Students Sacrifice Time for Extravaganza Performances


Cayla Martin

Hawaiian Club members performed two numbers on the Sullivan Family Library lawn.

Andrew Trapsi, a 21-year-old biochemistry major, dedicates at least 10 hours a week to practicing for Hawaiian Club, Filipino Club and the Samoan club, Lumana’i O Samoa in the annual International Extravaganza. 

“I don’t know how I’ve been doing it,” Trapsi said. “But the thing that’s really making me want to push through it is because a lot of my friends are graduating and this is my way of doing it for them. And it’s trying to keep me on top of things and keep me busy too.”

He shared how his involvement has forced him to give up some weekends and more than 10 hours of his spring break, which was the week before the performance.

“I’ve had to sacrifice social activities and some sleep,” he said. “Sometimes I would stress out trying to get these steps down. I would even find myself at home trying to practice just to make sure I get it right.”

Unlike most people, Trapsi says he likes to keep his schedule busy, as it helps him to stay motivated and maintain his 3.0 grade point average.   

“I need to stay busy in order to stay on top of my academics,” he said. “School’s definitely hard, I’m not saying it’s easy. Like back in high school I was so busy and if I were to just focus on school I would get lazy. So if I wasn’t involved in these clubs I would still be involved in campus ministry or other parts that just help me to keep moving.”

Graduating in Spring 2019, Trapsi will have the opportunity to perform in one more Fall Pacific Island Review (PIR) and Spring International Extravaganza. Malia Parpana, a senior criminal justice major, and Jessica Domingo, a senior nursing student, will be graduating in Fall 2018, meaning this is their last International Extravaganza. Their last performance will be in the Fall 2018 Pacific Island Review.

Photo courtesy of Salena Honokaupu
Andrew Trapsi (back) and Jessica Domingo (right) take pictures with friends after their performance.

Both Parpana and Domingo are involved in Hawaiian club and Filipino club. Parpana’s first time performing with Hawaiian club was last year at Pacific Island Review. For Domingo, this is her first time performing for both clubs.

“I’ve always wanted to do PIR and Extravaganza,” Parpana said. “And I never actually watched it until I started performing, so it was like motivation to be in the program and to just have fun while I’m in school too, but I never realized how much work it’d be. But it’s still fun.”

Parpana juggles an 18-credit load this semester as well as 12 hours a week for practicing with the two clubs.

“I’ve sacrificed a little school work time,” Parpana said. “Thankfully I set my classes well enough to where I don’t have to worry about it too much, but I still do worry about my papers and everything.”

Being of Filipino descent, Domingo wanted to learn more about her culture by learning the Tinikling (Traditional Filipino dance). Since PIR only features pacific island groups (Hawaiian, Samoan, Micronesian, Tahitian), she wanted to join in the Spring and perform the dance of her people.

“Last semester I saw Hawaiian club perform at PIR and they looked interesting, and I made friends with those people,” Domingo said. “For Filipino club, I’ve always wanted to practice and do the dances, especially the Tinikling. I wanted to learn more about my culture.”

Like Parpana and Trapsi, she too had to sacrifice some personal time and energy.

“I’ve sacrificed family time and school work, but I would always try and find time during the weekend to do them. I work too so I would tell my boss to cut down on my hours.”

All three students are planning to perform in next Fall’s PIR.