National City’s Phillipino American Society and Cultural Arts Troupe Philippine Performing Arts Company sustained damage from the rains and flooding this winter according to their executive director, Anamaria Labao Cabato. They are now putting out a plea for fundraising to help rebuild and repair the center.
“Flooring needs to be done, walls, doors, and baseboards,” said Anamaria Labao Cabato, PASACAT’s executive director. The flooding hit in December 2018 and over $20,000 in damages were incurred plus the damages to the parking lot.
“Sandbags would not have helped with the amount of water that was there,” said Cabato.
In 2014 they were also hit with flooding.
“I got asked ‘Why don’t you get flood insurance?’ It’s about $7,000 a year,” said Cabato. “We’re just a small non-profit in a commercial spot. It is a nice place, an old VFW hall.”
According to Cabato 1,000 to 1,500 kids are participating in their classes this year and they have an outreach program that performs in the community at places like Sea World, libraries, and community functions.
Community members and performers have their own set of memories from PASACAT.
“It was like bringing a piece of home to me. I grew up there (Philippines),” said Chula Vista resident Marie Sablan. “I appreciated the dancing, storytelling, and everything.”
Their dancers perform Filipino dances such as Singkil -a crisscrossing of bamboos from the region of Mindango and Tinikling – a bamboo dance. Their dance troupes have performed in Escondido, Burbank, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and the greater San Diego region.
“One of our dancers found some costumes from her parents. She donated them and said, as she watched children rehearsing, ‘They don’t know what they are getting, it’s not just costumes. It’s about poise, confidence, and to be in front of people,’” said Cabato.
Parents have given their time, money, and support to have their children participate.
“There are parents who sacrificed to enroll their children in our programs,” said Cabato.
“They not only learn dance but their culture and history. “ The performing arts company and educational center has served National City and other regions for five decades.
Construction has started and they are hoping to finish in April or May. Their GoFundMe account is: www.gofundme.com/help-revive-pasacat -our-home-of-dance-culture.