Christian Peligro ‘C.R.,’ ‘Kuya Crs’ Orpilla, 44, founded The Young Filipino American Modern Dancers of Virginia

Christian Peligro 'C.R.,' 'Kuya Crs' Orpilla
Christian Peligro ‘C.R.,’ ‘Kuya Crs’ Orpilla

Christian Peligro “C.R.,” “Kuya Crs” Orpilla, 44, passed away Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. Christian was born Sept. 30, 1975, to Myrna and Sotero Orpilla in Frankfurt, Germany.

Christian grew up in San Diego, California and graduated from Morse High School. He served in the U.S. Navy, earned a master’s degree in 2017 and enjoyed a career as an I.T. field engineer with ActioNet.

Christian loved comic books, cooking Filipino food, modifying cars and playing Magic. Having grown up in the 1980s and 1990s, Christian felt a deep connection to hip hop and would hone his skills with a plethora of elements encompassing this ethos, including singing, dancing, and deejaying. His love for singing and dancing led him to a singing group back in the 1990’s. He deejayed in his younger years with a D.J. group and later in life still deejayed for events and parties.

Christian was stationed in Virginia Beach, where he would meet the love of his life. He met Tricia Pangilinan in the late 1990s, and they married on Valentine’s Day in 2005. Together, with his wife, they mentored countless youth and young adults in the community. Their house was always open and complete strangers became family members. In 2004, Tricia and Christian founded The Young Filipino American Modern Dancers of Virginia (YFAMD). This experiment would become life-changing for them as well as the hundreds of young people who would come out every Tuesday to the Philippine Cultural Center and practice the art of dance in forms of hip hop, traditional Filipino classics such as “Tinikling,” and eventually spread into Polynesian forms. Soon after, the club began to perform in festivals, competitions and colleges, in which they would edify and dazzle audiences with Filipino culture and social mores. They also traveled to Washington, D.C., every Sunday to work with hip-hop group, Culture Shock DC.

In Hampton Roads, Christian sat on various committees within the Asian, Filipino and Polynesian communities; such as, FilFest USA, Fil-Am Friendship Day, PolyFest VA and Asian Fest. He assisted with The Pampango Youth Club of Virginia and assisted in directing The United Ilocano Association of Tidewater’s Filipino Folk Dance Troupe.

Christian also shared the aloha spirit with his ohana of Halau Kahealani, his wife’s Polynesian dance group, and established their business, HK Street Meat. He was president of the Asian Pacific American Heritage Association, board member of the Asian Business Association of Hampton Roads, member of the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce and member of the Pacific Islanders of Virginia.

Christian and Tricia were a power house couple and their love for each other, family and friends showed incandescently in their production of successful events. And the beauty of it all was that they, especially Crs, never asked for credit or the limelight. They just steadfastly volunteered as loyal citizens to make the community stronger.

He is survived by his loving wife, Tricia Orpilla, and their children, Christian, Desiree, Noah and Keone; parents, Sotero and Myrna Orpilla; sister, Honee Laurie Orpilla; mother-in-law, Virgie Pangilinan; sisters-in-law, Melanie Pangilinan and Ellen Amacio; brother-in-law, Shaun Amacio; and nephews, Sebastian and Tavii, who he raised as his own.

Novena prayers will be held from 4 to 5 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 3, at Smith & Williams Funeral Home/Kempsville, 4889 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach. Visitation will follow from 5 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, Nov. 4, at Smith & Williams Funeral Home/Kempsville. Burial will follow at 2 p.m. in Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery, Suffolk. A celebration of life reception will be held following burial at 6 p.m., at the Philippine Cultural Center, 4857 Baxter Road, Virginia Beach.

Share online condolences with the family at Smith & Williams Funeral Home/Kempsville.

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