(Kulintang Reinstated) - newsstorySAN FRANCISCO - “It is official,” said Kenneth Monteiro, current Acting Dean of College of Ethnic Studies. “The course was reinstated.”
ETHS 545, a class devoted to the Tradition Music of the Southern Philippines, which had been destined to be eliminated from the curriculum of San Francisco State University, is to be funded for the upcoming fall 2005 semester.
The news was sheer joy to many of its students, some of whom broke into joyous tears over the news.
“I am so glad to hear the good news that Master Kalanduyan has been reinstated for Fall 2005,” said Jasmine Real, one of Mr. Kalanduyan many students, “because it is very important for us to know what our history is and to continue our Pilipino traditions by maintaining it. Master K is helping us in doing just that.”
“I am excited that the class is being offered again this fall,” said Kristine Cura, another one of Mr. Kalanduyan’s students. I am glad that the ETHS department is giving the students at San Francisco State University the unique opportunity to experience the beauty of the art of kulintang.”
The class, ETHS 545, taught by a great artisan and world-renowned musician, Master Danongan Sibay Kalanduyan, was slated to be axed because of California’s still constrained education budget. But because of widespread indignation throughout the community toward the administration’s decision, the university relented on their initial position to discontinue the class.
“Based on the primary budget projections upon which the first round of decisions were made, ETHS 545 did not make the cut,” Mr. Monteiro told Philippine News. “But the College received a small augmentation for the fall because of projected increases in our enrollment targets. We therefore chose to add ETHS 545 as a priority and we are happy with that choice.”
Faculty members, such as Professor Danilo T. Begonia, who held an important role in bringing kulintang music to the university, were particularly pleased with the administration’s decision. “I am glad that the College of Ethnic Studies has decided to reinstate the kulintang course. It speaks volumes about the value they place on the cultural treasures taught by Master Kalanduyan.”
“It was also very gratifying to see how quickly the students and community stepped up to support the Save the Kulintang Course movement,” said Mr. Begonia, referring to the immediate response students created in order to rescue ETHS 545. “Hopefully in the future, the course becomes a permanent offering.”