Fil-Am kids' choir sings carols in Chicago science museum

Fil-Am kids' choir sings carols in Chicago science museum
By Walter Ang
Dec. 24, 2015

Filipino American children sang popular Christmas carols, both beloved English and Tagalog songs, and danced at the Museum of Science and Industries in Chicago.

More than 30 children performed as part of the museum's annual Christmas Around The World program that features performances by different ethnicities from November to December.

The Philippine contingent was composed of Philippine American Cultural Foundation (PACF) Performing Arts group and folk fusion band Samasama Project.

Led by Lou Maningas Cabalona and her husband Baron Lloyd, Samasama, which means "united, together" in Tagalog, performs a blend of Filipino folk, rock, ska and Latin music.

(From left) Baron and Lou Cabalona rehearsing children's choir.
The couple have been teaching PACF's youth performing arts group for the annual Christmas show since 2008.

"We sang 'Payapang Daigdig,' `Sa Paskong Darating' and 'Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit,'" says Cabalona.

"More than half the choir do not speak Tagalog so it was a pleasant surprise that they picked up the songs fast."

"We also sang fun versions of 'Frosty the Snowman' and 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.'"

The children also performed folk dances such as the mazurka Boholana, kasaganaan and tinikiling.

They carried parols and candles in a procession symbolizing the Simbang Gabi tradition of anticipating the birth of Jesus Christ.

Maningas says they feel fulfilled when they spur Fil-Am youth's appreciation for music and Filipino culture. "When we celebrate our music, our traditions, our food, our history and our people, we hope to inculcate in Filipino Americans, young and old, a love for our rich heritage."

Michelle Delson, cultural coordinator for PACF Performing Arts group, says that volunteer parents and older members teach the younger dancers.

To book Sama Sama Project go to

Info on Chicago-based Philippine American Cultural Foundation at