By Manny G. Asuncion
The Philippine Fiesta of Victoria is celebrating its 32 anniversary this year on 13-14 December 2014 at the Grand Pavillion, Melbourne Showgrounds, Ascot Vale, Victoria.
Since its foundation in 1982, Fiesta celebration has not missed a beat and becomes a much-awaited event for the Filipino-Australian community in Victoria.
It has brought an immense joy and happiness to Filipino migrants and other multi-cultural groups through the undeviating efforts of its officers and hundreds of volunteers who have worked hard to make the Fiesta a big success.
Through the years, the Philippine Fiesta becomes a show-window of Filipino arts and culture. The exhibits, the two-day program, the colourful parades, the folk- games and of course, the aroma of mouth-watering Filipino food wafting through the air – all attest to the crescendo of celebration of our deep-rooted custom and traditions way back home.
It gives opportunities for our local performers here in Melbourne to showcase their vocal and choreographic skills as well as providing a glimpse of our artists from the Philippines. This year our focus will be on our Australian-Filipino artists and will highlight the regional costumes and festivals such as Ati-Atihan, Maskara and Dinagyang.
And of course the theme that Fiesta features every year becomes the focal point of the annual festivity. The past years’ themes were: Balik Kultura; Abot-Kamay; Kapit-Bisig, Akbayan, Tulungan, Kabalikat and Ambagan – all well-thought themes steeped in Filipino values, psyche and philosophy. Fiesta’s themes always call for concord, harmony, solidarity and unanimity in the community.
This year’s theme is SAMA-SAMA, KAYANG-KAYA which enunciates the Filipino heritage of working close together with one another: the Bayanihan, thus making tasks achievable and lighter no matter how hard they are.
The Fiesta invites the Filipino-Australian community leaders and government officials to give inspirations and motivations to the attendees through their messages.
Fiesta is not complete without the beauty contests. They don’t only give glitz and glamour to the festivity but also the much-needed financial assistance to the organisation. Through the hard work of the Beauty Quest Committee, the candidates’ families, relatives and friends, they raise substantial funds for the Fiesta.
Over the years, Fiesta has faced lots of challenges and tribulations, but the management committee has consistently performed its duties and responsibilities and has the full support of the Filipino-Australian community, keeping the Fiesta alive and well in Victoria. As the current Fiesta theme goes: Sama-Sama Kayang-Kaya!!!