The Ati-Atihan Group of Melbourne, a group of performers representing a Christian tradition from the Kalibo people of the Philippines, is once again participating in the up and coming Moomba Festival on Monday, 9 March 2020. The parade will start at Birdwood Avenue and will finish at Linlithgow Avenue in Melbourne.
For nearly five years, the Kalibo-themed performing artists were conspicuously out of presence in one of Australia’s long-standing and biggest festivals which is celebrated during the country’s Labour Day long weekend, beginning on the first Friday until the following Monday of March.
Similar to the event in 2015, the Ati-Atihan Group of Melbourne is to be led by its founder and member of the EMG Sports and Entertainment, Ed Guevarra.
The Victoria-based group may not be a staple at the Moomba Festival, but it has been a valued member of the event for the last 22 years, beginning in 1998 as part of the celebration of the Philippines’ 100 years of freedom.
Across all of its participations, the year 1999 made the most highlight for the Ati-Atihan group for having won both the Best Costume and Parade awards.
The Moomba Festival has been a substantial aspect of Australia since its official conception back in 1955. While the event itself has gone through changes, involving concept and names, it remains as a valued tradition by Australians whose central theme about entertainment and family-bonding being a selling point not to be missed.
Part of the commitment to bring the best possible display in the upcoming event, Guevarra will travel to the Philippines to find the best costume for the group. Philippine Tours and Cebu Pacific will assist in transporting the Ati-atihan costumes which will be sourced from the Philippines. Mina Armstrong, Maina Wakley, Lulu Lorenzo and the producers of the Sharon Cuneta show contributed to the new costumes and other expenses. The Australian Filipino Community Services Victoria provided new drums for the group
This 2020 participation of the Filipino community is by far the biggest Ati-atihan group, 47 members in all, to join the parade and they are practising nearly every weekend to prepare for the big event.
The participants are: Ed Guevarra, Obeth Guevarra, Cora Urzabia, Ben Urzabia, Jaie Urzabia, Vicky Torres, Albert Torres, Allan Baladjay, Ariza Baladjay, Jason Aquino, Sherman Buca, Joel Pia, Manny Valmeo, Jay Barlaan, Jay Merin, Joy Merin, Nelia Ciar, Al Ciar, Raul Ordona, May Ordona, Jess Bermundo, Teri Nichols, Amie Polbrat, Suzette Nadjek, Lourdes Tadena, Olive Boucher, Diana Lee, Juliet Godeloson, Fe Gillies, Juliet Orquia, Rey Isleta, Angie Castrillo, Roland Olaso, Pat Aguilar, Annie Butler, Lily Menzie, Marvin Lugtu, Rosemarie Turqueza, Amor Malamatin, Mathy Watkins, Lynh Lam Kim, Arlene Lucas, Leonora Duque, Phure Patag, Stela Dudek, Aga Baladjay and Jade Barlaan.
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