Fifth Philippine Villages Festival
FILIPINO-CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF BRANTFORD MARK
By Rachelle Abubo-Szenkowski
BRANTFORD, ON–In the early evening of July 2, it was all about folk dancing and devouring traditional Filipino food as Filipino Canadian Association of Brantford (FCAB) celebrated its fifth annual Brantford International Villages.
The four-day summer festival started as a salute to the 100th anniversary of the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell in 1874. Since then it has continued as a successful annual multicultural festival that now celebrates its 41st year.
The board members of the International Villages proudly announced that the festival was voted a Top Festival in Ontario at the Festival and Events Conference in Toronto.
Nayong Pilipino or Philippine Village drew an estimated 800 plus people to United Church at 120 Sydenham St. The visitors were greeted with the sight of exquisite flower arrangement and exotic bougainvillea courtesy of the Village Mayor Inday Van Dyk. There were sari-sari store where visitors purchased their unique and beautiful handmade crafts, sorbetes cart, halo-halo station and a stage decorated with bamboo and colorful bandiritas.
The Honorable Dave Levac, MPP (Brant), Councillor Vince Bucci, and Brantford City Mayor Chris Friel were among the guests. Politicians were in awe as they witnessed the rhythmic clapping of bamboo poles of Tinikling, the regal dance of Singkil and the flower formation of bulaklakan to name a few. Other dances were Itik-itik, Salakot, Maglalatik, Sayaw sa bangko, Planting rice and Binasuan. Hats off to Lilia Baluyot’s and Jennifer Fabe’s cultural choreography.
Possibly the most entertaining village, every single evening was certainly the chicest. Volunteers and committee members were clad in traditional Filipiniana look, mestiza terno, kimona, abaca shawl, embroidered piña and barong tagalog for men.
Quiapo! Quiapo! of Mississauga served an array of delicious dishes for the duration of the festivities. Aside from their famous Lechon, their irresistible chicken adobo has been the village talk of the town. According to Cristina de Leon-Culp there was a mom and a little girl who were in line for food on Friday evening and the little girl had been nagging her since she woke up to take her to the Philippine Village for the chicken adobo.
In her concluding remarks, Attorney Cristina de Leon-Culp who is the epitome of beauty, brains and sophistication, said, “Apart from the performance we saw, there is an entire village of committed, dedicated, talented and hardworking volunteers including the parents of the performers, village committee. We thank everyone for their volunteer hours, amazing efforts, general services and contribution which made this program and the Philippine Village as a home possible, MABUHAY!”