Filipino Night


Sean Lee

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

University of North Dakota


More than 100 students packed into the Loading Dock at the University of North Dakota for Filipino culture night on Thursday.

“We just wanted to let people know what the Filipino culture is all about,” said UND student Eller Bonifacio. “Most people don’t know about the Filipinos in their community, how we live and how our food tastes. We just want to share what we like to do.”

Bonifacio hosted the event, presenting on culture, lifestyle and cuisine of the Philippines, which consists of over 7,000 individual islands in the North Pacific.

The national dance - Tinikling was preformed. Two men opposite each other holding a pair of bamboo poles tapped to the rhythm of music while Bonifacio danced between – and around the poles, making it look easy.

Over 700 students enrolled at UND are international, with about 200 coming from Asian or Pacific Island backgrounds.

“There’s a lot of older people, but not many college-aged kids,” UND graduate Zu Ame Zapanta, who has family ties to Grand Forks all the way form the Philippines. “Family is important,” Zapanta said.

They come for the food

All who attended the event were treated to a five-course dinner consisting of dishes native to the Philippines:

  • Pancit bihon, a Chinese-style noodle dish, containing stir-fried vegetables and angel hair rice noodles provided a delicate flavor that is unique to pacific Asian palates.
  • Chicken adobo, the national dish of the Philippines was served alongside steamed white rice. The adobo was slow-simmered for hours in a tangy vinegar/soy sauce broth to bring out the flavor in the bite-sized chunks of chicken and potatoes.
  • Beef caldereta, a spicy beef stew brought some heat to the plate. Vegetables were simmered with beef in a spicy seasoning served with white rice.
  • Fruit salad, with a Filipino twist rounded out the dinner. The tart cherries, peaches and and grapes were paired with a sweet cream sauce.