Each year, the Filipino contingent for the Mardi Gras parade just gets bigger and better. This year, there’s a fire engine truck involved, writes Michelle Baltazar.
Sydney-based Albert Prias is an extremely busy interior designer. But when he’s not out thinking of concepts for a new bar in Paddington or Kings Cross, or working as a TAFE lecturer, he is also in hot demand as stage director and host at various Filipino-Australian shows and events.
The annual event that he always looks forward to participating in, however, is the Sydney Mardi Gras festival, and this year is no different.
Speaking to The Australian Filipina last night, Albert (or ‘Albie’ to his friends) said this year’s revellers, especially his Filipino supporters, are in for a treat.
The Filipino “float” will consist of not one but two vehicles this year. Courtesy of award-winning Filipina ballroom dancer Arlene Howe, a vintage car with a chauffeur will parade the three main winners of this year’s “Masque Mardi Gras Queen of the Night” competition run by FLAGCOM (Filipino Lesbian and Gay Community + friends organisation).
The winner of the Pink Triangle Princess, Chato Fujii; the Rainbow Princess, Leila Lopez and, the ‘Queen of the Night 2012’, Daniella Myer, are the faces of this year’s float (see photos).
But that’s not all. Behind the vintage car is a modified fire engine truck with a transparent roof which will play host to other ‘Queen of the Night 2012’ attendees and supporters, as well as organiser and pageant host, Charles Chan.
“Our floats are going to be very colourful (complete with balloons and other trimmings). There will be lots of music and we will be promoting the Filipino culture,” said Albert.
“I don’t know what the girls are wearing but if it’s not the Filipiniana costume, they will be wearing long gowns,” he added.
If the Mardi Gras costumes from last week’s competition are any guide (see pics), the night is guaranteed to be fierce, festive and fabulous.
The parade starts from 7pm and the Filipino float will be located in the corner between Hyde Park and the Australian Museum on College Street. For more information, go to http://www.mardigras.org.au.
All photos from this article courtesy of Ramil Balingit, except pic with Christine from Violi Calvert's facebook page.