Island Jamz offers stage for cause

Junior Richard Dale sings his rendition of "Location" by Khalid at The Rat on Oct. 19. Photo courtesy Qxotic Minh, public relations director of the Filipino Student Association.

The Filipino Student Association hosted its third “Island Jamz,” a charity event supporting the Ukulele Kids Club, a nonprofit that donates ukuleles to children’s hospitals for music therapy programs, at the Rathskeller on Oct. 19.

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Junior Richard Dale sings his rendition of "Location" by Khalid at The Rat on Oct. 19. Photo courtesy Qxotic Minh, public relations director of the Filipino Student Association.

Renditions of familiar songs, original poems, energy-filled dance routines and classic, heart-warming ukulele performances filled the Rat during the annual charity Open Mic Night.

“UM FSA began this initiative via their past president, Mary Kerr, in the fall of 2015,” FSA secretary Ally Chin said. “Her connection to UKC was created through her passion for music therapy. She saw a correlation between her passion and helping out a community in need, and established a relationship between UM FSA and UKC in order to accomplish this.”

Students performed on the Rat’s stage and audience members participated in games and raffles and supported the cause by purchasing FSA T-shirts.

To kick off the event, junior Richard Dale sang Khalid’s pop hit “Location.”

The Miami Motion Dance Team, a student-run dance team that focuses on jazz, lyrical and contemporary routines, took to the stage to perform an elegant and spirited routine.

“I love dancing and performing, and it’s a great way to benefit the charity, so I thought, ‘Why not?’” said Danae Lally, a freshman on the dance team. “It was a great experience, and I would definitely do it again.”

Not only did students from UM perform, but students from Florida International University also came out to support the cause.

Zachary De Venecia, an FIU student who comes to UM for FSA club meetings and events, recited a poem about his Filipino-American heritage.

Audience members took the stage as well. Four members of the audience competed to win a gift card by identifying the most ukulele songs.

Throughout the performances, FSA showed pictures of the children at the hospital who receive the ukuleles and take part in the music programs.

This special event coincided with Filipino American History Month. Throughout the month of October, FSA hosts a weekly event to highlight Filipino American history and educate the UM community about Filipino culture.

To kickstart FAHM, the club hosted a dinner last week called a boodle fight, which is a traditional Filipino feast. People gathered around a long table, piled with a variation of rice, meat and seafood spread over banana leaves. With their hands, everyone ate as much traditional Filipino food as they pleased.

In addition to Island Jamz and the boodle fight, the club is hosting a Tinikling workshop. Tinikling is a traditional Philippine dance that involves beating, tapping and sliding bamboo poles on the ground.

Leaders of the club will teach participants the steps and upbeat rhythm of the traditional dance. By hosting these fun events, the UM community can engage in and learn about the fascinating Filipino culture.

“I loved watching all the performances tonight,” sophomore Sy Lam said. “It was a fun night supporting the cause while hanging out and meeting new people.”