Despite the problems and widespread rumours that the Philippine Fiesta would not be celebrated this year, the current Philippine Fiesta of Victoria Inc. Management Committee, headed by Ross Manuel, faced the challenge of holding the Philippine Fiesta on 24-25 November at the Exhibition Pavillion, Melbourne Showgrounds, so as not to disappoint thousands of people for this much-awaited event.
And why not? The Fiesta is one of the biggest and the grandest Filipino-Australian community celebrations in Victoria. It has brought much excitement, happiness, and joy to the Filipino-Australian Community since its inception in 1982.
There are two things that Fiesta has to celebrate and be proud of this year: 2012 marks the 30th anniversary of the Philippine Fiesta, and the Philippine Fiesta of Victoria Inc. was the recipient of the most outstanding Filipino community organisation in Victoria granted by the Filipino Communities Council of Australia (FILCCA)!
Every year, the Fiesta has a theme that becomes the moving spirit of the festivity. This year’s theme, Bukas-Bisig (Open Arms or Welcome), underpins the value of Filipino hospitality. Filipinos are well-known for their utmost generosity and congeniality. They welcome everyone with open arms to their homes or in their community with or without special occasions.
Under this convivial spirit, the Fiesta has prepared a lot of exciting and varied activities for people to share, participate and enjoy during the two-day celebration. Moreover, the Philippine Fiesta Management Committee sees to it that the celebration is done indoor so as to protect the revelers from inclement weather and not to disrupt the festivity just in case the rain pours.
The two-day Fiesta program will feature local talents from Melbourne showcasing their skills in dancing and singing, as well as surprise artists coming from Sydney and South Australia. There will be a singing competition, Gintong Galing, which will give a chance for competitors to win substantial prizes for their talents.
Two well-known entertainers from the Philippines, Pooh and Tiya Pusit, have been invited to add to the celebratory atmosphere of the Fiesta. They will surely bring the house down with their side-splitting antics.
There will be a photo exhibit and a video presentation in cooperation with the Camera Club of Melbourne and Dulaang Bayan Melbourne Inc. focusing on the development of the Philippine Fiesta of Victoria over the years – showing people and events that shaped the Philippine Fiesta over 30 years.
A diorama depicting a historical event in the Philippines, courtesy of Mr Don Belardo, will be installed, along with native costumes, Filipino exquisite handicrafts, and local products.
Just like the previous years, Don Bosco Association Inc. will hold Filipino popular games that can be participated in by both young and old which will add fun and excitement to the two-day merriment. For sports enthusiasts, wrestling bouts will be held.
One of the highlights of the celebration is the combined Santacruzan and Flores de Mayo in cooperation with the Filipino Community Organization of Lara (FILCOL). These colourful and elegant Filipino traditions date back to Spanish era which are both Catholic and religious in origins. Former Miss and Mrs Philippine Fiesta Beauty Quest winners will join to suffuse glitz and glamour to the event.
For the first time, the Miss and Mrs Philippine Fiesta of Victoria talent night will be held on Saturday, 24 November. This will give a chance for more Fiesta revellers to see the show. Seven candidates vying for Miss and Mrs Philippine Fiesta will display their talents as imperative criteria for the competition.
Fiesta is also the time of the year that the Filipino-Australian entrepreneurs promote their respective business to the Filipino-Australian community and mainstream Australia. They can sell their products and distribute their flyers, posters and business cards to interested Fiesta attendees.
And of course, Fiesta is not complete without the delectable Filipino food and drinks awaiting the hungry and thirsty revellers. About 10 stalls are ready to offer mouth-watering home-made Filipino dishes and local delicacies like kare-kare, barbecue, lumpia, minudo, leche flan, bibingka, ginatan, maruya, banana barbecue, to mention a few.
And finally, there will be the traditional Fiesta parade headed by the Philippine Fiesta of Victoria Management Committee Inc and participated in by the officers and members of the Filipino Community organisations in Victoria, with the Ati-Atihan ensemble at the forefront, courtesy of Samahan ng mga Pilipino-Australian sa Gippsland (SPAG). This year, it is expected that the Filipino Communities Council of Australia (FILCCA) executive committee will join the parade.
So, why not join the fun? Time to meet your relatives and friends and enjoy the festive atmosphere. Everybody is welcome to help celebrate the Fiesta. Tayo na!
Bukas-bisig po namin kayong tinatanggap sa pagdiriwang na ito! Tuloy po ang ligaya sa Fiesta!!!