By Janeca Gross
On 3 September, families with Filipino heritage celebrated a festival filled with choir singing and fun family activities. It was a full house with The Kiko Choir members and more than 18 families with kids attending the event.
More than 40 children participated in family activities including Father’s Day card making, doll making and jewellery making using recycled and reusable materials.
Everyone felt goosebumps when The Kiko Choir started singing Paraiso with Chedi Vergara, who is a former member of Smokey Mountain singing group which won the 1992 Tokyo Pop Music Festival. Chedi’s singing career blossomed after this historic win which has led her to sign with major music labels in the Philippines. She has since raised a family and is now Melbourne-based and is offering singing lessons from beginner to vocal coaching. The Kiko Choir has been singing for more than 31 years and has collaborated with a range of organisations across Victoria. Hear them sing regularly every second Sunday at St Francis Church.
Organised by Isko at Iska sa Melbourne, Kwentong Pinoy family festival may become an annual community event for families to celebrate Filipino culture and language as part of the multicultural fabric in Victoria.
This year the theme Balikatan para sa Kalikasan (Shoulder to shoulder for nature) featured guest speakers including the consular team at the Philippine Consulate General Melbourne headed by Consul General Maria Lourdes Salcedo, Mara Baviera, climate resilience lead at Merri bek City Council and Joseph Yap, founder and co-owner of Zero Tag, Melbourne-based sustainability packaging company.
We thank all the Isko at Iska sa Melbourne volunteers, event attendees including parents and grandparents and our event partners and sponsors including MLV Accounting, Tambayan, Mama Sita’s and Mang Jose’s Chicharon, Zero Tag, The Weekend Ensaymada and Akasya Kape.
You can watch Paraiso song performance from Kwentong Pinoy Family Festival on Kiko Choir’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@KikoChoir. Official event photos and videos can be viewed via Iska at Iska sa Melbourne facebook page and website: www.upalumnivic.org.
Click here for more photos on Facebook.