Matthew began his dancing career at the age of ten years old in 2000 where he joined PASACAT as a Junior Dancer under the instruction of Joji Ramirez Castro. He began apprenticing as a Company dancer in 2004 and began teaching Junior dancers in 2006. During his enrollment at Montgomery Senior High, and President of the Ugnayan Philippine Cultural Club, Matthew and Salvacion DeVera, Filipino teacher and club advisor, put together a Showcase of Philippine Fold Dance done by members of the Ugnayan Club.
For five consecutive years, he has successfully put together an annual Showcase performance for the Montgomery High School students and community, resulting in a successful production recognizable among Foreign Language Teachers throughout the Sweetwater Union High School District of San Diego. A student at San Diego State University, Matthew still continues to return to ignite the flame of Philippine pride in high school youths today. It is passion and appreciation of Asian arts that has driven Matthew to recreate images of Philippine folk culture through expressive stores of Philippine history.
A company member of fourteen years, Gemma trained under Joji Ramirez Castro as a Junior PASACAT dancer since 1990. She became a dance assistant for the Junior Dancers and eventually for the Company dancers. Gemma had the honor of performing at the Cultural Center of the Philippines with PASACAT in 2002 for the Bayanihan National Philippine Folk Dance Company’s 45th anniversary, and also took workshops with the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group. It was during that first visit to the Philippines that propelled Gemma’s endeavor to perfect her craft as a Philippine folk dancer. It is through her leadership skills as a Dancer Master that she strives to encourage the involvement of youth activity in our Philippine community. It is through the spirit of “Bayanihan” that Gemma hopes the youth of PASACAT continue the legacy to love, protect and promote the passion for our rich, beautiful and very diverse culture.
Alex is one of PASACAT’s consummate artists. He began his time with PASACAT in 1993 as a Junior dancer, under the instruction of Joji Ramirez Castro. Within these formative years as a junior dancer, Alex was able to absorb many musical traditions of the Philippines. Apart from traditional dance, Alex was Junior Rondalla member, where he had gained a keen skill in the 14-string bandurria. In addition, Jonathan Tajuna, a former student of renowned Kulingtanggan master Guro Danny Kalanduyan, was able to pass on his Kulintanggan knowledge onto Alex, where he has amassed a substantial repertoire of Mindanaoan music. As a well-rounded artist and member of the Artistic Staff, Alex has contributed to PASACAT productions as a dancer, percussionist and member of Rondalla. PASACAT considers Alex a valued asset, as he continues to be a part of the organization’s history of excellence.
PASACAT Philippine Performing Arts Company 2016 © Website by Colleen Ordonio