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Philippine Fiesta of Victoria and Trade Expo 2015 – a cornucopia of arts, culture and business opportunities

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Alice Nicolas
Alice Gregorio Nicolas is the publisher of The Philippine Times.

Manny G. Asuncion


A cornucopia of arts, culture and business opportunities awaits guests, visitors and attendees of the Philippine Fiesta of Victoria which will be held on 28-29 November 2015 at the World Heritage Royal Exhibition Building in Nicholson Street, Carlton Garden, Victoria.

The Fiesta has served the Filipino-Australian Community without a break since its establishment in 1982 and becomes a much-awaited cultural event, not only for the Filipino-Australians but also to the multicultural groups in Victoria.

“Pagsulong sa Maunlad na Kinabukasan” (Moving on to a Progressive Future), the current theme of the Philippine Fiesta, underscores the essence of moving forward to achieve growth, progress and development not only in the present but most importantly in the future. Through the years, the annual themes of the festivity articulate the positive Filipino values of unity, friendship, debt of gratitude, Bayanihan (helping one another), communal efforts, cultural recognition and strong family ties.

This year’s Fiesta and Trade Expo, in partnership with the Australian Business Council (APBC), is aimed to promote, business, investment and trade opportunities between Australia and the Philippines, with full support of the Philippine Consulate of Victoria.

Five major exhibitors are expected to join the Trade Expo: APBC, Ayala Land, Black Swan, Mannerim Capital and Freemason.

Australia-Philippine Business Council (APBC) which has been around for 40 years, has been a major driving force in developing trade and business links between Australia and the Philippines. One of its major objectives is to deliver improved trade between the two countries. The Council works in close partnership with key business and government entities such as Austrade, the Philippine and Australian Embassies, the Philippine Consulate General, Philippine Department of Tourism, Philippine Department of Trade and Industry, the Makati Business Club and the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP).

Ayala Land. With over a century of envisioning, building, and developing masterplanned, mixed-use, and sustainable communities, Ayala Land’s rich history and illustrious reputation remain unparalleled in the country. It leads the industry in raising the standard of commitment to innovation and value appreciation. It stands for pioneering vision. It stands for trailblazing quality. Armed with solid principles of integrity, reliability and commitment, Ayala Land takes pride in its role in nation-building. By introducing developments that balance residential, commercial, retail and recreational elements and continuously expanding to create value in every inch of land, Ayala Land elevates the quality of life – for communities, families, and generations to come.
Black Swan, which originated from Love of Food with the use of family recipes, has grown to become Australia’s favourite dip. Today, it employs more than 100 people with a turnover of $A70 million. Black Swan operates the state of the art Dip and Yoghurt manufacturing facility complimented by sophisticated marketing and tool facilities. This capability allows the company to identify market gaps and react quickly to opportunities, while operating within a practice environment.

Freemason. Freemasonry is the oldest and largest existing organisation in the world . It is a society that brings together millions of people across the world, in a fraternal manner, ol all nations, religions, political beliefs, and social backgrounds. It comprises an estimated 5 Million members worldwide over 12,000 in Victoria . Modern Freemasonry traces its organisation to the 17th Century and proudly preserves the traditions it has inherited from those times. These traditions make Freemasonry unique within the community. The principles by which the Freemason is expected to conduct himself are based on tolerance, equality, charity and honour. They strive towards spiritual enlightenment and personal development as a way to moral perfection. Freemasons demonstrate these principles by showing tolerance and respect for the opinions of others, behaving with kindness and understanding and and practicing charity and care for their community.

Mannerim Capital. Mannerim Capital is a new consulting firm created to help mineral project owners get from plans to production. The company has an access to an extensive professionals advisors, financiers, investors and costumers. While focused on mineral sectors, Mannerim helps people from across the supply chain, including small businesses that just need some advice to bigger businesses that want to improve their performance and probability.

Other sponsors are: MoneyGram, MLP Developments Pty Ltd., Royal Brunei, Western Travel, Century Properties Group Inc., Philippine Tours and Philippine Airlines.

At present, Fiesta has about ten food stalls offering sumptuous Filipino food, dessert and drinks as well as 50 dry goods that are available during the festival. The food stalls will serve exotic and famous Filipino food such as adobo, dinuguan, kare-kare, litson, menudo, pansit palabok and lumpia. The desserts will feature delicious sweets as halo-halo, leche flan, bibingka not to mention a few. The dry good stalls offer beauty cosmetics, clothings, real estate, kitchen ware, jewellery, door-to-door deliveries, money remittances and the likes.

Through its colourful and vibrant activities, the Fiesta has become a showcase of rich cultural heritage of the Filipino-Australian people in Victoria, contributing immensely to the exciting milieu of the Australian multicultural society.

The two-day Fiesta program features an eclectic number of entertainment catering for all ages and genders. Heading the current entertainment section is Ms Marlisa Punzalan, the winner of 214 X factor Australia, who will delight the audience with her songs; Brian Lorenz, the talented singer from Sydney; True Faith, the Philippine’s most accomplished and popular band; the equally brilliant talents from Melbourne like Jerson Trinidad, Charlene Sotelo, Alyssa Limbo, Czarina Lapuz, Mary Ann Vanderhorst, Pangkat Pinoy and Harmonico Filipino.

The Fiesta program also features folk dances performed by the elderly groups and tribal dances from Geelong; Zumba performers; ballroom dancing by Dancd N’ Style; Youth choir and a fantastic fashion show by the Trans Angel Victoria- the Etnika: Planeta Filipina; presentation of Miss and Mrs Philippines Beauty Charity Quests, among others. There’s something for everyone, young and old and most of all, equality of gender.

On the night of 28 November is the Filipino arts and culture evening or Gabi ng Sining. This is a formal cocktail affair that highlights Filipino music and song with guests performers coming from the Philippines. They are Mr Joseleo Logdat (Baritone), Mr Miguel Castro (Tenor) and Mr Raul Navarro (Pianist). This is also the Talent Night of the Miss and Mrs Philippine Fiesta Beauty and Charity Quests.

There will be a fabulous Filipino Pageantry, a magnificent parade of the current and previous winners and candidates of the Miss and Mrs Philippine Fiesta of Victoria Beauty and Charity Quests wearing their crowns and marvellous gowns– a reunion of beauty and talent. This parade is to honour and acknowledge these deserving individuals in gracing the occasions, and most of all for financially assisting the Philippine Fiesta over the years. The parade will also include the winners and candidates of Mr Philippines Australia in their prize-winning Filipino regional and tribal costumes.

A Hip Hope number will be performed by the FMD Xtreme ( a popular and awesome Hip Hop dancers from the Philippines) as well as martial arts demonstration and exciting female and male wrestling.

Like any other Fiestas in the Philippines, the festivity will have bands that will definitely enliven the celebration. They will not only render popular music of the decade, but also will perform Filipino music and songs through the ages.

Apart from the above mentioned activities, there are exciting initiatives and innovations initiated by the Filipino-Australian Students Council (FASTCO). These are: Philippine Fiesta and Trade Booth Competition; Fiesta Human Bingo; Fiesta Talent Extreme; Pinoy Works of Art Exhibit, On-the-Spot Photo Contest and Fiesta Essay Writing Competition.

Over the years Philippine Fiesta has brought immense happiness and joy to thousands of Filipino-Australians and other multicultural groups not only in Victoria but also across Australia.

The Fiesta clearly enunciates the Filipino heritage through its cultural activities like its themes, exhibits, parades, music, songs and choreography. Let’s join the Fiesta and share its everlasting friendship, camaraderie and most of all, a sense of belonging.

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