FILIPINIANA | IDENTITY

2014 Grand Fiesta Kultura delivers the festival feeling

Michelle Baltazar

It is one of the biggest annual gatherings of Filipinos in Sydney - the 2014 Grand Fiesta Kultura delivered fun, food and a lot of festivities at the Fairfield Showground over the long weekend.


What's a surefire way to get the Filipino community to gather under one roof? Try three ways: halo-halo, chicken inasal and banana-cue. 

And if those aren't the Filipino dishes of your liking, there were plenty to choose from at the annual 2014 Fiesta Kultura held at the Fairfield Showgrounds yesterday.

Organised by PASC (Philippine Australia Sports & Culture, Inc.), the long-running event gathered Filipinos of all talents and pursuits - from sports cars exhibited near the gates to sports throughout the day (basketball, rugby, golf, etc.) to our culture's national sport: eating.

Jokes aside, there was some serious stuff, too. Lolita Farmer was on the main stage with dignitaries, including former Manila mayor, the Hon. Lito Atienza (now Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources). The Consulate was also on hand to assist with overseas voting registration and citizenship queries.


But the day was really a day for families and friends to bond over palabok and chicharon while watching the community's established and up-and-coming artists strut their stuff on stage. From Tina Turnip (see photo) to Elvis Presley (daw) and TV celebrities Kookies and Kreme from Australia's Got Talent, there was plenty of entertainment to be had. Special mention to Zumba instructor Nina de la Cruz for getting the crowd going. Although it looked like the women on the dance floor didn't really need much prompting (see video)!

A great surprise was the performance of a dance group from the Philippines: Pinoy HipHop brought the house down. Filipinos are usually a tough audience but Pinoy HipHop's dance crew managed to get them begging for more (see video).  

Then came the evening's program. What is a Filipino fiesta without a beauty pageant? This year, it was the turn of Glyssa Perez, proudly representing the Visayan Association of Australia, to take the crown home.

All in all it was a great day celebrating all things Filipino.

And if there was a Filipino word that was uttered a thousand times yesterday, it was this: busog, which translates to "full" or "satisfied".

From the smell of bar-b-q in the air, to the visual delights of the parol on sale and the halo-halo later in the afternoon, the 2014 Fiesta Kultura wasn't just a feast for the stomach but a feast for all senses. 

Photos: author's own, Violi Calvert 

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