The Asian Pacific American Student Organization’s annual “Expressions” took place Friday in UTCC and featured a celebration of music, dance and other talent while also raising money for an upcoming Center for Student Action relief trip to the Philippines.
Five students will be raising $15,000 and traveling to the island nation in December to help with relief efforts in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, which swept through the central Philippines Nov. 8 and killed thousands.
APASO sold T-shirts for the first time this year and 15 percent of each $10 shirt sales was donated to the Typhoon Haiyan relief fund.
The shirts were designed by APASO Co-President and senior sociology major Jordyn Sun. She said the shirts “combined symbols of various Asian countries to symbolize unity.”
APASO President and senior business major Annemarie Norton and APASO Events Coordinator Josson Chien presented each of the acts, which included original raps, spoken word readings, song and dance performances and plenty of acoustic guitar.
“I was kind of surprised,” said Lindsey Lyons, a junior graphic design major. “Some other APU events I have been to had ups and downs but all of these [performances] have been consistently good.”
Two of the 13 performances consisted of members of the Pacific Islander Organization. The women presented a traditional hula to “Your Love Is Extravagant” by Casting Crowns while the men warranted cheers and applause as they performed shirtless and in grass skirts.
An audience favorite was the comical band “Noise II Men.” Beginning with “My Love” by Justin Timberlake and ending with Drake’s “Hold On We’re Going Home,” the five men maintained attention and applause throughout with their jokes and antics. At one point during the performance, two of the five members turned around and held up umbrellas while shaking their hips for the crowd.
A rap and acoustic guitar act, Matt and Ethan, wowed the crowd with two original songs about the redemption found in Jesus Christ. The second song included the lyric, “When darkness falls on us, we will not fear, we will remember.”
Senior psychology major and performer Brittney Mendoza also received positive cheers with her acoustic rendition of “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers.
“I was just trying to fit in with the coffee-shop mood,” said Mendoza. “It’s nice to be able to share a time with people who appreciate the culture.”
The event included food and refreshments such as Chinese and Filipino cuisines, boba milk tea and Thai iced tea.
“Chinese Taste [restaurant] was very generous and gave us a discounted price on the fried rice, chow mein and boba,” Sun said. “The Filipino cuisine was home-cooked.”