Bonifacio Valera

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Artistic Director / Founder                                                Back to Staff page

     I love dance. I inherited my love for dance from my mother, Patricia, who is a beautiful dancer herself. Growing up, my mother always encouraged me to dance and introduced me to many types of dancing including Philippine folk dance. After graduating from high school I pursued my love for dance by taking classes in jazz, modern and ballet at City College of San Francisco and San Francisco Ballet. When I attended the University of California at Berkeley to study Music, I experienced my first Pilipino Cultural Night (PCN) which ignited a new-found love for Philippine dance and culture. I transferred to San Francisco State University and majored in Dance Ethnology and Music Education under the guidance of Drs. Nonzitsi Cayou and Jerry Duke. There, I further pursued my interest in Philippine dance and developed Barangay Dance Company.

     I continue to nurture my passion for Philippine dance by occasionally returning to the Philippines to conduct dance researches and attend workshops like the annual National Philippine Folk Dance Workshops sponsored by the Philippine Folk Dance Society. Along with members of Barangay, I have participated in dance workshops with the Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company, Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, Sining Kumintang ng Batangas and the Philippine Folk Dance Gathering and Workshops conducted here in the States.

     While I lead Barangay Dance Company in fulfilling its artistic vision, I continue to work with local student and community groups when the opportunity arises: teaching, choreographing, consulting, lecturing and/or conducting workshops and master classes in Philippine folk dancing. For five years I served as the Vice-Chair of the Alliance of Filipino American Performing Artists (AFAPA), a non-profit organization whose primary objective was to serve as an umbrella organization for all existing Filipino-American cultural arts groups.  In 2008 I taught the Philippine Folk Dance class at Skyline College under the Kababayan Program and in a short period of time helped establish the Kababayan Dance Troupe of Skyline College. I consult and enjoy collaborating with other artists here and abroad like Rique Cabaya, Bobbit Lopez, and most recently, Jay Loyola.

     In addition to dance, I love choral singing and music. When I was in college I sang in both concert and chamber choruses at San Francisco State University and CAL as well as with community groups like Saringhiming Singers and Voices.  I currently sing with my local parish churches: with Jubilee Choir at the Church of the Epiphany for 5PM Sunday Mass and St Thomas More Church 8PM Choir for 8PM Sunday, 5PM Saturday Vigil and First Friday Masses. I enjoy spending time with family and close friends, eating out and celebrating life’s milestones. I also enjoy traveling with my travel buddies, seeing the world and experiencing other cultures. On my time-off, I love to just relax and watch my favorite shows on TV.