Mission: The group’s main purpose is to accurately represent and educate its audiences on the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) cultures of the Maguindanaon, Maranao, Tausug, Sama, and Yakan ethno-linguistic groups. It is important to note that music and dances from this region are NOT “Muslim music or dances.” These indigenous Philippine cultural arts forms originating from the Muslim Filipinos in Mindanao and Sulu are a part of the Philippines’ Southeast Asian heritage.
The Pakaraguian Kulintang Ensemble of the Samahan Filipino American Performing Arts & Education Center performs gong-chime music and dances from the southern Philippines. Formed in 2003 by UCLA alumnists, Peter Paul De Guzman, Bernard Ellorin, Mary T. Lacanlale, Eleanor Lipat- Chesler, and Nickki Martin-Lustre, Pakaraguian has been performing at various festivals, lectures, venues and universities around southern California.
PKE membership includes ethnomusicologists who have conducted anthropological field research in Mindanao, Philippines and have actively participated in archiving contributions to UCLA, and some members have been formally trained by kulintang master musicians, such as Danongan Kalanduyan. Kalanduyan is recognized as the expert in kulintang music and was awarded the prestigious National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1995.