Celebrating the 34th Anniversary of the Philippine Fiesta of Victoria 2016 (December 3 – 4)
By Manny G. Asuncion
Photos: PFVI archives by Hector Calara and Rolly Ferrer
Melbourne - Australia
November 9, 2016
Celebrating its 34th anniversary, the Philippine Fiesta’s theme this year is: DALAWANG BANSA ISANG DIWA, which underscores a commendable recognition for the two countries (the Philippines and Australia) for the rich heritage and good quality of life they afforded to the migrant Filipinos living in Australia.
The 2-day Fiesta celebration will be held on 3-4 December at the Melbourne Showground, Ascot Victoria from 10.00-6.00 P.M.
This year’s theme articulates the Filipino value of Utang na Loob (debts of gratitude). It is an obligatory pay back for a good action that has been given by someone may it be financial or material. To be branded as “Walang utang na Loob” (ungrateful) is a definite disgrace in Filipino culture.
The current theme also underlines an old Filipino proverb: Ang hindi marunong, lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa paroroonan” (loosely translated as, “ Those who do not recognize their origin would not be able to achieve their goals” ). It’s a stringent reminder for those people to always look back where they came from and duly acknowledged the person responsible for helping them during the time of need.
Migrant Filipinos are truly blessed with their opulent customs, values and traditions woven in their arts, language and culture which they inherited from their forefathers, and have a long history fraught with heroic struggles for independence.
They are twice blessed coming over to Australia with their families enjoying economic security, health and education. The kind of dreams which mostly eluded them when they were in their home country, but became a palpable realities when they migrated to Australia.
In these junctures the Philippine Fiesta is celebrating its anniversary – a uniting and gracious spirit of gratitude for the two countries, hence, DALAWANG BANSA ISANG DIWA.
A showcase for Philippine arts and culture, the annual Fiesta features Filipiniana exhibits; Filipino folk songs, music and dances; gives opportunities for local Filipino-Australian individual and group performers to show off their talents ; imports Filipino artist and top entertainers; offers delicious and sumptuous native food and drinks to Australian multicultural groups; holds colourful fashion parade that exhibits exquisite and elegant Filipina attire and initiates Filipino popular games and sports and a definite show window of Philippine Festivals such as Ati-Atihan, Kadayawn, Sinulog and Flores deMayo, Santacruzan to mention a few.
Fiesta also becomes a perfect venue for reunions of families, relatives and friends, an opportunity to meet new acquaintances as well as perfect initiatives for business and trades.
In 2012, Philippine Fiesta of Victoria (PFVI) was a recipient of the best Filipino Community organization in Victoria awarded by the Filipino Community Councils of Australia (FILCCA) because of its consistent contributions to arts and culture not only to the Filipino-Australian communities across Australia but to the multi-cultural Australian society as well.
For 34 years, Fiesta has been celebrated without a break despite its challenges and concerned. Thanks to the tenacity and hard work of the Philippine Fiesta Executive and Management Committees; its numerous volunteers; generous sponsors, supporters and advertisers as well as the committee and candidates of Miss and Mrs Philippine Fiesta Beauty and Charity Quests and their families, relatives and supporters. And of course to all the people who regularly attend the Philippine Fiesta.
Adhika Inc. and the Filipino Community (FILCOM) recently held a celebration that portrayed the women and girls’ perils in life challenges, the Filipino-Australians’ contribution that marked this year’s International Women’s Month (IWM) last March in Sydney’s innerwest Lidcombe....
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