showcasing our traditional and mixed- tradition fashions. From the pre-colonial era through
the Spanish colonial period, as well as from the American to modern eras, we wanted to showcase the evolution of
Philippine fashion. Our core team decided to use the words evolution and flair of Philippine fashion for our English
title and
Kasuotang Pilipino came to be the actual title of the fashion show.”
Patricio is a fashion buff and her enthusiasm to make the
project something to remember for a very long time was
evident every step of the way. She focused on history and
added dances and music to represent the eras being
depicted. Her hard work to make the event meaningful was
described below:

“I love fashion from different cultures and traditions from
many different countries but I especially have deep respect
and love for my own Filipino fashions,” she said matter-of-
factly. “So, when I took on this task to do a fashion show, I
proceeded with passion. I did a lot of research about the
fashion from pre-colonial era through the Spanish Colonial
period, as well as from the American to Modern eras. From
the earliest pre-colonial dress the 'Barong Tagalog' to the Spanish collared era, I tried to trace the evolution of fashion
in the Philippines.

“The fashion show on July 28th was not just a fashion show. We showcased different presentations along the way.
For example, I choreographed an Igorot dance featured in the pre-colonial era. The Igorot dance was a tribute to our
indigenous people of the Philippines especially from the Cordillera regions. Then, after the dance we showcased the
pre-colonial fashion in Southern Mindanao especially the clothing of the Maranao people. For the Spanish Colonial
era, I picked Pandanggo Sa Ilaw at Oasiwas. During the Spanish era the Spaniards transplanted their social,
economic, and political institutions halfway across the world to the Philippine archipelago. This Hispanization
pervaded even the musical and choreographic practices of the people in the Philippines. Dances took on the tempo
and temper of the European forms and so
Pandanggo Sa Ilaw was picked to depict this
time period. For the fashion show part, we
managed to show the unique fashion that
Spaniards brought to the Philippines. We
Barong Tagalog, Maria Clara
gowns and we were able to show the
modification of the
baro't saya. For the
American era, we had solo violinist Al
Valmadrid play Bayan Ko. This piece was
picked out to have audience understand the
struggles of the Philippines after the
Spanish-American war, when the U.S.
decided to annex the Philippine Islands. The
song was originally written as a poem by Jose
Corazon in 1929 to describe the situation of
the Philippines under the American rule. The
poem was set to music by Constancio De
Guzman. The fashion show part of the
American era showcased the terno dress with
butterfly sleeves and the freedom of men to
wear western suits and jackets (Americana).
Finally, for the Modern era, we asked Fresh
Trilogy to dance hip-hop.
“The final dance presentation of the night was representative of the unique multiplicity and diversity of our Island
Nation. Filipinos are always proud to celebrate the traditional, as well as to embrace the new or novel. The fashion
show part of the Modern era showcased that there are so many variations that you can find now being worn in the
Philippines depending on the fashion trend of the moment. We were able to show that Filipinos tend to be influenced
by western trends, but like many other Asian countries you see this translated into a distinct fashion itself, in that those
accents or trends that we use or embellish influence further fashions ad infinitum. But there is one thing that remains
constant throughout the years: the Barong Tagalog and the Filipiniana terno-symbolize the Filipino tradition throughout
the years. Although, there were some alterations and additions to the dresses, the design concept and materials
remain the same. All of the presentations were thought out carefully and was picked out to match the time period
showcased at the fashion show.”
Describing the challenges Patricio faced in handling this
assignment, she said: “There were so many challenges
during the preparations for this big project. We didn't have
enough models at first, and when we could get some to
commit they would say no later…it’s stressful to model in front
of 200 people! We had practice every week and we couldn’t
really get perfect attendance from the models because many
were working folks with children, or had prior commitments. It
was an experience for me. I was teaching two dances and
choreographing the runway for this assignment every week.
The schedule was very hectic, but it feels good to have helped
accomplish this task for our PAMANA organization.”
Proud of PAMANA’s latest accomplishment, Gonzales is hopeful that the
organization is now on the right track.  

“Jan Becker will do a great job,” Gonzales said confidently. “I feel that this is a
multi-year project to get some infrastructure in place.  We are working on
rebuilding our website and hopefully it will come online the end of 2012.”
Gonzales will be the new Public Relations
Officer for PAMANA after stepping down as
president; and foresees new challenges for
him, as well.

“This is a critical job since this again involves
communication with the public, which we have
been deficient in this aspect for the past few
years,” he said. “We have to get to get the
enthusiasm back and also to improve
communication from the Board to the broad
community.  Social networking is the way
many people communicate these days and
we tried to tap into what technology can do for
PAMANA's past President Jun
Gonzales (r) with awardee Maria
PAMANA's new President,
Janette Becker
Jacqueline Patricio
Becker is enthusiastic about building on the efforts done by Gonzales’ administration that resuscitated PAMANA in
many ways. Here she discussed how she approached her new challenge.

“After the election last May, I assigned tasks to seven advisors who now also chair specific committees,” Becker said.
“If there are projects, requests and issues, we now know who to coordinate with.  I believe that these committees will
play a significant role to make this administration a productive one. Though this will be a busy year ahead of us, we
want the Filipino-American community and the executive board to have fun.”

Explaining how these committees will function under her administration, Becker described the new board’s upcoming
PAMANA projects.

“PAMANA is not only a social and cultural group or only does fundraising events. One of the committees created is the
Volunteer Committee (giving back to the community) spearheaded by Jacqueline Patricio.  One of the volunteer
programs that PAMANA will be involved with this October is the Waunakee Feed the Hunger. We will encourage not
just the parents but also their kids as young as 5 yrs old to participate. The meals are specially-designed, nutritious
meals that consist of fortified soybeans, rice, vitamins and minerals.  Volunteers will be measuring the various
ingredients, weighing and sealing the bags, and boxing the finished product.   We want PAMANA to give back to the
community and be visible. The Filipino-American community will be helping the Madison community and the
neighboring areas.

“The Fundraising Event Committee has many events lined up, from a multi-family garage sale, auction sale,
Christmas caroling to a Valentine “Hippie Masquerade Party.

“The scholarship program will hopefully have our first batch of beneficiaries next fall. This committee is spearheaded
by Dr. Jessica Valdez.

“The Web and Communication Committee will hopefully have the official PAMANA website. Communication is very
important in an organization like this.

“Dr. Beth Reyes chairs the Community Outreach Committee.  We are planning to participate at the International
Festival in March next year.

“The Social Services Committee would be responsible for implementing guidelines in disbursing Social Services
Relief Funds. The fund will assist members and Filipinos in the Greater Madison Area who are undergoing
immediate challenges and financial hardship. Funds contributed to the Social Services Relief Fund can be used to
respond to local and international emergencies and to make grants to PAMANA members who face difficult events in
their lives.

“The treasurer is tasked to work on a project where PAMANA will be able to accept payment and donation with credit

“The PAMANA Events Chair will be responsible for making our Christmas party and Spring Fling, an event to

Both Gonzales and Becker ask the Filipino community to support the endeavors of the PAMANA board and make the
association relevant and sustainable.

In addition, Becker said, “No matter how prepared and committed I am as the new president, if I do not have the
support of the community, there will be no success. I encourage the community to be engaged and active … to
support and participate in PAMANA events, whether they are for fundraising purposes or giving back to the community.”
Well, the most recent  fantabulous PAMANA  
gathering at Monona Terrace could be
considered an indication of a successful and
productive year for PAMANA.

We wish PAMANA the best now and in the
coming year!

The models for the Fashion Show “Kasuotang
Pre-Colonial era:Jacqueline Patricio, Alicia
Quintero, Jai Becker, Shirley Thompson,
Gloria Jenkins, Al Valmadrid, Steven Ang Lee,
Ysabel Capitan, Luigi Capitan
Spanish Colonial era: Joanne Couey, Roland
Couey, Adriana Thompson, Roman J. Barut,
Regina Valmadrid, Thea Valmadrid,
Madeilene Hoffman with son Thomas M.
Hoffman, Jacqueline Patricio  
American era: Charles Valmadrid, Tim
Jordee, Cora Holloway with granddaughter
Nicole Holloway, Ray Holloway, Jo Anne
Capitan (President of FAAWIS Milwaukee), Roman J. Barut, Gloria Jenkins with daughter Jade Jenkins
Modern era: Crystal McGuire, Abigail Remonde, Miriam Wiley, Charlene Durst, Pearl Raschein, Anna Rindfleisch,
Alicia Quintero, Denia Schaefer, Edranel Bacalso-Leverenz with daughter Maiya Leverenz