The MSU-SINING KAMBAYOKA ENSEMBLE (MSU-SKE) is one of the duly supervised groups of the MSU-CULTURAL AFFAIRS OFFICE (MSU-CAO), under the full support administration of MSU System President Dr. Habib. The MSU-SKE is in the thrust of mounting and remounting quality theater productions based on the Mindanao tri-peoples’ culture and arts particularly the Meranaw cultural community for peace advocacy and educational purposes of the University in the current creative leadership of multi-awarded theater director Mr. Pepito P. Sumayan, the ensemble’s Artistic Director. The group was founded in 1974 through University Board of Resolution in 1974, the creation of resident folk theater group in the University. MSU-SKE is dubbed as the Premier Cultural Theater Group of the Philippines
The founders of MSU-SKE were Dr. Rufino A. Ignacio, the former Vice President for Academic Affairs of MSU and Mr. Frank G. Rivera, a multi-awarded theater director, poet and scriptwriter, as the founding Artistic Director followed by succeeding Artistic Directors Prof. Edgarito A. Reconalla and Prof. Sunnie C. Noel. The Ensemble’s tours, activities and productions are with the generous supports from the University, individuals and the Kambayoka Center for Culture and Arts Development, Inc.
On its way to road to gold, for more than four decades since its inception, the group received numerous awards and recognitions from prestigious award giving bodies like Balagtas Award for Drama by Surian ng Wikang Pambansa, Aliw Lifetime Achievement from Aliw Awards Foundation, Kalinangan Award by ExpressWeek Magazine, Gawad Palanca, CCP-Kaisa sa Sining Gador Award and the Gawad Cultural Center of the Philippines Award for Theater.
Dubbed as the Premier Cultural Theater Group of the Philippines, the MSU-SKE is the only folk theater group in the Philippines who established and popularized the Kambayoka Theater Form, a theater form that is based on traditional performing arts of the Meranaw. MSU-SKE habe mounted several production based on Meranaw and Mindanao folklore, several chapters of the Darangen epic (UNESCO’s declared Oral Intangible Cultural Heritage for Humanity) and the Maharadia Lawanan, Philippine version of Ramayana epic. The Ensemble has brought the name of the University and represented the country in various local, national and international theater, culture and youth festivals.
Pepito P. Sumaya - Artistic Director