Manitoba Filipino Street Festival will celebrate rich filipino culture on August 25 (travel.yekram.com)
Winnipeg's Filipino community will take to the streets on Saturday, August 25 with its first ever Manitoba Filipino Street Festival. The aim is to showcase the culture and history of the Filipino community to Manitobans. But there's another goal: to share the culture with the young Filipino-Manitobans -- second and third generation youths who've never set foot in the Philippines.
Ley Navarro is one of the organizers of this weekend's street festival. "Festivals are usually celebrated in the Philippines on the streets," he explains. "It's considered a special opportunity for people to extend hospitality and friendship to one another."
Navarro says this inaugural festival will feature music, dancing and food, as in the Philippines. A whopping 35 associations will be participating. There will also be a parade with 13 colourful floats, each one representing one of the more than 80 provinces of the Philippines.
The parade starts at the Garden City Mall at 10:00 a.m.. The celebration will continue both inside and outside with a huge lineup of performers, including two of the most popular singers from the Filipino community, Reynalyn Gacilan and Arnel Castillo.
The first Manitoba-Filipino Street Festival comes at a time when some in the community fear their young people are losing touch with their roots. That's an issue Darlyne Bautista addresses nearly every day. Darlyne is a member of ANAK, which means "my child" in Tagalog. It's a non-profit organization whose vision is to ensure that young Filipino-Canadians have the opportunity to learn about and preserve their culture. She says the only way to do that is through education.
For many young people, their definition of being Filipino is second hand, but she feels they are really fortunate to be part of a vast community in Winnipeg. She finds they have an insatiable curiosity.
The first-ever Manitoba Filipino Street Festival is sure to stoke those fires.