Members of the Barkada Band perform John Mayer’s “Gravity” at the Showcase presented by BEAT and APISC. (Ashly Hernandez / The Poly Post)

Talents unleashed at the Showcase

A night of talent makes for a night of fun at the Bronco Student Center.

The Showcase is an annual event brought to students by Associated Students, Inc., in collaboration with the Asian and Pacific Islander Student Center. 

The event took place in Ursa Major on March 8 from 7-9 p.m. 

“It’s a spot to showcase Asian Am talent from different clubs and individuals,” said Megan Dela Cruz, a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona and interim assistant coordinator for the APISC. 

Members of the Barkada Band perform John Mayer’s “Gravity” at the Showcase presented by BEAT and APISC. (Ashly Hernandez / The Poly Post)

The event was called Urban Showcase before the name change three years ago. 

It originally was just for dance groups. 

Dela Cruz said it was eventually opened up to showcase different kinds of talent.

The night kicked off with an explosive dance, run by the Vietnamese Dance Club, a club within the Vietnamese Students Association. 

CPP’s Inner Essence Dance Company also danced their hearts out for attendees of the event.

The final dance group on the schedule was Hall of Fame, an exhibition dance team. Members of the crew are alumni from various dance clubs and universities. 

The Barkada Band was the third act and only band to perform. The group performed popular songs like “Burnin’ Up” by the Jonas Brothers, “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” by Fall Out Boy and “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers. 

The Bronco Events and Activities Team, the events planning face of ASI, helped bring Hall of Fame to The Showcase and found comedian act Mikey Sanchez. 

“I’ve always been a class clown and started cracking jokes at PolyTransfer,” Sanchez said.

“They reached out to me after I performed at an event for Día de los Muertos.”

The joint efforts of BEAT and APISC brought other types of talent to CPP, including a spoken word duo known as Steady.

The duo consists of married UCI alumni Stephanie Sajor and Eddy M. Gana Jr. Their stage name is a combination of their first names, but it’s more than just a cute ship name.

“It’s all about being calm. It’s about being unwavering and confident in what we say,” Gana said.

Their topics include social justice, identity, relationships, family dynamics, feminism and mental health. 

Their performance in The Showcase consisted of spoken word and poetry about their relationships and their identities as Filipino Americans. 

Although the night is focused on Asian American talent, everyone was invited to join in on the festivities. 

A “Fluff Bar” provided complimentary cotton candy and a photo booth from Her Balloon Art, and gave BEAT the opportunity to advertise an upcoming event, Geek Week. 

The APISC also dished out free eats from Kellogg West. Jamba juice was also provided for students to pick up and enjoy.

Caricature drawings were available for students to take home to commemorate the night and JCBCthreads provided a table of thrifted fashion for attendees to purchase. 

The night rounded off with a performance and encore by Albert Posis, an up-and-coming Filipino American musical artist from San Diego. 

The fun didn’t end right then, however. 

At the end of The Showcase, students were invited to receive dance instruction from a member of Hall of Fame, Kevin Pascua, in the Bronco Recreation and Intramural Complex.

As we approach the midpoint of the semester, The Showcase allowed for a night to forget about midterms and homework. 

It also lets the campus community acknowledge and applaud Asian American students who stepped onstage and showcased their talents. 

The APISC is preparing events for Asia and Pacific Islands Heritage Month in April. 

In the past, there has been a lack of Asian representation in the United States and support in the media and entertainment industries. 

Recently, there has been visible change with the success of the 2018 film “Crazy Rich Asians,” a rise of Korean musicians collaborating with American artists and the Golden Globe victories of Sandra Oh. 

Asian American individuals are paving the way for others to step up, stand out, dance around and sing their hearts out. 

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