Fiesta fever is on: Philippine Festival of Music, Arts and Culture now on its 4th year

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Philippine Festival in Melbourne
Philippine Festival: Beyond food and fun

The Philippine Festival of Music, Arts and Culture is now on its fourth year with Fiesta revellers offered more fun, food and entertainment. The Festival will be held on 17-18 March 2018 at the Polish Syrena Community Centre, 1325 Stud Road, Rowville. Food stalls will offer Filipino dishes and snacks. Halo-halo, banana cue, Pinoy barbecue, dinuguan, bopis and even San Miguel Beer will surely whet one’s craving for Pinoy food. It will also be busy for stallholders selling, showing their goods or offering their services. It will surely be a lovely weekend for Filipinos!

“There will be more added attraction this 2018 Philippine Festival. Eva Bay and Tuod, comedians from Zirkoh, Klowns and Music Box comedy bars will entertain Fiesta attendees. Hagibis, the famous Filipino singing group from the Philippines which was formed in Manila in 1979, will have a special guest appearance. There will also be more fun games or parlour games with special prizes,” said the Festival organiser, Ed Guevarra of EMG Sports and Entertainment Network.

For years now, Guevarra has been advocating to promote and preserve Filipino culture and tradition in Australia. “The Festival is not only for Filipino-Australians but this is open to everyone. Non-Filipinos can participate in most of our activities like parlour games and dancing,” Guverra told The Philippine Times in an interview.

The main highlight of the celebration will be the Ati-atihan performance and the Santacruzan. The Ati-Atihan Group of Melbourne is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Filipino-Australians and friends will also take part in Santacruzan, a religious-historical procession depicting the finding of the Holy Cross by Queen Helena, mother of Constantine the Great. Beautiful Filipinas and their escorts and the lovely children delight the audience as they parade. A special Mass follows.

Entrance fee for entertainment

While other Philippine Festivals can afford to offer free entry, Guevarra said this is not possible at this stage due to operational costs. “Those festivals do not have imported guests that cost a huge amount of budget. They might have a free venue from the council or they have more sponsors to support their Festival. They may be getting a grant from the government,” he said, noting what they can offer at the moment is free parking.

The Philippine Festival is proud of the participation of Filipino-Australian youth and young kids including their friends. In fact, participants in the Santacruzan, the Ati-atihan and those millenials working in the background for the two-day celebration are a testament that there is interest from the younger generation to preserve the Filipino culture and arts. “One of the aims of the Festival is to promote and preserve some of the beautiful culture and tradition of the Filipinos. In joining or attending the festival, the younger group become curious of what they see and when they take part in any activity. Hopefully their parents or older friends can give them more information on our culture,” Guevarra said. While the younger ones take interest, he is happy that his family, friends and the Ati-Atihan Group of Melbourne constantly support and help in the annual Festival.

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Guevarra is inviting business owners to advertise in the souvenir program to promote their business. Every year, special dignitaries such as the Philippine Ambassador to Australia or the Philippine Honorary Consul to Victoria have special messages to this Fiesta in the southeast.

Companies, big or small or those starting their business can choose sponsorship packages depending on their budget. “As part of the package, they can have a stall or a space in the souvenir program. They can distribute their flyers, put up company banners and display their marketing materials or products on the designated marquee,” Guevarra said.

For enquiries regarding sponsorship, performances, business stalls or souvenir program, contact Ed Guevarra on 0419 209 738 or Obeth Guevarra on 0412 052 488.

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