A friend I met during the Pinoy Fiesta & Trade Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre last June 28 shared with me an interesting story about this Canadian whom he invited to the same event last year. After watching with quite subdued interest the song-and-dance routines of young Filipino talents on stage, and of course, the highlight of the event, the Santacruzan, a parade of beauty queens from across the ages (from Miss Little Philippines to Miss Philippines to Mrs. Philippines), his Canadian friend asked him: So, what is Filipino here?
Naturally my friend was surprised for he didn’t have an appropriate response to his friend’s question. This Canadian interloper, if we can call him that for being a stranger to our so-called traditional festivals, thought he would have a front-seat lesson in understanding our culture. To his amazement, he was clueless and didn’t have a faint idea of what he was watching. True enough, it had the atmosphere of an extravaganza, but emptied of the variety of cultures and ethnicities of similar festivals he had watched and participated in before, either here in Toronto or during his travels abroad.