Magsindi | Light Your Passion

Battle of the Bamboo is a cultural dance showcase that has been hosted by Filipinos in Alliance at the University of Illinois at Chicago since 2003. Performers illustrate generational stories and retell them through a diverse collection of dances rooted in the Philippines. Now, in 2024, Filipinos in Alliance will be hosting our 21st annual Battle of the Bamboo. This event has grown to attract thousands of spectators who attend to watch competing dance groups from high school and collegiate institutions, as well as a handful of performing exhibition groups. All come together via our shared love for Filipino culture. Filipinos in Alliance and the 2024 Battle Council are proud to present this year’s theme: “Magsindi | Light Your Passion.”

Another year of change has come upon us. Despite coming out of these difficult times of pandemic life and everlasting sociocultural dynamics, we continue to come back stronger every year. Battle of the Bamboo defines such growth and resilience; through this annual culmination of cultural appreciation, we have seen this event, and the people that make it happen, flourish extensively. We are unified, not only through the research that everyone puts into their performances, but also through the passion that it takes to perform on stage. We are also brought together via the learning, sharing, and reminiscing of Filipino culture and our own respective roots. We perform on and off the Battle of the Bamboo stage: in the preparation that our performers, sponsors, volunteers, and council members execute, in the audience members that come out to watch our visions come to life, and in the everyday push of our dreams and goals. The unification of all of our passions, interests, and curiosities are what drives us to make Battle of the Bamboo a sharing ground to our friends, family, and peers. This year’s Battle aims to honor that passion that brings all of us together.

Magsindi- Tagalog (v.) to light; to set on fire

Magsindi illustrates the constant search for the passion that burns inside of all of us, exuding the action of lighting your goals, your dreams, and your own fire. That passion burns not only through dances, but also through singing, leading, and living our lives to the fullest. We have experienced the never ending question: What now? This question, along with the ardent appreciation of Filipino culture from our youth, mentors, and seniors, is what fuels this year’s Battle of the Bamboo. We all strive to burn intensely and to show others that life can be unbelievable. We never lost our flames, but we are lighting them to be bigger, brighter, and stronger. Join us in illuminating our fire.