Pinoy Fiesta gives back
By Rachelle Cruz
It was full house at the annual GMA-sponsored Pinoy Fiesta and Trade Show last June 28 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. In celebration of Philippine Independence Day, the Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation’s community-based fiesta kicked off featuring local talents Canadian Idol Martha Joy; award-winning vocalist Lilac Cana, and former Broadway “Miss Saigon” performer Emilio Zarris; including ballad singer Bong Castillo. Culture Philippines of Ontario, a premiere Filipino Dance Company didn’t miss a beat in celebrating the culture with Tinikling and Singkil, decked out in traditional garb and colourful accessories. The icing on the cake was a performance, including a meet and greet with fans of Kapuso actress Lovi Poe.
“Our aim is to promote Filipino culture, arts, heritage and also charity. So what do we bring to the community? We bring the best Pinoy entertainment while at the same time, we are able to donate to the needy in the Philippines,” Rosemer Enverga, Pageant Director and PCCF officer expressed. Tickets were sold for $15; and kids under 10 could get in for free, with proceeds going to PCCF that supports various community charitable projects.
“I am very proud to be able to bring the Filipino culture to the mainstream. This is the only community event where I and my husband are involved in that has been going on now for more than 10 years,” she added.
Later in the day, Senator Tobias C. Enverga, Jr. also made an announcement that Canada once again will extend its generosity to Philippines by providing $800,000 in new humanitarian assistance funding to the International Organization for Migration, to help conflict-afflicted families suffering from decades of ongoing fighting in southern Philippines.
With more good news to come, the spirits remained high. The pageant competition drew in the biggest ticket, and garnered many screaming fans jumping to their feet as they cheered on and voted for their favourite candidate.
The 2014 Miss Philippines Canada winner Adrienne Eduria, 16, couldn’t contain her surprise and excitement, “I was definitely overwhelmed! I cried, but I’m just so thankful! but my experience has definitely been overwhelming. I got to meet new people, new best friends, and just thankful because this experience is once in a lifetime! I want to showcase that Filipinos are smart and we do give back to the community,” she said.
Of course it’s not a fiesta without a feast. The event had over 50 trade exhibitors, including Filipino concessions that served Philippine delicacies and all-time favourites like Pancit Palabok, Lechon, Halo-Halo, and Adobo.
“We are very happy to get a complimentary ticket. We came here for lunch, the food is so good. My cousin treated us to FV foods!” Concepcion Cabanes Diaz, North York resident, said.